Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Friday, August 17, 2012

In the aftermath of mass shootings

Well, here we are again. Shootings have faded from the news. Until the next one, of course. Families have buried their dead. Sadness envelopes them. They are wondering what just happened and why it happened to them. They are dealing with the media and legal matters. They are putting one foot in front of the other, trying to live with the idea that a loved one was so senselessly, so suddenly, so violently taken from them in a matter of minutes or seconds. What's next?

For the state of Colorado, the city of Aurora and the University of Colorado, plenty is ahead and it is not good stuff. Here is synopsis of the cost of the Aurora shootings:
Police spent more on overtime pay responding to the July 20 mass shooting in a movie theater than the city would typically spend in a full year for extra police efforts.
The city so far has spent $462,600 on overtime costs for police officers and civilian employees following the midnight movie killings at the Century Aurora 16 theater and has applied for a federal grant to help cover the costs. The costs include investigators and responders on the morning of the shooting, security at a large vigil held later and protection for visiting dignitaries.
On average, Aurora spends $454,800 a year on police overtime. Fire department overtime totals have not yet been released.
-just part of the public cost of that morning's horror. James Eagan Holmes, 24, a former University of Colorado Denver doctoral student, is charged with scores of counts of murder and attempted murder in the shootings that killed 12 and injured 58.
Should the Holmes case proceed to trial, both prosecution and defense are likely to spend thousands on investigators, expert witnesses and other associated costs.
And even before the first lawsuit has been filed, taxpayers and college students are on the hook for thousands in legal fees at the University of Colorado.
Who will pay for this? You and I will. Or I should say most likely the taxpayers of Aurora and Colorado. If you have health insurance, you may be paying higher premiums because of shootings like this. Someone has to pay for it. If you think the private health insurance companies will absorb it, think again. This is all part and parcel of the consequences of doing the bidding of the NRA. Because our elected leaders have failed in the necessary courage and leadership to speak up and stop the shootings, this is what we will continue to see in America. Something needs to change. Someone needs to speak up. Many have. But politicians are running for election. They can't be bothered by this controversial issue. Some gun rights extremist might threaten them. Or the NRA will likely cause trouble by sending out brochures or letters of misstatements, hyperbole and fear to get leaders to just shut up when it comes to guns. Sick and sad.

So what now? As I have been writing, it's time to get started with a plan for how to prevent gun injuries and deaths. We can prevent them. We can do better than this. Sanjay Sanghoee, who I have quoted before, has a lot to say about how to get started. The title of his article is: "After Three Shootings, America Needs Zero Tolerance on Guns". There is so much here that it's difficult to pick out just a few points made by this author. Sanghoee is of the opinion, as am I, that the arguments used by the NRA are just plain not true. The NRA and its' minions do not want any changes to gun laws except when they are the changes promoted by themselves. So naturally, they will put up strong resistance to anything supported by those in the gun violence prevention community. If we said the sky was blue, they would likely deny it. That being said, let's take a look at some of Sanghoee's concerns for the discussion around guns and gun policy.These are the headers for each paragraph from the linked article above:
The Technicalities of Assault/Automatic/Semi-Automatic Weapons Matter"
Guns are no different than Box Cutters or Airplanes"
Recovery of Existing Guns is Impossible"
Most Gun Owners are Law Abiding Citizens"
Federal Gun Laws violate State Rights"
More Guns make Everyone Safer" 
In his article, Sanghoee refutes each of these points and why they shouldn't be show stoppers when it comes to talking about the prevention of gun deaths and injuries. His points are much the same as those I have been making on this blog for several years. We are having the wrong discussion. How much do the technicalities about assault weapons matter? What should matter is that we allow them at all to be in the hands of civilians. Arguing about the fine points is a great way for the gun rights advocates to stop the conversation. We should not let them do that when people are dying by the dozens in a matter of a few weeks.

We have prohibited carrying box cutters onto airplanes. We require that everyone take their shoes off before going through airport security. We do that for good reason. We are trying to save American lives. Why SHOULD guns be different? Great point. Let's move on. There ARE ways to stop the flow of existing guns without banning them outright, which is not a consideration anyway after the Heller and MacDonald Supreme Court decisions. For his next point, I write about "law abiding" gun owners shooting themselves or others on a regular basis on this blog. Yes they do. Just because you start out as law abiding when you first purchase your gun(s) doesn't mean you will stay that way. It's mighty easy to use that gun in a lethal way in a moment of anger, carelessness, dispair, depression, or for criminal activity. Sanghoee is absolutely spot on when it comes to federal gun laws. If we don't have them, we are stuck with a complicated web of different gun laws from state to state that make it too easy for people to go from one state to another with guns they shouldn't have. If we don't have universal background checks, for example, prohibited people can get guns too easily in a state with loose gun laws. That should not be and should be changed. And the last point is one I make constantly on my blog. More guns have not made us safer in America. The total opposite is the truth and fact.

But the NRA is not dealing in truth or facts. When it comes to guns, they are into hyperbole, fear and outright lies. They have managed to convince some politicians and some media so that, as in the following article, they fail to bring up the word "gun" when talking about mass shootings but rather only talk about mental illness and what to do about it. This article wonders if we can do anything at all about mass shootings.
Taylor and other experts said that an underlying factor in most of the mass shootings is mental illness on the part of the suspect. While the investigation into the College Station shooting is in the early stages, the mother of Thomas Alton Caffall, the shooter, told reporters her son had been having “difficulties” with his mental health in recent years.
That mental health aspect, combined with the current state of the economy, will make it all but impossible to eliminate mass shootings, those who study them say. And that makes them even more terrifying, even if the occurrences are still relatively rare.
“With the cutbacks in mental health systems, we are seeing more people released into society who are not on their meds, who are not in constant treatment, and we are seeing people who are more easily agitated,” said Dr. Larry Barton, a professor at the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and an instructor at the FBI Academy in Virginia. “And two, the economy is not getting better and people are getting more desperate. The more desperate they become, the more likely they are to become violent.”
Dr. Albert Blumstein, a professor and criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, agreed with Barton about mental health issues being a big cause behind the actions of mass shooters. But he said it’s difficult to be proactively protective because “lots of people act strange, but it’s tough to know of those who are acting strange who is going to do something outrageous.” (...) 
The randomness of those acts, Barton said, often results in them being even more deadly. He said that when catastrophic events take place, such as a shooting, a flash fire or even an earthquake, many people fall into a trance-like state he called “milling,” where they don’t immediately react to what is occurring.
“In an attack, there’s a sense of thinking, ‘I can’t believe this is happening to me.’ So often in a catastrophic situation, if people fall into milling, they freeze and they die,” Barton said. “If you move quickly in the first 10 or 15 seconds of anything that seems wrong, and that includes an earthquake, your chances of survival are much, much higher.”
But Barton acknowledged that even with the most recent spate of spree shootings, Americans remain “very safe in almost all places, whether that’s at work, in a house of worship or at a mall.”
There are conflicting views in the article about whether we should be concerned about the fact that we have seen 3 mass shootings in about 3 weeks' time. I happen to believe it should concern us. Note then, that there is a recommendation for what to do in case you are in a venue where a mass shooting breaks out:
Experts say you can’t fully prepare for a mass shooting, but these are things to keep in mind:
• Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
• Think about ways to escape any place in any situation.
• Take mental notes of anything and anyone that seems out of the norm.
• If something does happen, don’t freeze: Take immediate evasive action. Consider running or hiding.
• Don’t become a hermit. Mass shootings remain rare, and experts note that there’s a difference between being cautious and being ruled by fear.
Note also that there is no recommendation to carry your own gun in this situation. But then, neither of the people interviewed in the article above mentioned that restrictions on guns and who should access them should be considered as a solution to mass shootings. The doctors and other health care professionals who treated the victims of the Aurora shootings are well aware that bullets from guns are actually a problem in mass shootings. Here is an article with a description of the emergency room and what the staff experienced on the day of the Batman shootings:
But for the doctors, nurses and other staff at the hospital — which received 23 of the injured, one of them dead on arrival — the shootings were not only a trauma but also a test of their skills, their stamina and their teamwork, as the simulated disaster drills they had practiced turned abruptly into reality.
Looking back, many said that having come through the experience, they now felt prepared for anything a violent and unpredictable world might throw at them.
“We went into emergency medicine because we know it’s crazy — you never know what’s going to come through the door,” said Dr. Comilla Sasson, one of two attending doctors in the emergency room that night. “But the thing none of us have gotten over is, we made it through. We really, truly shined.”
April Koehler, the emergency department’s nurse manager, said that for days after the shooting, she woke up in the middle of the night with the urgent feeling she had to go out and help someone — just as she did when her emergency pager went off at 12:56 a.m. that Friday, the message reading simply: “Mass shooting.”
Jason Kennedy, a paramedic, served in Iraq with the First Armored Division, and little fazes him. But he finds himself replaying the images of those hours in his mind: the flashing lights of police cruisers bearing the wounded, the screaming and the blood, the hallways filled with bandaged patients lying on stretchers or standing in a daze, baffled survivors of an unexpected battlefield.
“You catch yourself thinking about it for no good reason,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Just out of nowhere.”
Dealing with the actual aftermath of shootings is what we should be talking about. Shootings have a ripple affect. They affect a wide circle of people. We are better than this. We can prevent this awful stuff from happening. And, the public knows it. New polling data is showing that again. How much more do our elected leaders need? Check out the support from Independents, Republicans and Conservatives for support of more strict gun measures:
But as is typical with gun polling, specific gun laws are far more popular than the broader issue of gun laws, generally. This recent Quinnipiac/New York Times poll in three swing states shows majority support for a ban on high-capacity magazines. The poll was conducted in Virginia, Colorado, and Wisconsin--all swing states that have experienced mass shootings in recent years. Recall my firm's January 2011 national survey for Mayors Against Illegal Guns showed this to be one of least popular gun measures tested nationally. Yet even this proposal continues to receive majority support in swing states.
The CNN/ORC survey also demonstrates clear majority support for a lengthy list of stronger gun laws. Some, garner near universal support, such as "preventing certain people, like convicted felons or people with mental health problems, from owning guns" (91% favor). Even Tea Party supporters strongly support this law (92%). In fact, only two of the proposals tested were unpopular, and they are not even up for real discussion: limiting the number of guns a person could own (45% favor, 54% oppose) and preventing all Americans from owning guns (10% favor).
Further, voters say they want to hear more from the presidential candidates on guns. In the Quinnipiac/NYT poll, pluralities in the three swing states say the candidates are "spending too little time talking about laws covering gun sales."
Voters want something to happen. They want our elected leaders to act. Demand a plan. When asked about specific sensible gun laws, support is there. Let's get started. Ask the candidates to talk about the issue. Ask Presidential debate moderators to ask a question of President Obama and Mitt Romney about their plan to prevent senseless shootingsCommon sense says it's time to act.

Instead, we continue to see more senseless shootings. As long as we don't act, they will continue.

There was an alleged politically motivated shooting at a conservative organization in Washington D.C.
A law enforcement official said the gunman made some remarks opposing the Family Research Council's policies before opening fire.
A source working with the DC Center for the LGBT Community told CNN that Corkins had worked as a volunteer at the center.
David Mariner, executive director of that center, released a statement Wednesday night saying he was "shocked to hear that someone who has volunteered with the DC Center could be the cause of such a tragic act of violence.
"No matter the circumstances, we condemn such violence in the strongest terms possible. We hope for a full and speedy recovery for the victim and our thoughts are with him and his family," Mariner said in the statement.
Warning signs of violence: What to do
A backpack and a vehicle believed to belong to the suspect were recovered, the law enforcement official told CNN.
The suspect's weapon was a legally obtained 9mm handgun, according to another law enforcement official. The suspect had obtained the weapon "fairly recently" from a gun shop in Virginia.
The council is a Christian group that has pushed family and anti-abortion issues and religious liberties. It has been a leading opponent of same-sex marriage.
The Family Research Council recently backed restaurant chain Chick-fil-A after the company's president, Dan Cathy, said the company supports traditional marriage.
And another two law enforcement officers are dead and 3 people injured in Louisiana in an "ambush":
The first shooting happened in a parking lot at a steel plant in LaPlace, about 25 miles west of New Orleans, St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said. The second happened when the deputies went to a nearby trailer park to investigate the first shooting and were ambushed by a man armed with what Tregre described as an assault rifle, he said.
In addition to the two wounded deputies, two of the five people taken into custody were hospitalized with gunshot wounds, Louisiana State Trooper Melissa Matey said. Tregre said investigators were still sorting out what role those detained may have had in the shootings.
I have collected just a few articles about recent shootings involving those "law abiding" gun permit holders which you can read below.

This Pennsylvania legal gun permit holder went nuts and started shooting at other drivers on a local street. Where is common sense?

A Witchita shooter's gun was returned to him after he was arrested just because he was a gun permit holder. He later shot a security guard at a store. Where is common sense? These are the laws the NRA has supported in state after state.

This "law abiding" Virginia gun permit holder took out his anger, or whatever, on his wife, leaving her in critical condition. Women are at risk in domestic cases and are shot every day. This woman is alive but is making excuses for her husband. That is not atypical for domestic abuse victims. There are no excuses for shooting someone. Where is common sense?

To summarize: We can do something about shootings. The public wants something to be done. The candidates should be asked to talk about guns and gun policy. Law abiding gun permit holders continue to shoot people. Law enforcement officers are at continued risk from shooters. Assault rifles are being used with more frequency in shootings. A concealed gun is likely not going to work well in a mass shooting. People with mental illness should not have guns and we should stop them from getting them. Sensible federal gun laws can actually work to prevent shootings. Treating patients with gunshot injuries is horrible and will likely stay with the people who witnessed the shootings and/or survived them and/or saw the blood and and heard the screaming of the victims. Other methods of mass destruction are stopped by new laws. Guns are not. America has many more guns than most countries and we are not safer. We can actually find better ways to recover crime guns. We can stop more guns from flowing into our streets. You should be watchful in public places and ready just in case a mass shooting breaks out.

We are better than this.


It sure didn't take long for another story about 2 "law abiding" gun permit holders got into a shoot-out at a Virginia Rite Aid pharmacy:
The man charged in a fatal shootout at a drugstore Thursday said today in a jail interview that he was defending himself after being attacked.
The shootout inside a Rite Aid followed an argument over cutting in line at the checkout, police said today. The man who died was identified as Ramon P. Colorado Jr., 42, a former Norfolk deputy sheriff.
Police charged Bernell Duvall Benn, 41, of the 8100 block of Ridgefield Drive in Norfolk, with murder and felonious use of a firearm.
The two shot each other about 2:05 p.m. Thursday inside the Rite Aid in the 3600 block of Tidewater Drive, police said.
In an interview with The Virginian-Pilot today at the Norfolk jail, Benn said he fired in self-defense after he was pepper-sprayed and threatened by Colorado.
After both men had drawn weapons, Benn said, he asked Colorado to put his gun down.
"I came to the store just to get my medicine," said Benn, who was crying at the start of the interview. He said he was shot in the back.
Colorado was a Norfolk deputy sheriff from April 1994 to May 1996, when he was terminated, said Paula Miller, a sheriff's office spokeswoman. He later worked as an auxiliary deputy in Chesapeake.
Police issued a statement with the following details:
Benn was talking on a cell phone when Colorado got in line behind another customer. Benn accused Colorado of cutting in front of him and they began arguing. Colorado sprayed Benn with pepper spray and Benn then drew a handgun and approached Colorado, firing at him. Colorado drew his handgun, returned fire and collapsed.
It's a darned good thing no one else was shot. This is what we are coming to when more people are carrying loaded guns around in public places. Without the guns, one of the men would be alive today and the other would not be sitting in jail charged with killing someone. This is the NRA's vision of America.


  1. Having a concealed handgun doesn't mean that it can save lives in every situation. Mass shooting scenes are extremely complex and it's likely true that running and/or taking cover could be more prudent than trying to use a concealed handgun depending on one's experience and training. We know of the famous concealed handgun owner in the Tucson massacre who chose wisely that not using his gun was the best choice. We've also heard of Dan McKown, another concealed handgun owner, who chose poorly in deciding to confront a killer armed with a rifle using only his little 9mm pistol. In both of these cases, not using a concealed handgun was the best choice.

    However, mass shooting massacres are extremely rare compared to other violent crimes and concealed handguns have been used to save lives in countless situations that we'll never hear about because they weren't newsworthy. Those of us with risky professions or who have risky lifestyles have probably heard of concealed handguns being used to save lives or have actually used a concealed handgun in a defensive situation. Those situations typically involve one or two assailants attempting to attack someone with a blunt or edged weapon over valuables, not a mentally ill mass murderer armed to the teeth with several rifles and pistols.

  2. For too long our elected officials have ignored the rampant shootings in our country.

    Romney says he wants no new laws regulating guns. But 100K shootings a year is shameful. Does he consider the carnage acceptable? If not, what does he intend to do about it without further regulation?? It's time to speak up.

    Obama has indicated he is against assault rifles, and in pre-presidency indicated that further regulation is needed. So where's the action? Words are cheap. So far he's only reduced gun regulation.

    Poll after poll indicates OVERWHELMING support for stronger regulation. When will our leaders represent their constituents?

    We are better than this. http://www.wearebetterthanthis.org/

  3. Colorado appears to have been a ticking time bomb. He was terminated twice while working as a sheriff's deputy. Something bad must have happened to be terminated by a sheriff's office. People are laid-off for financial reasons or other issues unrelated to an individual's performance. Colorado reacted to an argument by assaulting Benn.

    I agree with you that guns should never have been used in this incident. I believe Benn would have found it more rewarding to vigorously pursue a felonious assault case with the local prosecutor, because that would have removed Colorado's right to conceal carry a firearm, a right coveted by most who legally conceal carry.

    I disagree this is the NRA's vision of America. If that were true, this incident would be published in their Armed Citizen blog. I don't believe excessive violence is part of any respected organization's vision of America.

    What I do see here is another example of what I've mentioned before about there being something unique about our culture that makes many Americans much more violent than citizens in comparable situations in other developed nations. This is what I believe our national leaders should be addressing, as President Obama mentioned in a statement released after the Aurora massacre in calling for our country’s leaders to “do something about this senseless violence.”

    Wouldn't you agree that pepper spraying someone over an argument is an example of excessive or senseless violence?

  4. The last first- yes. The " Armed Citizen" would not print this one because it is 2 law abiding citizens acting stupid and dangerous. It doesn't fit with the idea that carrying loaded guns around in public makes people safer. That is mt point of course.

    As to other countries, there is plenty of violence and crime. But gun crime and gun deaths are very low. Why? Because there are far fewer guns and far stricter gun laws. That is my point. I wonder why you continue to miss it? This incident would be very unlikely in another country. In fact, almost unheard of. It is the reason we don't need people carrying their guns in public.

    1. Neither one of them was law abiding. The dead man committed felonious assault before he was murdered by the other. This behavior is not representative of the overwhelming majority who carry concealed firearms.

      I'm not missing your point. I understand what you're saying – that only in America will two people shoot at each other senselessly. What neither of us knows is whether that murder was preventable if neither of those men had guns. My experience leads me to conclude that with that much unchecked anger, a different weapon would have been used to either murder or handicap Colorado.

      The non-firearm murder rate in the United States is about 50% higher than the UK rate. Violence is still falling in both countries, but the US is still more murderous even without guns.

    2. You are wrong, Migo. These 2 men were both law abiding gun permit holders at the time of the incident. That is the point you all purposely evade. And I can see why, You guys always claim that law abiding gun owners don't do stuff like this. The problem with that argument is that they do. Right up until the first man used pepper spray, he was law abiding. Within seconds, they both were not. One is now dead and the other is now a felon. Neither of these folks were felons before they got into their argument. Without the guns, they likely would not have been either. Perhaps a misdemeanor charge.

      So yes you are missing the point and on purpose. Do you honestly think a murder would have taken place in that Rite Aid store without guns involved? How so? In what way? What different weapon? What other weapon do people carry around with them? Come on. You are grasping at straws. Your argument makes no sense. At some point, you will have to admit it's the gun.

      As to your claim about crime- give me a source so we can know whether that is true. You can't just say these things without backing them up with the facts. Otherwise you are promoting false ideas in order to fit with your agenda. Please send me a source.

  5. I agree with almost everything you said in the first paragraph. The point I'm making is that a law abiding citizen would not have initiated that argument or pepper sprayed someone for cutting in line. By your argument, every criminal was once law abiding before they committed their first crime. My argument is that law abiding citizens remain law abiding until their death which is the category where the overwhelming majority of those who conceal carry reside. Also, spraying pepper spray on someone can be considered a felonious assault, not a misdemeanor, which is most likely the case at this Rite-Aid incident since it was not accidental or justifiable.

    Yes, I think that without guns one of those guys might have stabbed the other with a large knife. Knives are easier to carry than guns, but few people use knives today because a knife is useless against someone with a gun. However, if we could take away guns, as you suggest, I fully expect that angry people like that would then resort to using knives. All you suggest is removing the guns. The murderous anger and violence that led to that fight would remain.

    Here are the crime sources: FBI Expanded Homicide Data Table 8 Murder Victims by Weapon, 2006–2010 4221 murders without a gun in 2010. FBI Crime in the United States by Volume and Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants, 1991–2010 Murder rate in 2010 is 4.8 for all weapons and 1.6 without firearms. Now for the UK, Crime in England and Wales 2010/11 page 57 states 642 homicides and page 63 states 55 of those died from firearms, so 587 were killed without firearms. UK population was 62.3 million in 2010 so non-firearm murder rate per 100,000 was 0.942. US non-firearm murder rate of 1.6 is 65% higher than UK rate 0f 0.942. Even without guns, Americans kill each other more than the Brits. The FBI and Home Office have other reports on their respective sites that show that violence on the whole is falling in both countries.

    1. Again, Migo, the 2 men were not criminals when they walked in the door. That appears to be a fact. Your second sentence can't be true because a law abiding citizen did initiate the argument and the attack. Don't you read my blog? Law abiding gun owners do this stuff on a fairly regular basis. That, of course, is my point which you have doggedly refused to acknowledge. Law abiding citizens don't remain law abiding until their deaths. What does that mean? It is simply not true. Take the Aurora shooter. He was law abiding until he wasn't when he shot those people in the theater. He became an instant criminal and he is still alive. Take George Zimmerman. He is still alive. Take Jared Loughner. He is still alive. All of these started out as law abiding meaning they were not prohibited purchasers so they passed a background check. They shouldn't have but our loose laws allow them to buy guns LEGALLY. They did so. Then they killed people as law abiding citizens. That is a serious flaw in the argument you guys are making. You can keep going with this thread until you are blue in the face but you can't win it because you are wrong. I'm done arguing about that point. As to the articles- they are comparing apples to oranges. We can't compare them because they are showing the data differently. Be that as it may, the UK has so many fewer homicides it is almost laughable. " 642 homicides in 2010/11 (up by 4% from 618 in
      2009/10 and including the 12 victims of the Cumbria shootings in June 2010). "

      "Crimes involving guns or knives are always of great public concern and understandably attract a great deal of attention. The number of such crimes is relatively low in volume terms and in a general population sample survey such as the BCS the number of victims is too few to produce reliable trend estimates. Bespoke data collections from the police provide better information on the number of such offences but are limited in covering only those that have come to the attention of the police. "

      There were 642 TOTAL homicides in the U.K. which I would imagine would include guns, knives, etc.The U.S. has many many more gun homicides. As to your knife comment, don't be ridiculous. Did you see, by comparison, the number of knive homicides in the U.S.? Not even close to the number of gun homicides. You can try to say that people will kill people with something else if you want but you have no proof of this. Maybe people won't kill each other so frequently if they don't have guns. I could assert that as well and be far more likely to be correct since that is the case in other countries.

      There are crimes in every country. Why does the U.S. have so many more homicides than most countries? Are we more violent? If so, why? And what is your point? If it's true that we are more violent, we had better do something about making sure all of those angry, violent people don't have guns. When guns are available to angry people, they just might use them. Otherwise they might get into fist fights and then go home to their families at the end of the day.Further, you can't say that the man who got shot in the Rite Aid was a naturally violent person. He certainly got violent and angry in that situation. Presumably these things have happened to him before. Why was he carrying pepper spray in the first place? He sure seems paranoid as well. That is not a good state of being when someone p%$#es you off in a store. Further, when you are paranoid and have pepper spray AND a gun, you will be much more likely to use one or both in a given situation. So the other man pulled out a gun and you pull yours out and voila, you have a dead man and man whose life is ruined.

    2. Migo, to continue- You have totally missed my point and you do so over and over again. I am through arguing this one with you. Your arguments make no sense and serve no purpose other than to try to excuse the guys with the guns who are shooting people in public places. There is no excuse. Whether or not another country is more or less violent than the U.S. has nothing to do with the facts on the ground. We have too many gun deaths and injuries in the U.S. You can go to the U.K. and work on their violence problem if you want. I am going to stay right here and work on what we have in our own country. It is fact that the U.S. has higher rates of gun injuries and deaths than almost any other civilized country not at war. And law abiding citizens are committing some of the shootings. That, too, is a fact that cannot be avoided.

      Have a nice day.

  6. I know you said you're done arguing about this, but I really wanted to try to make my two points once more even more simply.

    First point: Are you a law abiding person Joan? Would you do the terrible things that are often posted in your blog? I would think not. Almost all, but obviously not all, of those who conceal carry treat the law with the same respect that you do.

    Second point: With our country as violent as it is, do you think that taking away all the guns would suddenly have caused murders in 2010 to fall from 12,996 to 4221? I agree with you that they would fall, but I don't believe they would fall that much without addressing the violence and anger behind the gun.

    We won't ever know for sure unless we could go a year without guns.

    Thank you for the well wishes and I hope my posts haven't ruined your weekend too much.

    1. Good grief, Migo. Of course I am a law abiding citizen. My brother-in-law was a law abiding citizen up until the moment he shot my sister to death. What's your point? Sure most gun owners are law abiding. But we are seeing an increasing number of shootings in public places by law abiding citizens. Why is that? We have passed conceal and carry laws and Stand Your Ground laws that allow people who never used to be able to carry guns in public to do so. That has made a huge difference in our gun culture. In addition, the NRA had made you guys so paranoid that you fear danger around every corner so you carry guns and pepper spray. All it takes is one moment of anger for someone to go off. With a gun, that moment can be lethal. Without it, it turns into something else. No one said anything about taking guns away from everyone. We used to have a country where people hunted with their guns and some had them in their homes for self defense. There were not assault weapons in common use. Things have changed. Gun deaths are still almost the leading cause of death in some age categories. There are ways to stem the violence and stop the shootings without taking guns away. Put that thought away and stop believing the NRA and the gun rights extremists. I don't want your gun. But too many people who shouldn't have them get them. That is because of our loose gun laws. How else do you explain the numbers if you want to compare to other countries? There is no other way to explain it. We have far more guns than any other country and we have far more gun deaths. Those are facts, Migo. Work with me and we can change that. Good night.

  7. "There are ways to stem the violence and stop the shootings without taking guns away."

    Oh, Joan, I really wish that were the case. Any gun, anywhere is simply a highly probable fatal event waiting to happen. I wish we could trust the "law abiding" among us with the things -- these guns -- that apparently give them so much joy or false sense of security. But we can't. As I have said before, there is no reason anyone should have a gun in America. I know you have to be diplomatic, and I applaud that. But I think you'd have to agree, on pure fact and logic alone, that our ultimate goal should be to eliminate all guns from our beautiful nation, and protect our children for generations to come.