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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The latest in shooting news and other NRA fairy tales

Some days, I despair at the stories I read. There are so many today that it's hard to know where to start. I am just going to list the incidents of law abiding gun owners, some of whom are permit holders, who were irresponsible with their guns. They speak for themselves and require no comments from me. So here they are:

  1. Texas man rolls over on his loaded gun in his sleep, picks up the gun and shoots wife in stomach.
  2. Nevada man (permit holder) charged after shooting himself in the butt while sitting in a theater ( after the Aurora mass shooting)
  3. Texas woman ( permit holder) tried to shoot a skunk; she missed; the bullet ricocheted and hit her husband in the abdomen.
Sigh. These are the people the NRA types on my blog and other blogs think could have handled the New York City shooting better than the police officers in the midst of chaos on a busy major city street. 

In other news, there have been 2 school related shootings already and school has just begun. Here they are:

A 15 year old Baltimore student shot and seriously wounded a 17 year old boy in the school cafeteria on the first day of school. The gun came from the home of his father. The shooter was stopped by school staff when they tackled him; no gun needed to stop this shooting. From the article:  
"But let this episode also be a reminder that guns of all types are best held by responsible adults under lock and key. A 15-year-old should no more have unfettered access to a shotgun than to a motor vehicle or stick of dynamite. The emotional turmoil that is adolescence is uncertain enough without bringing firearms or other deadly weapons into the fray. The gun in question was allegedly taken from Mr. Gladden's father's home."
From another article about this shooting:
No one answered the door Monday evening at the home of the alleged shooter's mother. A sign at the house said, "We don't call 911" and had a carved relief of a gun.
Children learn much from their parents.

In Indiana, an Indiana State student shot a former student in a parking lot near the campus following an argument. They had been drinking:
William Mallory, 21, opened fire on three men with a handgun Friday around 3 a.m. in an ISU parking lot across the street from Ballyhoo Tavern in Terre Haute, Ind. Police say an argument happened inside the bar about an hour before the shooting. Mallory initially fled the scene in a car driven by someone else, but was later apprehended and taken to a Vigo County Jail facing a murder charge.
Mallory was suspended from the school which is now the least of his problems. Drinking and guns don't go together and shouldn't ever go together. We should remember that in many states, including my own, the NRA didn't care about that and got laws passed allowing permit holders to carry guns in bars and restaurants where alcohol is served.

In other news, the NRA has been busy of late pushing its' agenda of fear, hate and lies. Some of them are repeated almost verbatim in recent comments on my blog. Where to start? How about with an interview on NRA radio with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker during the Republican Convention:
During the August 27 edition of Cam & Company on NRA News, producer Cameron Gray facetiously asked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker if there had been any "crazy shootouts" since Wisconsin loosened its gun laws in July 2011. Gov. Walker stated that "none of the bad things we heard talked about" happened. 
Oops. He must have forgotten about the Sikh temple shooter who shot up a lot of people a few weeks ago in a hate crime. Stupidly, Governor Walker mentions how happy some in the National Guard are about the concealed carry law in Wisconsin. He must have forgotten that the shooter of 6 at the Sikh temple was an army veteran, a man with alcohol problems, a member of a neo Nazi group and was a law abiding citizen just seconds before he pulled that trigger.

In another interview on NRA radio, an NRA supporter, Anthony Gregory from the Independent Institute, spouted some pretty amazing assertions and revealed the true agenda of the NRA post these past few weeks of mass shootings. There is so much here, it's hard to know where to begin. But here goes:
Because, unfortunately, in an open society you're going to have an occasional tragedy like this, and I don't think there is any way to eliminate them 100 percent. But surely gun control doesn't stop them either. And there are many other problems with gun control. I think gun control exacerbates these types of tragedies. But they have all these other costs to society that I think are very horrible. The biggest one of course being the cost to individual liberty.
Right. Where are the individual liberties of the victims of the mass shootings? Apparently that is not important. But here is what is, according to Gregory ( from the article):
I find it kind of ironic that people don't see that gun control is itself a form of gun violence. The violence is being enforced by the state. But gun control is violent. Whereas I would think any pacifist should oppose gun control because gun ownership isn't violent. Gun control is.
Raise your hand if you think the totally improbable and lunatic idea that gun control is, in itself, a form of gun violence. Further, in the conclusion of the Media Matters article ( from the author of the article):
What Gregory is espousing is essentially a philosophy of anarchy and lawlessness where freedom can only be secured through force. This type of thinking is an anathema to the concepts of rule of law and ordered society that play a key role in our democracy.
High levels of gun violence are not a necessary component of a free society. Other democracies worldwide typically have much lower rates of gun violence than the United States. In fact the United States is tragically unique for its pairing of epidemic levels of gun violence with a representative form of government. Compared to other high-income nations, the United States experiences a gun homicide rate that is 19.5 times higher than the average.   
Furthermore, mass shootings are not just "occasional" events as Gregory suggests. During a one month period this summer, five high-profile mass shootings occurred in the United States.
Sigh. Some days one wonders if there is any common sense. The genie is out of the bottle. The NRA's dangerous and extreme agenda is on display and we should all be paying much closer attention, particularly our elected leaders. But then, some of them support this very same agenda. See below for the Republican gun rights platform.

Even the NRA has to admit when some of the ridiculous conspiracy theories espoused by their own are over the top. Such was the case with the idea that the federal government was ordering lots of ammunition, particularly the Social Security Administration, in order to kill Americans in some sort of plot. Wow. In this article, the NRA tried to correct the nonsense but sort of half heartedly because really the message is one they like to spout:
A recent opinion piece appearing in the Daily Caller which suggests that the federal government is purchasing large amounts of ammunition with the purpose of killing American citizens is so deranged that even the conspiracy-peddling National Rifle Association has debunked the claim. 
In the piece, which appears in Daily Caller's Guns and Gear section, retired U.S. Army Major General Jerry Curry wrote that "[p]otentially each hollow nose bullet" purchased by the Social Security Administration for its law enforcement arm "represents a dead American."
He then asked, "If so, why would the U.S. government want the SSA to kill 174,000 of our citizens, even during a time of civil unrest? Or is the purpose to kill 174,000 of the nation's military and replace them with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) special security forces, forces loyal to the [Obama] Administration, not to the Constitution?"
Good grief. What next? Well here's what's next. The NRA has written the Republican Party's gun policy platform. No surprises here since we know that the Republicans and some Democrats are bought and paid for by the NRA. Let's take a look at the most extremist gun positions in the history of the Republican party:
Several prominent conservatives and conservative groups praised the new platform. FreedomWorks, an advocacy group associated with the Tea Party movement, applauded the Republican Party for adopting much of what it called “the Tea Party’s ‘Freedom Platform.’ ” Phyllis Schlafly, a longtime conservative icon, wrote in The Washington Times that this year’s Republican platform “may be the best one ever adopted.” And the platform’s gun-rights section — which included the party’s support for “the fundamental right to self-defense wherever a law-abiding citizen has a legal right to be” — drew strong praise from the National Rifle Association.
David Keene, president of the association, said on the group’s Web site that “the 2008 platform of the Republican Party was perhaps the most gun-friendly platform that any party had ever adopted, and I’m happy to be able to report that this year’s Republican platform is even stronger in terms of dedicating a major party to the protection of the Second Amendment.”
Good news, all. The more extreme, the better for these folks.

Let's summarize. Law abiding gun permit holders continue to make terrible mistakes with their guns. The school year started out with a bang with one high school and one college campus shooting. The NRA's agenda includes paranoia, fear, and downright dangerous rhetoric bordering on anarchy. The NRA and its' friends mock mass shootings and gun control and call gun control gun violence. And in the light of the many recent mass shootings and the daily carnage all over our country, the NRA and the Republicans are becoming more extreme in their views towards guns, gun violence and the belief that more armed Americans will make us all safer. None of this fits with the reality of or the number of victims. When, in one night, 19 are shot on the streets of Chicago, and nothing is done, we know we are better than this. Shame on us for letting the carnage continue.

I forgot to add that the NRA hosted a "shoot-out" at the Republican convention. Great idea, right? Wrong. One must prove their shooting bona fides in order to be a true believer, I guess. In light of all of the recent shootings, this idea was ill conceived and irresponsible.


  1. japete writes: "We should remember that in many states, including my own, the NRA didn't care about that and got laws passed allowing permit holders to carry guns in bars and restaurants where alcohol is served."

    It was GOCRA, not the NRA, that was the principal driver of concealed carry reform in Minnesota.

    And in passing this law (MN 624.714), the legislature also made it illegal to be carrying a firearm on a permit with a BAC over .04% (see MN 624.7142).

    This is a much better approach - banning the actual dangerous behavior and making it a crime - than not allowing carry by permit holders in a restaurant that happens to serve alcohol.

    1. That was quick Bryan. Were you just waiting to pounce? We've gone over this many times before. Unless you expect bar tenders to ask if someone is carrying a gun, they may serve someone too much to drink not knowing they are carrying. It's too late once they have had too much to drink. There should be no guns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. The fact that you are excusing it by making the comments you did says a lot about your disregard for public safety. Zero tolerance for guns and alcohol is the only way the law should have been written. It is not a much better approach. It is a much worse approach. We will not agree on this- no need to give a retort.

    2. And yet, despite dire predictions, the experiences in VA (and other places) when allow citizens to carry into bars has been fantastically positive.


      I love an explanation for that one. There should be old-west style saloon shootouts every other week - right?

    3. Your article proves nothing. To even use the word positive experience with carrying a loaded gun around in public is an oxymoron. What has been positive about it? The article shows nothing new. Crime is going down all over the U.S. and it has nothing provable to do with people carrying guns. In fact, since crime is going down, you guys really don't need your guns in public do you? Gun deaths and injuries remain about the same as they have been for the past 10 years or so. There has been no reduction in gun deaths due to people carrying guns. In fact, some of the permit holders have been shooting people in public places, accounting for some of the deaths.

    4. Crime is going down all over the U.S. and it has nothing provable to do with people carrying guns. In fact, since crime is going down, you guys really don't need your guns in public do you?

      How do you know this? Do you have any facts to support this? I've been searching for an answer to the paradox that guns are increasing while violent crime is decreasing and I haven't found an answer yet. Have you?

      In fact that's a primary reason why I returned to this forum. I thought that by now we could have a civil and thoughtful discussion, and I've tried to be respectful, civil, and thoughtful, but you still censor me while allowing others that parrot your message roughshod access to your forum. I don't have a problem with that really, because I respect that it's your forum.

      However, I'm still looking for an answer to that paradox, and if I find a satisfactory answer that doesn't involve guns, then I will significantly reduce the times I carry my own gun.

    5. Migo- censor you? Wow. You are the most prolific commenter on my blog and almost all of your comments are published. In what way are you censored? Just because we don't agree doesn't mean you are censored. I just love it when you guys to try to assign blame on someone else and turn things around.

    6. By the way, to Bryan's comment- " It was GOCRA, not the NRA, that was the principal driver of concealed carry reform in Minnesota." If you think I believe the NRA had nothing to do with passing the CCW law in Minnesota, then I have a bridge to sell you...... Come on Bryan. This was the NRA's signature legislation in all 50 states. But nice try with that one.

  2. Gun control is a form of "gun violence"? Wow. Talk about living in an alternate world! Gregory must think Ghandi was a genocidal maniac, then, or that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a racist mass murderer. This guy is so entrenched in his love of guns that he sees the world upside down. And yet, I've seen such dis-attachment from reality in other extremists.

  3. Due to the moderation rate on this blog i swore I'd never post here again, but I have one general statement to make before I 'officially' sign off....

    Joan, you are correct. The purpose of your blog is to advocate against GUN violence. That is fine. I have accepted that. But here's the problem...

    The narrow scope of your mission (curbing GUN violence) ignores the reality that there is no statistical correlation between curbing GUN violence and a reduction in overall violence and homicides. Most logically thinking gun rights supporters can accept both sides of the coin, wherein as gun control doesn't affect crime rates one way or the other, the rate of CCW or gun ownership doesn't either. Problem is that the gun control supporters have yet to accept the 'correlation does not equal causation' issue.

    Let's put it this way. Being a strict advocate for gun control as a means to curb GUN CRIME is tantamount to being an advocate for curbing pancreatic cancer even though the remedies and cures for pancreatic cancer leads to increases in other forms of cancer or at the very least, does not reduce cancer rates at all. If the cure for pancreatic cancer caused higher rates of bladder cancer or other forms, and statistically, nations who have successfully cured pancreatic cancer showed increases in bladder cancer, would you consider the pancreatic cancer cure a success? I think not.

    Nations who have enacted strict gun bans or regulations on civilian gun ownership (Mexico, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, etc....) have violent crime or homicides rates commensurate or greater than the US. Conversely, other nations (the UK for example) with strict gun regulations do not. Conclusion? Gun control is not an effective violence/homicide prevention remedy because it ignores the factors contributing to violence much more than the implement does. Correlations does not equal causation.

    The current social climate in the US regarding personal responsibility and ineptitude of our government is your biggest hurdle. These are no longer the days of the early 90's when society was more likely to blindly follow our elected leaders. Back then, gun control was popular. It had support of both government and society, even though the nuts and bolts of the erroneous correlation does not equal causation issue was in essence the same. Now, more and more people are questioning why there are those who want to subvert COTUS rights without one iota of proof that said infringement would be a benefit to society.

    I am disappointed that an "honest discussion about gun violence" does not include these realities, but I am not at all surprised. It is the modus operandi of the gun control platform.

    Guns and gun rights are here to stay, Joan. As you see, these shootings, although tragic, are anecdotal at best when compared to the number of lawfully and responsibly used firearms in the US by law-abiding citizens. There is no misrepresentation which can change that fact.

    Good luck and thanks for the forum.

    1. We have a fundamental disagreement about the role of government as you stated it above. That does not mean that either of us is more right than the other. It means we differ. So as to your statement above, it is your opinion and not a fact that you can prove. That being said, you have some other opinions that are not proven in fact. Gun deaths and injuries are higher in the U.S. than any other civilized country not at war. That is a fact. That is what I am working. I care about other crimes but that is not the purpose of this blog. For you to say I should focus on the other things is just a way of you saying I should just pack up my tent and go home. That will not be happening. Gun control groups are here to stay as long as our country allows the "anecdotal" shootings that are happening on a regular basis. We can stop some of them but you guys are not interested because of your fear that you will lose something in the process. Meanwhile lives are being lost while you all resist laws that could prevent it. It's a public health and safety problem. Your throwing in cancer and disease here is interesting. We can't prevent cancer, of course. It is a disease rather than a choice. We can do some things to prevent the spread or things like colonoscopies and mammograms that find problems before they worsen. That is called prevention in health care. It is far different from choosing to carry a gun or the purposeful murder of a human being. It is not a disease.

      What I am doing is actually facing the facts. Mentally ill people, domestic abusers and felons have easy access to guns. We need to stop that and we can. Dealing with mental illness is another problem with which we need to deal. But until we stop people with mental illness from getting guns, we are shirking our responsibilities as a country. So, please, if you choose, get involved with mental health organizations and other groups working to treat mental illness. It's a great cause. I will continue to work on preventing people who shouldn't have guns from getting them.

      The modus operandi of the gun rights extremists is to ignore the guns and focus on getting people to talk about other things. I have no doubt that people use guns lawfully while hunting and target shooting and other recreational venues. That's all fine and good. But there is a problem when "lawful" people are also shooting themselves and others every day. I am disappointed in that but not surprised either.

      I am also disappointed but not surprised that you all keep insisting that shootings can be stopped by other shooters. You have no proof of that and it hasn't happened yet or if it has, in very limited ways. You must remember that a permit holder in Tucson couldn't decide who the shooter was and decided he should not shoot his gun because he might shoot innocent people, which he would have, given the circumstances, and then the police wouldn't know who the original shooter was in the chaos of the moment. That's the reality of mass shootings that is not addressed by people are your side. I'm disappointed by that but not surprised.

    2. I am also disappointed but not surprised that you all keep insisting that shootings can be stopped by other shooters...

      Some insist. Most do not. Your statement is equivalent to saying "All Jews..."

      In fact you even contradict yourself in the same paragraph when you note that permit holder Joe Zamudio showed restraint, even though he was armed.

    3. Now don't go turning things around again Migo. I didn't contradict myself myself. I am saying that guns in public places don't do what you guys think they do and that is a primary example of why. A gun was not needed or not a good idea. People got Loughner to the ground and stopped him from loading his next magazine. They didn't use a gun. A gun would have caused a lot more mayhem and needless injury. That is perfectly consistent with what I always say.

    4. I agree with you that in many mass murder scenarios more guns can cause serious problems. The single most important problem I'm aware of is in how the police will be able to differentiate me from the bad guy when my manner of dress is typical for my area. It's similar to the topic that was discussed in one of the many permit classes I've taken about entering fights without knowing who the fighters are. One of those fighters could be an undercover officer.

      Those of us who carry responsibly understand these issues.

      I'm having trouble finding an overabundance of examples that support your claim that we who carry are eager to jump into mass murders to save the day. There were no permit holders that saved the day at Virginia Tech, Aurora, Columbine, and so on. Zamudio didn't even save the day, although he helped. I think it was another unarmed woman who knew what a magazine was and kicked it away from Loughner's reach when instructed to do so by someone who had him pinned down (Zamudio?).

      On the other hand I've read countless examples of potential conflicts that were averted because a gun was displayed or used during mano a mano assaults. That's one person assaulting another person, not one person taking on another armed like a small army shooting at a crowd of people.

      The only example I'm aware of where a permit holder tried to stop a mass murder was Dan McKown, and he paid dearly for that. Can you point me at other mass murders where the tragedy was increased by a permit holder?

    5. Migo- I don't believe there are examples of gun permit holders jumping in or wanting to jump in real life. It's the fantasy of the guys like you who believe you could that is of concern. One reason is the chance of someone with a gun permit and a gun being at the sight of a mass shooting is very small to almost nil given the small number of permit holders. Yes, your countless examples have been shown to be bogus. Just pointing a gun at someone as reported by the person who claims to have pointed it but without any real documentation of it is suspicious, don't you think?

    6. It's not my fantasy, and I haven't encountered too many reports of people with that fantasy. Have you? I think in all the posts I've read in the past few months, maybe I've read less than 50 from people who claimed they could have stopped a mass murder because they were/are expert marksmen, blah, blah, blah. How many people out there have you met, or whose words you read on some blog or news post, actually expressed that fantasy? 100? 1000? There are 8 million permit holders out there. I think it's safe to say that most do not share this fantasy.

      And yes, if someone told the police or news media that they used a gun to scare off an attacker, then I would tend to believe it. I trust the police to vet out the liars. However, trying to find out the exact number of times a gun scared someone away is nearly impossible and while I don't believe those incidents are bogus, I do believe they're rare.

    7. Migo- it's the mantra of the gun rights extremists. They were all over it after the recent mass shootings. I don't know what you read but that is what I saw coming from the gun guys and even some pro NRA politicians. It is a fantasy but it is spoken by real people who actually believe it. I hope you don't.

  4. Lets not forget my personal favorites, the guys who shoot themselves in the penis.

    We have the Michigander who ....shot himself in the gander so to speak, about to proceed to his new job with his weapon on board. He had a carry permit:http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/16/michigan-man-shoots-himself-through-the-crotch-while-adjusting-gun/

    Or this one, where a man shot himself in his little pink penis with his fiances little pink pistol; it's AZ so no need for a carry permit, pretty much every idiot can carry, regardless of how unsafe they are:

    And there was this guy in Connecticut, who claims this was not self-inflicted, but it appears to be his gun, and there was no one else there....not clear if he had a permit to carry, but it hardly matters since he shot himself in his bedroom in his mother's house apparently (31 years old, still lives with mom?)

    The claims that all these gun owners are safe is bogus, given the volume of shootings, both intentional and unintentional in this country. The claims that all these gun owners and carry permittees is bogus as well, given that we have no statistics that track misdemeanors, and for that matter we don't track felony convictions all that reliably either - certainly they are not current on the NICS for example. Given we have at least one study that shows there is a connection between gun ownership and binge drinking, and gun ownership and drunk driving, that is an increasingly untenable argument.

    The overwhelming majority opinion molon, both gun owners (including NRA members) and non gun owners is to institute background checsk on ALL gun transactions, not only FFL. The overwhelming majority also favors bans on assault-style weapons and large capacity magazines. While that overwhelming majority doesn't favor outright bans (or strict numerical limits on firearms, although some do favor additional registration, clearance and monitoring, given the arsenal accumulating loonies recently) they do favor stricter limits on prohibiting those who are mentally ill, drug users, and criminals from having firearms as well.

    If we actually did do background checks (and prosecuted more aggressively straw purchases)and did require the registration that appears to be popular, the face of gun ownership in this country would change dramatically more towards what Japete and I advocate for, and distinctly away from what you seem to favor.

    Shoot first laws look to be becoming unpopular as well. It may just be early days, but that pendulum may very well have begun to swing back the other way. If not, it is still swinging away from the pro-gunner extremes.

  5. Molon writes: Nations who have enacted strict gun bans or regulations on civilian gun ownership (Mexico, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, etc....)have violent crime or homicides rates commensurate or greater than the US.

    No. Wrong. Bad.

    First of all, with the exception of Japan and Russia, you are comparing emerging nations with developed nations, and in most of these there is corruption and criminal element to such an extent that it verges on a civil or at least internal war/civil unreast (and yes, I'd lump Russia in there). Think Mexico, drug cartels.

    But when you include Japan, you're just wrong about gun violence:

    Gun violence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    For gun violence in the United States, see Gun violence in the United States. ... countries, Levels of gun violence are low in Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, the ... In particular, to use the figures as a basis for comparison between different ...

    In all countries where guns are both regulated more stringently as to the qualifications of who can own them, etc., there is far far far less gun violence because there are fewer guns.

    Until you can talk your way around that, you can spin like a centrifuge, but you won't make any further progress in any direction than one with your claims or argument.

    Correlation can be causational, btw. Not having a gun resulting in not shooting someone seems to be a clear causational relationship, which has been the case in countries like the UK and Australia, where fewer guns have been reflected in far less gun violence incidents in all categories.

    I think you need to be more concerned about your factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations before criticizing others here.

    1. dog gone-

      You're moving the goal posts, which is quite typical of your argument strategy from what I've seen you post on this blog. In your haste to regurgitate talking points, you've missed the crux of my post....anti-gun supporters, by focusing only on GUN violence, miss the larger point that you cannot reduce violence and homicides as a whole though implement regulation.

      Isn't it you guys who lump suicides in the gun violence figures because it pads the stats? Maybe you can then explain why Japan has double the suicide rate than the US despite a de facto civilian gun ban?

      Introducing qualifiers into your argument for or against violence in other countries yet holding the implement as the primary variable in the US's violence statistics is disingenuous at best.

      Nice try.

    2. Nice try Molon. No one is padding any stats. What a completely idiotic and insensitive thing to say. Most gun deaths are from suicides. Those, too, can be prevented if gun owners would make sure their guns are safely stored away from kids and teens. But they don't. I dare you to make that statement to the parents of a kid who has just shot himself- just another victim to pad the stats. That's what the gun control folks like.

      Really, are you serious? How can anyone take you seriously when you say stuff like that. Japan has nearly zero gun suicides. We've gone over this before on this blog. Let's not start comparing apples to oranges and move the goal post again. People do find ways to commit suicide and Japanese people do commit suicide at a high rate. Check out this article- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_Japan "24.1 per 100,000 people" And " Common methods of suicide are jumping in front of trains, leaping off high places, hanging, or overdosing on medication.[1] Rail companies will charge the families of those who commit suicide a fee depending on the severity of disrupted traffic.[17]
      A newer method, gaining in popularity partly due to publicity from Internet suicide websites,[2] is to use household products to make the poisonous gas hydrogen sulfide. In 2007, only 29 suicides used this gas, but in a span from January to September 2008, 867 suicides resulted from gas poisoning"

      U.S suicide rate per 100,000- 2008: 11.96 U.S. rate of gun suicide per 100,000-2005: 5.75- so about half of the suicides in the U.S. are due to guns from http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states

      And from this article- http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewpage&page_id=050fea9f-b064-4092-b1135c3a70de1fda
      " Although most gun owners reportedly keep a firearm in their home for "protection" or "self defense," 83 percent of gun-related deaths in these homes are the result of a suicide, often by someone other than the gun owner.
      Firearms are used in more suicides than homicides.
      Death by firearms is the fastest growing method of suicide.
      Firearms account for 50 percent of all suicides."

      Let's see, what was your point again? Japan has more suicides? The U.S. has more gun suicides. Therefore we can't talk about gun deaths in Japan because their suicide rate is high and we are just padding the stats with suicide by gun to make a point? What would be our point again? Guns take more lives in the U.S. per 100,000 than any other industrialized country not at war. The rate of gun suicide is among the highest as is the rate of homicide by gun and accidental gun deaths. So what was your point again, Molon?

    3. Oye.

      In order to validate your point, you're going to need to argue, successfully, that a ban on firearms would eliminate the 17(k) or so suicides we have here in the US, and that those taking their own life would not opt for a different method. Because veteran suicides are at the forefront of recent discussion, are you saying that if veterans returning from combat were precluded from having a firearms available to them, that their suicide rate would plummet?

      Japan has 'nearly' (shouldn't they have zero?) no gun suicides yet a suicide rate double that if the US. Conclusion? There is some other driving factor causing suicides than method of completion of the act, i.e., the gun.

      Sorry japete. I'm not going to bite. But by all means, continue. You're showing your cards.

    4. Oye, Molon- who said anything about a ban on firearms?

    5. Change ban to "regulate out of the hands of potential suicides".

      Doesn't matter. The point is still the same. Those with the motivation to kill/commit suicide will be undeterred by laws regulating the method.

      Bringing me back to my original point about Japan.

      At any rate, I've over-extended my anticipated stay by a few posts. There's no compromise here, japete. We have very differing opinions.

      Again, thanks for the forum.

    6. And you think then that it's a good idea for people who are suicidal to get their hands on guns? How would you do it better? And don't tell me about counseling and dealing with mental illness. That works but if we don't keep guns away, what good does it do? Guns make it easier. There have been studies and research that show that when a gun is used it is more successful. Males use guns more often than females and are more successful at committing suicide. A gun is quick. Further, don't you agree with safe storage of guns in the home as a way to prevent teens and children to get their hands on guns? What is wrong with that idea? You don't seem to like it which is quite disturbing to me.

  6. Seriously, Molon, you think that violence wouldn't decline if firearms were removed from the mix?

    Why then are you so attached to your gun? Couldn't you just as well switch to a knife? garrote? club? fists? sword?

    probably not.

    The reason I say that is that they will bring you in closer contact to the other person. There is the possibility that you could be hurt, or even killed, by that person if they were stronger than you.

    One thing the gun crowd likes to point out is that the gun is an equaliser. Someone who is weak can theoretically defeat a stronger foe.

    Guns also allow for distance in the violence.

    They are much more effective than, take for example, trying to strangle someone to kill them. A prepared foe could take a person out who is trying to garrote the foe.

    Likewise, the suicide rate would fall if firearms are taken out of the mix as well since the suicide would be using less effective means. There might even be the possibility that the person might also seek counseling.

    As for gun bans, Molon, you are out of luck on that one since Heller-McDonald made it quite clear that that possibility is now out of the question--short of a drastic change in the makeup of the US Supreme Court and legal profession.

    So, if anything, I am seeing someone who is showing his paranoias about lawful guns being banned and confiscated.

    Maybe you're doing that because you have painted yourself into a corner where you have to advocate a system which makes it easy for disqualified persons to have access to firearms.

    That's a seriously sad statement, Molon.

    1. Likewise, the suicide rate would fall if firearms are taken out of the mix as...

      I keep oscillating on whether this is true or not.

      Part of me wants to believe its true. When my sister tried to kill herself, the hospital was able to pump out her stomach. When my friend blew his brains out with his gun...

      On the other hand, someone who is seriously depressed over a long period of time could eventually find a way to kill themselves. So while they might not be able to kill themselves tonight with a gun because it was handy, the next time they drive over Suicide Bridge they might consider getting out and jumping, or maybe stop off at the drug store before heading home one last time. I think this is part of the reasoning behind waiting periods for gun purchases.

      Being around someone who is depressed and suicidal is frightening, frustrating, and heartbreaking. Guns should absolutely be kept away from those who are suicidal, but without proper counseling and supervision, which is often almost impossible to obtain, the long term suicide statistics might not change much.

    2. "Why then are you so attached to your gun? Couldn't you just as well switch to a knife? garrote? club? fists? sword?"

      We tried that. It was called the 'Medieval Age'

      It was horrifically violent. The strong (feudal lords, knights etc..) ruled with absolute authority over the masses.

      Revolutions ended with the gallows or the guillotine of the ruling class because they simply did not answer to the people in any normal sense. They didn't HAVE to. The people didn't vote, so they had to change rulers the 'hard way'

      In our system we have a balance. Every law passed has a penalty for disobeying it. It carries the implicit threat of 'force' that we sanction the government to do on our behalf.

      Balancing that, is the VOTE.. Every vote carries the implicit threat of 'force' as well. if the vote is not honored we have the means and the duty to enforce it. Politicians know this.

      They pass laws that we MUST obey. We VOTE and they MUST obey..

      Both have the words "OR ELSE" implied..

      The thing is that violent people are violent by nature (or nurture) but regardless, they are only inhibited by the threat of counter violence or, failing that, stopped by the application of violence.

      That hasn't changed in 3000+ years of human history. You can wish it otherwise, but you cannot deny it.

    3. So I have an idea. Let's just let people kill other people and not try to stop it from happening. When we know we can pass laws that would at least reduce some shootings and we don't, we are no better than previous civilizations. We are more enlightened than we were 3000 + years ago but sometimes I wonder if that is actually true. What do you mean by the "or else" comment. And the "we must obey". You sound like some sort of paternalistic guy who believes in punishment rather than prevention. That is not the way I believe. We won't agree on this one. But the fact that you believe what you have said here is concerning. Your logic is hard to follow. People in general have always abhorred violence. I'm quite sure they tried to stop it or do something about it. To suggest otherwise is a pretty bleak view of the world.

  7. Molon wrote:You're moving the goal posts, which is quite typical of your argument strategy from what I've seen you post on this blog.

    Actually, I'm not. You are simply making a failed argument by trying to compare dissimilar things, and I'm helpfully pointing out your intellectual failures. (You clearly need that kind of assistance; you might try a good course in logic.)

    In your haste to regurgitate talking points, you've missed the crux of my post....anti-gun supporters, by focusing only on GUN violence, miss the larger point that you cannot reduce violence and homicides as a whole though implement regulation.

    What utter nonsense. While it is preferable to focus on both how and why, focusing on the how, to reduce availability of the means, is extremely effective in reducing gun violence and therefore ALL violence. Mark Fiore in his gun(lobby) safety animation makes the best expression of that argument I've seen:

    Isn't it you guys who lump suicides in the gun violence figures because it pads the stats? Maybe you can then explain why Japan has double the suicide rate than the US despite a de facto civilian gun ban? You have to compare apples to apples, not apples to asphalt, which is what you are trying to do. We lump suicides in with gun violence figures when comparing those same stats from other SIMILAR countries. Japan is clearly highly dissimilar in this regard, but in any case -- your point is what? That an absence of guns doesn't reduce suicides? For that to be true, you would have to be able to compare Japan with and without firearms for suicide rates; you can't. If you look at other nations that are more similar to the US, fewer guns clearly does reduce suicide rates dramatically.

    You are sloppy in arguing so dishonestly molonlabe; no wonder you are running away.

    Introducing qualifiers into your argument for or against violence in other countries yet holding the implement as the primary variable in the US's violence statistics is disingenuous at best.

    Nice try.

    Which would be significant if that was what we were doing. We aren't. You can't take Syria, for example, or Somalia, and try to assert that death or injury rates from firearms legitimatel demonstrate any point that applies in the U.S.

    But those more honest and valid comparisons which DO make legitimate points disprove your claims, so you try to fudge, squirem, and prevaricate. Tsk tsk tsk --- what a poor failed position you hold Molonlabe. The U.S gun culture is a failure, a massive epic failure.

    In the UK for example, without as many firearms, their rate of suicides has gone down, and the rate of unsuccessful suicides - suicides where the victim survives have gone up, with fewer firearms. Fewer firearms dramatically reduces suicide rates. Perhaps you should look up the studies that have tracked the rates for different methods in the UK and Australia; (hint, hanging is the most popular alternative, although you can find rankings for the other choices as well, and it doesn't appeal to nearly as many people as shooting oneself used to do).

    More stringent gun control would not eliminate all suicides, but it does dramatically reduce them in countries with more stringent firears laws, and far fewer firearms.

    It has nothing to do with padding stats. You on the other hand molonlabe, appear to be incapable of an honest argument.

    1. Ah what the heck. I'll bite....

      "More stringent gun control would not eliminate all suicides, but it does dramatically reduce them in countries with more stringent firears laws, and far fewer firearms."



      Compared to:


      Let's take the top 5 countries for suicide rates compared to their classification of gun regulation:

      1) South Korea-

      Suicide rate: 24.7/100,000
      Gun Regulation Classification: 'Restrictive'

      2) Hungary-

      Suicide Rate: 21.0/100,000
      Gun Regulation Classification: 'Restrictive'

      3) Japan-

      Suicide Rate: 19.4/100,000
      Gun Regulation Classification: 'Restrictive'

      4) Belguim-

      Suicide Rate: 18.4/100,000
      Gun Regulation CLassification: 'Permissive'

      5) Finland-

      Suicide Rate: 16.5/100,000
      Gun Regulation Classification: 'Restrictive'

      18) United States-

      Suicide Rate: 10.1/100,000
      Gun Regulation Classification: 'Permissive'

      Granted, my figures are from 2005, but i'd be more than willing to see yours, save for the oft debunked Kellerman studies.

      What was that again about 'honest argument'?

    2. Molon- the U.S. has the highest rate of gun suicide in the world. I suppose you could say people would find other methods as they have in other countries. We don't know that for sure, of course. And then perhaps I would move on to preventing suicides by other methods. For now, though, I am working on what is happening in the U.S. and what is happening with guns. Nothing you have said negates the fact that the U. S. has a high rate of gun suicide and gun homicide. Why would we not want to do something about that? I'm sure people in those other countries are working on prevention and reduction of deaths as well. We live in the U.S. We can do something to reduce and prevent gun deaths and injuries. If we sit back and do nothing, as you guys want, then we are a sad country indeed. To do nothing is not an option. It is pretty bothersome that you guys want to do nothing in your own selfish interests so you can do whatever you want with your guns while people are dying.

    3. "If we sit back and do nothing, as you guys want..."

      And there inlies the rub, japete. You are dead wrong. I would LOVE to see suicides in the US prevented. I had a cousin commit suicide about 15 years ago. Being a resident of California and being in a household absent of firearms, she did not have access to a firearm. So she jumped off a cliff.

      The reason why we will never have compromise on this issue is because you equate pro-gun supporters not giving up their 2A rights to not wanting to do anything at all. That is VERY disingenuous and only serves to promote your agenda. I'd love to see returning veterans have adequate physical and mental care to the point of actually making a difference in their lives instead of sticking them in some overburdoned and underfunded VA hospital and telling them to 'make it work.' I'd love for the government to scrap the war on drugs and it's billions of wasted dollars and divert it to mental health programs which would actually rebuild the low self esteem and self worth that most suicidal individuals have. I'd love to see better mental health screenings with subsequent reporting to NICS to catch those potentially dangerous individuals from obtaining firearms if they truly are not mentally capable of having them. I'd love to improve the social and socio-economic conditions in society which lead to single parent or absent parent households, high school dropout rates, teen pregnancy, etc... which often serve to continue the cyclical pattern of hopelessness and stifles motivation to break the cycle.

      But you know what? It costs money. When you compare the cost of reparing social and socio-economic disparities and mental health care vs. the cost to enact 'just one more gun control law' the decision is a no-brainer.

      Because we don't want to go along with what YOU feel is the solution does not equal pro-gun supporters not wanting to 'do anything.' There is no 'honest discussion' to be had here if that is your position. Unfortunately, because of an agenda, this IS primarily the gun control position. Anti-gun organizations do not receive funding to target anything other than 'guns.'

      THAT to me is pretty bothersome and selfish on the part of the anti-gun platform.

    4. This is pretty much the pot calling the kettle black. What are your solutions to gun violence prevention? I don't think I have heard them at all. You also do not go along with anything we want either. And to say that it costs money to implement solutions is very true. We should fund them. If you are a Republican, the budget is going to slash social programs- the very ones we need. So if you are saying we can't do them because of lack of funding, that is disingenuous to the nth degree and cynical as well. Gun deaths and injuries cost the American public a lot of money to social systems, health care systems, justice systems and in the emotional costs to families which can't be enumerated. So give me a break. I don't think I have ever heard you guys say that costs should get in the way when states passed CCW laws which has cost local and county governments extra money in staff and paper work.

      So if we want to talk solutions, let's stop the cynicism and talk about actual solutions. I'm waiting for yours. I am talking about gun policy, not social programs. You know what mine are and you don't like what I am saying but that doesn't mean mine are wrong and yours are right. If we want to be honest, it goes both ways.

    5. We're at an impasse here, japete. You're asking me for solutions to combat GUN violence when i've already given you my position that statistically speaking, it can't be proven that regulating GUNs will solve overall crime/suicides/homicides. You're asking me to solve my city's graffiti problem by giving you my proposals on how to regulate spray paint and in the same breath, telling me that my options for creating an environment where individuals have self respect for themselves and their infrastructure and punishing them harshly for acting like animals amounts to 'not doing anything.'

      "If you are a Republican..."

      Please. Turning this into a partisan issue is laughable. I don't fit into that pigeonhole as much as you'd like me to. I support gay rights/marriage, am pro-choice, anti-war on drugs, anti Patriot Act, Pro-Capitalism/free market/trade, anti-Obamacare, and obviously pro-gun. I'd vote for any politician, D or R, who actually does what they're sworn to do which is uphold the constitution. Since neither do a particularly smashing job of that, I usually vote for the lesser of 2 evils.

    6. If it wasn't obvious before, it sure is now. We have been at an impasse all along it seems. this issue clearly has partisan written all over it. So saying it doesn't is laughable. But thanks for the response. Our positions actually gel on some issues except I am in favor of the ACA and of course, want gun control laws passed. The free trade stuff I won't get into right now. You sound like a Libertarian to me.

    7. Probably "l"ibertarian as opposed to "L"ibertarian.

      I rarely go full Wookiee. I usually just wear the pants.

    8. Why would we not want to do something about that?...If we sit back and do nothing, as you guys want...To do nothing is not an option....It is pretty bothersome that you guys want to do nothing in your own selfish interests..."

      I just can't keep my mouth shut when you write like that. I am doing something! I've been financing the counseling for someone who was suicidal and deeply depressed in addition to providing a supportive environment. Gun control laws did nothing to help this person's recovery, although my own policy of keeping my guns locked in a safe or on my person at all times was undeniably sound.

      Virtually every mass murderer reported on this blog was suffering from some mental illness. Isn't it clear by now that if we really want to make a dent on mass murder and suicides that the solution lies with improving access to mental health care? If people actually had a decent option for care then they wouldn't be searching for a solution at a gun store.

      I'm beginning to wonder if gun opponents hide behind those who suffer mentally to further their own anti-gun agenda. It's shameful!

      If gun-control advocates honesty cared about the mentally ill, then instead of seeing bans on magazines holding more than 10 rounds or black rifles, I would see more bills directly aimed at those who suffer, like allowing mental health professionals to put a temporary hold on gun purchases within a NICS-like system. Of course, that requires that the mentally suffering can actually find a counselor, which took me almost a month of searching and after all that I was only able to find a PMHNP. (I'm not trashing PMHNPs! The one I found did an excellent job!)

      Even gun purchase waiting periods are useless because depression doesn't go away in 10 days without treatment, and lack of treatment is the real issue.

    9. Come on Migo. Are you thinking through what you are writing? Sometimes I wonder who you think we are here. To think we are hiding behind those who suffer mentally to further an anti gun agenda is not only a lie it is cynical and ludicrous. Would you support a bill that would put temporary holds on gun purchases for mentally ill people? The NRA would fight it like hell. If you don't believe that, you are living in an alternate world. Waiting periods would certainly help because often a mentally ill person acts on impulse at the moment they want to shoot someone. It is total nonsense to say that. A waiting period in general would likely result in fewer gun deaths like the daughter of my friend who bought a gun at Walmart ( no background check because it was before the Brady bill passed) and within hours her daughter was dead. It was a domestic case similar to my sister's. I'm glad you work with people who are mentally ill. That doesn't mean you shouldn't work to keep guns away from those people. I am well aware of mental illness. My husband's brother committed suicide after suffering from depression. You need to stop your accusations because they are not true. What is true is that gun rights people block every single reasonable gun law we have suggested that would keep guns away from dangerously mentally ill people, felons and domestic abusers. That leads us to believe you don't care that these people get guns. We care about those who have terrible mental illness. We care enough to know that guns are a bad idea and they should not be in the hands of these folks. We also care about the thousands of gun violence victims who are killed senselessly by people who shouldn't have guns. Where is your empathy for those folks?

      Migo- I am done with this thread. Have a nice night. And think about what you are writing because you are saying some very ridiculous things that have no basis in fact. It makes you look bad.

    10. Excuse me- I meant to say the shooter of the daughter of my friend who got his gun at Walmart.

  8. When, in one night, 19 are shot on the streets of Chicago, and nothing is done

    I would just like to point out that Illinois, and Chicago in particular have some of the strictest gun laws in the country. The city of Chicago makes it practically impossible for the average citizen to legally own a gun, yet the number of shootings in that city are quite high. I would be curious to hear how you would explain this.

    1. There are a lot of interesting things in this blog about where the guns come from involved in criminal activity and shootings. Here is the end of the article: " * One other interesting note from the report: the authors also tracked what states the guns came from, using ATF reports from 1999-2003. 48.3 percent came from Illinois; 11.6 percent from Indiana. Wisconsin and a handful of Southern states made up 1.8 to 2.8 percent. But just behind Indiana, at 9.6 percent, was Mississippi, suggesting the close social connections to the Delta I wrote about last week."
      So more than half of the traced guns come from out of state. I suggest you read this one:

      Here's another article about that. It was easy to find. I'm sure you could have Googled and found the same article rather than baiting me, but I will provide the information any way since you asked- http://capitolfax.com/2012/08/27/where-do-the-guns-come-from/

      "The research shows that some 29 percent of the guns recovered on Chicago’s streets between 2008 and the end of March were bought in the Cook County suburbs. Lake County, Ind., was the second largest source, accounting for six percent of the weapons, and other counties surrounding Chicago – including Lake County, Ill., and Will, DuPage and Kane counties – were also in the top 10 sources.

      Two gun stores in suburban Lyons and Riverdale accounted for more than 10 percent of the guns recovered. […]

      The study covers 17,230 guns the ATF successfully traced after they were recovered in Chicago. Many guns can’t be traced because of their age or other factors, said Seth Bour, the Crime Lab’s deputy director. […]

      Ander said she was surprised by the percentage of guns that came from Illinois, rather than from neighboring states with comparatively relaxed gun laws. About 42 percent of the guns came from Illinois. Indiana ranked second, contributing 18 percent of the guns, and Wisconsin accounted for about 4 percent."

    2. Perhaps my previous reply was lost somewhere so I'll ask again....

      Can you tell us what your source says about the time-to-crime statistics? I.e., the time between legal sale of a firearms to time of trace/recovery subsequent to a crime? I believe the national average is >13 years. In some instances longer. Like the Empire State Building shooter. Sure the gun was legally purchased in FL.....21 years ago.

      You don't believe that makes a difference at all?

    3. I don't recall seeing that one. What's your point in asking the question?

    4. What i'm asking is whether or not you think it is at all disingenuous to argue that cities like Chicago with strict gun regulation/bans are being hurt by out-of-state gun trafficking from state's with more lenient gun laws when in actuallity, the average time a legally purchased firearm is subsequently traced to a crime is about 13 years. Well, except for the Fast & Furious guns. That time-to-crime figure can be calculated in months.

    5. You might find it interesting then, molon, that in Illinois,a fair number of guns have a short time to crime trace for guns of 2 years. http://www.tracetheguns.org/#/states/IL/exports/
      It looks like about a quarter or so of guns in each state have a fairly short time to crime rate. So maybe it is 13 years. Where did you get that information? Do you have a source for it?

      This article talks about the elusive Fast and Furious data about guns traced to the U.S. http://www.factcheck.org/politics/counting_mexicos_guns.html

      From this report, it looks more like the average time to crime trace is a little over 10.8 years. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/us/20100927-guns-report.pdf

    6. m writes What i'm asking is whether or not you think it is at all disingenuous to argue that cities like Chicago with strict gun regulation/bans are being hurt by out-of-state gun trafficking from state's with more lenient gun laws

      In the case of Chicago, it's NOT only other states, but a ring of gun sellers within a block of the city line that supplies firearms pretty quickly to bad guys.

      from a mere three days ago:


      "From 2008 to March 2012, the police successfully traced the ownership of 1,375 guns recovered in crimes in Chicago within a year of their purchase.

      Of those guns, 268 were bought at Chuck’s — nearly one in five.

      That statistic comes from a groundbreaking study by University of Chicago Crime Lab researchers, done at the request of the Chicago Police Department, which is grappling with an extra-violent 2012 that has seen a 28 percent spike in the city’s homicide total compared to this time last year."

      It continues:

      In their study, U. of C. researchers combed through gun-trace data to determine the weapons most likely bought by straw purchasers.

      Those are people without criminal records who buy guns for felons — often at a hefty markup.

      Fifty-eight percent of those recovered guns were bought in Illinois. About 19 percent were purchased in Indiana, 3 percent in Wisconsin — and less than 2 percent in Mississippi.

      Cook County was the source of 45 percent of the guns over that period, according to the crime lab’s study.

      Roseanna Ander, executive director of the lab, said the new findings suggest a key strategy to keeping guns off the street is for law-enforcement agencies to target the local gun stores most likely to sell firearms to straw purchasers.

      Is there anything else we can help you with Molon, to straighten out your facts?

      Clearly, overwhelmingly, regulating firearms works. It works in every developed country, as distinct from countries with drug cartels, or civil war, or some kind of similar chaos. Any explanation for that, other than regulation WORKS?

  9. http://www.woai.com/news/local/story/Armed-bystander-stops-stabbing-outside-school/6zTYMpy8pUOeyrbElEBOTQ.cspx?rss=1724

    1. Robin, I read the story.

      I had to ask myself, why, given that she had sought a restraining order, this woman instead stood there and argued with her estranged husband, instead of heading back into the school, getting into her car, screaming fire, calling 911 ----any of a number of alternatives (I have more) other than getting into what appears to have been a verbal altercation before being stabbed.

      Don't get me wrong - I'm not BLAMING the victim,so much as trying to understand the account of this. It strikes me (and I write this as someone who has had a restraining order against another person, who violated that restraining order) that this was a very odd situation as well as a volatile one. It is this woman's husband who was arrested after the stabbing and who is responsible for the violence.

      My only thought was that as someone who has been in the situation of dealing with a person known to be violent, that this woman missed some opportunities to avoid the injury, and to avoid the conflict, which in turn would have taken care of any need for carry by someone else.

      It makes more sense to me that we get in the habit, more importantly get into the culture, of not escalating situations, not dealing in violence, rather than simply dealing in more violence/threat of violence, which is what someone else pulling a gun really is.

      That cycle of violence leaves you dependent on winning the one-upsmanship. Does he have a knife, and you a gun? Does he have body armor, and a more powerful gun? That can involve not only escalating equipment, but people. Are you alone,but he has a violent friend, are there three of you, but only two of them? In this case that was true - there was one of him with a knife, and two on the victim's side, one with a gun.

      That is a cycle no one ever really wins, and which gets uglier the more it escalates. More than that it is purely anecdotal; I can as easily cite the case here in a northern MN suburb, there was a cc couple; the husband in a case of road rage shot an off duty cop in the leg. The wife, also a concealed carry permitteee, WITH a kid in the car, in a fit of road rage, threatened another motorist with her firearm while driving (the other motorist also had a child in her car). Shortly after the motorist who was threatened called 911, cops caught up with her; her firearms was on the floor of her vehicle. She was just convicted of a felony, given jail time. That makes not one, but two cc permittees who abused THEIR firearm here in MN. SO?