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.
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Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day- let's get busy

When reading news stories like the following, one might think one is reading an account of a country at war. How could you not? Here are the headlines. "One dead after Swat team in Washington state is fired on, police say". The photo that accompanies the article shows an armored vehicle parked in a driveway. Here, from the article:
"Authorities searched for a possible second gunman early Monday after at least one shooter wounded one man, then opened fire on a SWAT team and police officers before being found dead during a manhunt in woods north of Seattle.
The officers were fired upon Sunday afternoon as they responded to reports of a shooting in a driveway Arlington, Wash. They found a man with a non-life threatening injury.
According to The Seattle Times, spokesman Steve Dittoe of Snohomish County Sheriff’s office said SWAT officers arrived within 10 minutes of the shooting and "our armored vehicle was hit several times" by rounds of gunfire.
Linda Purtteman, who lives near the home in Arlington said a neighbor told her that people in the area were urged to stay indoors.
She told the Times that she heard gunshots, but was unfazed by them.
"I have a few neighbors who go shooting a lot out here, so I didn't think anything of it," she said."
Just think about the words used in the article. Gunman. Manhunt. Opened fire. Armored vehicle. "I have a few neighbors who go shooting a lot out here, so I didn't think anything of it." The neighbors are shooting all the time? Why? What are they doing? Target shooting? But then, what else is a target?

More from the article:
Vehicles were found with bullet holes on more than one side, the Times reported.
"At this point, we're still assuming there's a second suspect. We are combing through property and buildings just to double-check before we start letting people back to their houses," Ireton told The Associated Press.
About 70 people at a Sons of Norway camp at nearby Riley Lake were in lockdown late Sunday, according to King 5, NBC News’ Seattle affiliate.
Read KING 5's reporting on the incident
"We all just banded together and made sure that we let everybody know what was going on. and told everybody to get out of the pool and the lake and not be out in the open field and everybody's just been kind of waiting to hear updates," camper Berit Kuchs told King 5.
So, people can't even have a normal vacation on the last summer holiday week-end without being interrupted by crazy folks with guns shooting up the neighborhood. Vehicles found with bullet holes in them? Of what does this remind you? A scene out of a peaceful holiday week-end north of Seattle? Good family times? Or maybe a war zone? This is crazy. When things like this happen in other countries, they are often associated with actual wars. When they happen in our country, it's just another day in America. Shootings have become so prevalent here that the public just reads the news and moves on to their own lives. Unless of course, they don't. 32 Americans a day are murdered with guns. That's what America is all about. Let's celebrate our great American tradition on this Labor Day. Bring out the flags and the patriotism. Bring out the guns. That is also part of our traditions.

But we don't need to celebrate the fact that too many people are shot every day with American guns. As good American patriots, we should we be thinking about what we can do to stop the carnage. Good  working Americans with hunting guns and guns used for recreation or, for some, self defense in their homes, understand that the American gun tradition doesn't have to end with senseless deaths of innocent people. We are better than this. If working Americans can't come together to find a plan to deal with the too many shooting victims, then we aren't doing our job as Americans. Patriotism also means protecting our neighbors from harm. If that means requiring background checks on all gun sales, then let's get started. If that means tightening up our reporting system for dangerously mentally ill people, domestic abusers, felons and others who shouldn't have guns, then let's get busy. If that means restricting some types of guns that have been previously used by our military and now are in the hands of citizens, let's get busy. If that means restricting high capacity gun magazines so that crazed gunmen can't shoot a whole bunch of people at once, let's get busy. If that means requiring the reporting of lost and stolen guns so they don't get into the hands of people who shouldn't have guns, then let's get busy. If that means more common sense when it comes to safely storing guns at home so kids and teens don't find loaded guns that are discharged accidentally or purposely, then let's get busy. It's time to demand a plan. It's time to stop the senseless shootings. It's time for people to be able to go to movies, go to work, the grocery store, Labor Day camping events, school and church without fear of crazed gunmen who shouldn't have guns mowing down their friends, family members and neighbors.

Be safe out there this Labor Day week-end. Enjoy the last holiday summer week-end and please have some common sense. Some Americans won't go to work tomorrow or the next day because of senseless shootings. That is not acceptable. It's time to go to work for common sense gun laws. Enough is enough.

UPDATE:

I just ran across this great article. I believe the choir is starting to sing. People are speaking up. Much to the dismay of the gun rights extremists, the public is getting what's going on and they aren't willing to just let it happen. Here is an article that goes even further than I have gone about tolerance for guns on our streets:
When are we going to have better gun control laws?
By which I mean laws that say there should be zero guns on the street. Zero.
Are we stupid?
Japan has tight gun control laws. In 2008, 11 people died there from guns. In 2008, 12,000 people died in the US from guns.
By the way, I'm not being "political" when I say all these shootings prove how insane our gun laws are. I'm being safety-conscious.
I"m not 'taking advantage of tragedy" to talk about my "side."
I'm being safety conscious.
Dressing this conversation as "political" is an easy way to dismiss it. To make it sound less serious: Like something I'm saying to because I read some smart policy paper and hope to win over voters and donations.
This is not an "issue."
It's dead bodies.
Indeed. It is way too many bodies every day. It's stupid and dangerous to allow our gun laws to stay the same as they are now. Law abiding gun owners need to step up to the plate to stop incidents like the following:

Another 3 year old Texas child found a gun and shot himself in the head. Why do these keep happening? What is wrong with people? Are they stupid?

Two dead and many injured at a teen party in Florida. " Officials said gunshots rang out at a Sweet 16 birthday party after 11 p.m. in the 100 block of East 13th Street.

One victim was pronounced dead at the scene and the second died at a hospital, WPBF reported.

"A lot of people screaming ... A lot of kids were standing around. There were kids on the floor, some saying they didn't do anything, saying they were just in their car with some of their friends," dive instructor Nelson Chirillo said."

Teen parties are not supposed to end in gun deaths and injuries. What in the world is sweet about shooting people at a party? As long as these incidents keep happening, we are, indeed, stupid. Where do kids and teens get their guns? From an adult first. If law abiding gun owners can't stand up to do something about this themselves, they are part of the problem when they could clearly be part of the solution.



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