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, September 25, 2012

Homicide victims

This post has been updated since first posted.

Today is National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims. Why should we have a day like this anyway? On average, 32 Americans a day are killed by bullets. Most homicides are due to shootings. 11,493 of 16,799 homicides came at the hands of a shooter in 2009 CDC statistics. That comes out to 3.7 per 100,000- the most gun homicide deaths of any other civilized country not at war. But it is interesting to note that these numbers are different, depending on the source. We are not alone in high gun deaths per 100,000. We share this "honor", according to the following linked article, with countries such as Honduras, El Salvador, Jamaica, Brazil, Colombia and some others. This article from the Guardian, shows America with fewer gun deaths per 100,000 than some countries, mostly Central and South American and African, but more than most industrialized countries not at war. According to this article 60% of homicides are due to firearms. That figure is slightly lower than most data which show that about 70% of homicides are due to firearms.

Here are some more firearms facts concerning homicides:
In 2005, 11,346 persons were killed by firearm violence and 477,040 persons were victims of a crime committed with a firearm. Most murders in the United States are committed with firearms, especially handguns.
In 2006, firearms were used in 68 percent of murders, 42 percent of robbery offenses and 22 percent of aggravated assaults nationwide. (Weapons data are not collected for forcible rapes. See table 19  "Violent Crime," from Crime in the United States, 2006.)
Homicides committed with firearms peaked in 1993 at 17,075, after which the figure steadily fell, leveling off in 1999 at 10,117. Gun-related homicides have increased slightly each year since 2002.
But victims are not numbers. They are faces and names. They are your neighbors. They are people you know or know of. They are your friends. They are your sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, children, uncles, aunts or a parent. They were once living breathing Americans who walked the earth in the same places as we now walk. They are victims of a gunshot wound so awful that it took their life.

Today we ring the bell 32 times in memory of the firearm victims who die daily in America because of bullets. We remember all victims of homicide, no matter the cause. John Donne wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls:
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."
--Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, "Meditation XVII"

Common sense leads us to want change in memory of the victims. We need to demand a plan from our politicians to prevent gun deaths and injuries. 


One of my commenters has tried to tell me that things are better now than they were in the 60s when people could buy guns anywhere and from unlicensed people, no less. I have tried to politely explain to him that people still do that today. Guns can be purchased from unlicensed sellers at gun shows, at flea markets, auctions, at sporting goods stores or other stores where the sellers are sometimes licensed and sometimes not. Guns are also given away by various types of vendors. Take this, for example- a gun give away at a Georgia jewelry store:
A Georgia jewelry store owner has come up with a new way to sell diamonds, WSB-TV reports.
Give away free guns with each purchase.
"A lot of our customers are hunters, and it just seemed like a great thing to do," Mike Geller, who owns two D. Geller and Son Jewelers, told the station. "It's unbelievable! There's websites that got a million hits about it."
Customers who purchase diamonds worth $2,499 or more from the Cobb County stores will get free hunting rifles.
Geller got the idea after seeing a similar offer at a Missouri car dealership, which ran out of cars and had to offer rain checks, he said.
There is a catch.
Those who qualify don't actually get guns in the jewelry stores. Instead, customers get vouchers for Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, Ga.
"You have to follow all the rules and regulations in the state of Georgia to own a gun," Geller told WSB-TV.
Some people have complained about the offer, and at least one woman, Sophia Choi, told the station she is worried about safety. "I think it's stupid," she said.
Business at the stores has picked up, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The promotion came just in time for deer hunting season, which will begin Oct. 20, the paper reports.
Raise your hand if you can explain how guns and jewelry are at all connected. Amazing really, that vendors need to use gimmicks to sell their wares. Guns should not be the "draw".


  1. ...the most gun homicide deaths of any other civilized country not at war

    But, we are at war. Iraq, Afganistan, War on Drugs, War on Terror, any of that ring a bell?

    Gun-related homicides have increased slightly each year since 2002.

    Actually, no. The number of homicides has been declining since 2007 and the the homicide rate has been falling slightly every year since 2006. The same is true with firearm related homicides.

    From CDC 2006 - 2010


    Also, from your NIJ Source

    Nonfatal firearm-related crime has fallen significantly in recent years, from almost 1.3 million victims in 1994 to 477,040 victims in 2005.

    and according to the FBI, in 2010, there were 312,658 nonfatal, firearm-related crimes. Again, we're seeing a trend, not only is violent crime going down, but gun related violent crime is decreasing.

    We need to demand a plan from our politicians to prevent gun deaths and injuries.

    It seems like the plan that's in place is working. There's not a magic wand that's going to make all things horrible just go away in an instant.

    1. If you think that over 11, 000 people dying of gun homicides is a plan that's working, we can't have any further "discussion."

    2. What do you suggest we do, another assault weapons ban that had no measurable effect on violent crime? California has a pretty strict AWB but has the highest instances of mass killings than any other state. DC and Chicago both have registration, waiting periods, no carrying of weapons outside of the home, etc. and still have the highest rates of violent crime. People that are willing to take the life of another are not concerned with how they do it.

      11,000 people being killed by a firearm isn't a good thing, but it's better than the 17,000 from the 90's. 2010 had a murder rate of 4.8, which we haven't seen since the 60's, so yeah, something's working.

      Please recall, back in the early 60's, one could purchase a firearm through the mail, at the local hardware store, or at a sporting goods store, and the dealers didn't need a licence.

    3. What's working, Bill? Please explain what you mean? People can still purchase firearms at local sporting goods stores, on the internet, through the newspaper, at some liquor sotres, around kitchen tables and from a myriad of other unlicensed sellers. I wouldn't say that's an improvement at all. I have seen a website with photos of signs where guns are sold- some at liquor stores, some at the same place wedding gowns are sold. Please tell me how that is an improvement from the 60s.

  2. We are at war in other countries, not here in this one.

    That is the significant distinction; it would be different if the war were here, but it is not, and so far as I know, those military deaths and injuries are not counted into the totals you mentioned B3.

    Back in the 60s we had fewer guns, fewer mass shootings, fewer homicides.

    We'd be better off if we had fewer firearms, because people do NOT handle them responsibly - they don't store them responsibly or securely, they commit on average more than 3 murder suicides every week, they commit record numbers of mass shootings since then, and oh yea - -far fewer crazy people got their hands on them when they were more restricted by law enforcement. Fewer members of law enforcement were killed and injured too.

  3. "A Sovereign"- I would like to remind you that calling me names and using sexual slurs and innuendos will not be published on this blog. In addition, considering that I can see from where you are responding and other information, you may want to reconsider the words you use here. I suggest finding something else to do with all of your spare time.