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, October 19, 2012

Deja Vu- Too Many People Have Died

This post has been updated since first posted.

There is a tune that keeps repeating in my head when I read the news of shooting after shooting in America. "How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died." The Bob Dylan song, made famous by Peter Paul and Mary, is one of America's great folk tunes. Here it is:

How many deaths are enough to get the attention of our elected leaders? How many more times do people have to ask the question before something is done? We've heard this tune before. We've seen this shooting story over and over and over again. It keeps coming like nothing changes. And nothing does. Too many people have definitely died. Here are just a few from the last few days:

Another domestic mass shooting in Ohio takes the lives of 3 , including a 3 year old child and wounding 3 others.

A New Jersey man was shot in his car. The shooter has not been found.

A 15 year old Alabama boy was shot in the head by a friend in a prank.

A West Virginia military veteran and gun instructor accidentally shot himself in the head and died.

And in yet just one of many many shootings at or outside of Walmart stores, this employee was injured in a shooting at a Texas Walmart parking lot. Please read this blog from New Trajectory about Walmart shootings. It's not just a coincidence is it that Walmart is one of the largest sellers of guns in the country?

A Special Forces soldier stationed in Colorado accidentally shot himself in the knee with his gun as he was cleaning it. He died as the bullet hit a major artery.

And what's with domestic shootings at beauty salons? I have written about at least two domestic shootings in beauty shops on this blog. Here's yet another in Florida which appears to be also a domestic shooting. Is there an irony in a shooter coming to a beauty shop, knowing that is where women may be found, to carry out their domestic abuse? Three are dead and one injured in addition to the suicide of the gunman.

A Tennessee permit holder has been charged with murdering a man over a woman.

These are only a few examples of the carnage in America due to bullets. Are we embarrassed or ashamed? No. This is a national pubic health and safety problem the likes of which has been left to fester and go unaddressed like no other important issue of concern. As I have said before on this blog, when too many people die or get sick from infected injections, the nation reacts and it's all over the news. From the linked article above, we learn that there is now a criminal investigation of the Massachusetts drug company that produced the infected injections. Fifteen people have died so far nation wide from the fungal Meningitis caused by the injection. People shouldn't die from this injection. But I do remind my viewers that in one day, 32 Americans die from gun homicides and 80 a day from gun injuries. Is there a criminal investigation? No? Why not?

When too many people die from second hand cigarette smoke, we do something about it. When too many people die from ATV accidents, we want answers and we do something. Or auto accidents. Or sports injuries. When too many people die from the influenza virus, other viruses or from preventable diseases, the nation reacts and we do something. We roll up our sleeves and put our heads together to solve the problem. That is what we need to do concerning gun violence.

Nina Gonzalez, the brave woman who asked the question about gun control at Tuesday's Presidential debate has decided to get more active. She has joined with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to speak out to demand a plan for common sense gun legislation. She is among the majority who want to hear from our candidates. They are all as tired as I am of hearing the stories about shootings in the news every day. New York City Mayor Bloomberg had this to say about the answers given at the Presidential debate by President Obama and Mitt Romney:
"They had all this gibberish talking about education. That education is the solution to stop the killing,” the mayor said. “My recollection is that the Aurora theatre shooter — he was a PhD candidate.”
Bloomberg added neither Obama nor Romney showed that they're committed enough to helping solve the problem.
"One candidate had four years to do something and the other candidate says he won’t even do what he once did,” Bloomberg said.
The mayor’s announcement of his eight figure donation in support of bipartisan candidates appeared to be timed to his disappointment to the presidential candidate’s lack of specificity in regards to gun control.
The New York Times editorial staff agrees that the candidates have an obligation to talk about the issue of gun violence:
Both candidates tried lamely to connect various family, school and social factors to the murders made easy by inadequate and nonexistent gun control laws. In truth, gun laws are being loosened, not strengthened, by state legislatures, often with bipartisan support. Among the worst measures are permits for carrying guns in colleges and other public places and the atrocious “stand your ground” laws that basically permit machismo fantasists to shoot to kill when they feel threatened.
Neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Romney shows any interest in discussing this threat to public safety. The scourge includes 4.5 million firearms sold annually in the nation and more than one million people killed by guns in the past four decades. Research shows that among 23 populous, high-income nations, 80 percent of firearm deaths occurred in the United States, where citizens suffer homicide rates 6.9 times higher than in the other nations.
This nation needs sane and effective gun control policies, including the assault weapons ban, not political obfuscation. Whichever candidate wins, his term is certain to be marked by the shooting deaths of tens of thousands more Americans.
Our gun laws are truly insane and make no sense unless you understand why they are the way they are. In one word- the National Rifle Association. And what does the NRA have to say or do about this? They endorsed Mitt Romney and have and will give millions of dollars to candidates who march to their tune of fear and paranoia. What do our elected leaders have to say or do about this? Nothing. We've heard this music before and it's out of tune with what the American people believe and want. We are better than this. Please read this statement from Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign about the candidates' answer to the question asked by Nina Gonzalez:
“Since the massacre at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the Brady Campaign has been leading a national conversation asking the presidential candidates to offer solutions to gun violence. 
We applaud Ms. Gonzalez tonight for joining this national conversation by using her question at tonight’s town hall to press President Obama and Gov. Romney for solutions to gun violence with assault weapons.
We applaud President Obama asserting again his commitment to ban the assault weapons that he rightly pointed out “kill folks in amazing numbers,” and for affirming the need for background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
The overwhelming majority of Americans, including gun owners, understand that these kinds of military-style weapons don’t belong on our streets and in our communities, and that stronger background checks don’t have anything to do with the Second Amendment.  
Americans understand that we, as a nation, are better than this.
Regretfully, when offered the same opportunity to address America's gun violence problem Gov. Romney was not willing to offer the leadership or solutions required to make our communities and children safer.   
With the recent tragedies in Aurora, Colorado, the Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin, and 32 gun related murders occurring in our country every day, we at Brady stand ready to work with leaders from both political parties to solve the problem of gun violence in this country, and to represent the voice of the American people.”


Here is another article about the salon shooting in Florida which I mentioned above. From the article:
Local 6 has learned Baumet was served with a temporary injunction for domestic violence on Oct 9 in Orange County and was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. The owner of the salon also filed an injunction earlier in the month.
"He's been having problems he's mentally unstable," said one of Baumet's cousins. "We've been telling her 'keep away from him. Keep away from him.'"
Sound familiar? And there's more about the victims:
Local 6 is also learning more about the victims killed in the shooting. One woman was four months pregnant and was also a mother of a young child, according to the victim's brother.
Raise your hand if you think people like Baumet should have access to guns. Raise your hand if you feel sick about the young pregnant woman who left a small child motherless when she was shot in cold blood because someone was angry and had mental illness problems.


I just hate it when this happens. Another shooting has come to my attention. Once again, road rage or just fender bender in this case, has caused another shooting death in Pittsburgh, PA. From the article:
 Police have identified and charged the man who allegedly shot and killed another man in the parking lot of a Shop N’ Save Thursday.
Brandon Thomas, 30, is charged with criminal homicide.
He was arraigned at 4 a.m. Friday morning and is being held in the Washington County Correctional Facility without bond.
Around 4 p.m. Thursday, Thomas, who was driving a Hummer, got into a fender bender with 55-year-old Vaughn Simonelli, who was driving a small Pontiac Grand Prix.
It took place at the Washington Shop N’ Save grocery store in the 100-block of West Beau Street.
The two men engaged in a heated argument, which led to Simonelli punching Thomas in the face. After that, Thomas pulled out a gun and shot Simonelli twice, then called 9-1-1, according to a witness.
“I knew something was going to happen the way the arguing was going down,” witness Tim Grimes said Friday. “My wife was with me; I pushed her to the ground because the man was firing, he was firing this way.”
Simonelli was pronounced dead at 4:30 p.m. Friday. He was a truck driver and father of five.
And five more kids are fatherless over a fender bender. Without the gun, the dead man would have been alive after an altercation. Senseless.


Can someone please tell me what the problem is when law abiding gun owners keep discharging their weapons while cleaning them? This Connecticut man tried to hide the fact that his gun discharged and went through the floor into the apartment below. I'm pretty sure I just wrote about a similar case in a recent post. Guns are dangerous weapons. Why are gun owners too often so stupid and dangerous with their guns?

UPDATE #4- October 21

In what is literally deja vu, there has been another shooting at a spa/hair salon today in Wisconsin. Three are dead and four injured. Again, it was an man with a restraining order shooting his estranged wife and others in a domestic dispute. "When will they ever learn?"From the article:
The spa shooting was the second mass shooting in Wisconsin this year. Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran and white supremacist, killed six people and injured three others before fatally shooting himself Aug. 5 at a Sikh temple south of Milwaukee.
The shooting at the mall took place less than a mile from where seven people were killed and four wounded on March 12, 2005, when a gunman opened fire at a Living Church of God service held at a hotel.


  1. Both candidates are correct in that there are more components to gun violence than just guns. The difference being that the president proposed legislation that has been proven not to work.
    Mayor Bloomberg has had three terms as mayor and still cant seem to get a handle on controlling crime in his own city. His stand on gun issues would be more believable if for example he could say that his city's tight controls on firearms has resulted in a drop in crime, yet the city still seems to have a very high crime rate.

    1. As you know, Mark, crime rates and shootings are two different things. Shootings are part of crimes but not all crimes are shootings. Shootings are up. It is well documented that the crime guns traced in NYC come from out of state. The Iron Pipeline contributes a lot of crime guns used in NYC. http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-12-13/news/30513796_1_gun-dealers-iron-pipeline-murder-weapon


      That's just one of many articles highlighting this problem. If we had a national background check system that required background checks on all gun sales, this problem would be reduced.

    2. I do understand that. So, if crime were being effectively controlled in New York City wouldnt it be reasonable to believe that demand would go down for illegal guns? And therefor result in a drop in both violent and nonviolent crime?
      He added: “Every year of the Bloomberg administration, we’ve had murders below the 600 level. It never happened before. Prior to 2002, we’ve never had a year where we had less than 600 murders.”
      I dont know what to say considering he considers those numbers to be a success.

    3. I don't know what the numbers were before. I guess we also consider 30,000 gun deaths a year to be low compared to the late 80s early 90s. It's a sad state of affairs and we have set the bar mighty low. That's because there are so many gun murders every year, that any improvement seems like a success. 600 a year is 600 a year too many. Mayor Bloomberg knows that. He is, after all, one of the people at the fore front of the efforts to reduce gun violence so accusing him of anything is pointless and ridiculous.

  2. Have you read this US News report? This is the negative consequence of putting guns under the political spotlight. Now the United States has that many more unnecessary guns in circulation, some of which might come back in the future to haunt us.

    1. Surely you understand the reason why gun sales went up when President Obama was elected, Migo. Do I have to bring them up? You guys are so darned paranoid that you went out and bought up a bunch of guns and ammunition. It's sick really. People have accused our first Black President of being the "other", "Muslim" " not American" and many other perjoratives,. That is why this is happening. Obama has nothing to do with it. To say otherwise is ludicrous and totally false. Are you actually blaming Obama for the unnecessary guns in this country? That is a lie and unacceptable. If you want to continue being published on this blog, you will have to explain what you mean by what you said. I will not tolerate such evil statements on this blog. It's the fault of the NRA and the gun nuts in this country, pure and simply, for why there are so many guns in circulation.

    2. Joan, please, relax. Did you read what I wrote? When did I ever mention the President?

      I thought what I wrote was clear. With the fear of new gun laws looming, people are making unnecessary gun purchases. Later, when those fears are found to be baseless, they'll dump those guns so they can buy the next great shiny new thing. Those dumped guns might later find their ways into undesired hands through private sales.

      My preference is to stop politicizing guns. If people were confident that today's guns would be there tomorrow, or that tomorrow might hold an updated version of what exists today, then we would have more desired guns in the hands of responsible owners and less undesired guns in circulation.

      We had an AWB and then it was allowed to expire. We might have a new AWB, but eventually, after it's found to be ineffective, it too will expire. Regardless, the number of guns in this country just keeps going up and up and up...

      Don't you agree that a country with 300 million guns is better than a country with 350 million guns?

    3. Putting guns under negative media is appropriate. Do you think guns should be seen as a positive thing? That's the difference between us. And yes, of course, a country with fewer guns will a country with fewer gun deaths. That is the way it is in almost every else in the world. No one else has an NRA.

    4. I don't want guns seen as positive or negative things. I want guns to be viewed under the same light as hammers. If you want one, you should be able to go the store to buy one (after a NICS check, of course). So there shouldn't be any reason for someone to have to go to the store to buy 10 hammers only to sell them to someone else next year because someone thinks that Congress is going to ban claw hammers next year. Hammer manufacturers won't mind though, even though this country really doesn't need that many hammers right now.

    5. The last time I checked, hammers were not responsible for 30,000 deaths a year!

    6. Migo, there is a very good reason you don't need a background check to buy a hammer.

      You fail to think critically, apparently you are unable to distinguish between weapons, and construction equipment.

      I realize that nail guns might confuse you, as being similar.

      But guns ARE negative things, they are involved in tragedies every single day that are perfectly avoidable without them being in people's possession.

      While the closest comparison you can make to hammers in that regard is a lot of people ding their thumbs and swear.

      NOT really at all the same thing.

      Now if you want to make it possible for people to buy guns that can't shoot anyone, and allow people to pound nails into 2x4s with them, be my guest. No bullets, no firing pin, and let's remove the trigger too while we're at it.

      Nah........even then I see no point to it.

      Hammers have a primarily constructive uses; guns don't. Hammers don't kill people on a daily basis, guns do.

    7. dog gone, it's an analogy, which apparently you fail to identify.

      In my opinion, which is obviously opposite from yours, guns should just be treated as tools and they should be available in ordinary stores like they once used to be (hardware stores, Sears, etc.). They shouldn't be glorified as the hypocritical liberal entertainment media does with virtually every action-adventure-fantasy product, nor should they be vilified as you and your supporters do.

      Of course guns kill people. That should be as obvious to everyone as the Earth is round, but sometimes people need to be stopped with deadly force to end violence, and since all crimes don't occur at police departments, that deadly power has to be available to ordinary responsible citizens with the capacity to understand the very serious ramifications of using a gun in self defense. You and I will always disagree on this.

      But this is all a digression, because in my opinion, the most important part of this article is that even the President recognizes that the greatest violence isn't being caused by guns idiotically identified as assault weapons.

    8. Migo, that has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have read from one of you guys. Really? Guns should be available in ordinary stores? What is wrong with you? Guns are deadly weapons designed to kill people. You are far to the extreme on this one. What do you mean sometimes people need to be stopped with deadly force? That happens so infrequently as to hardly be a blip on the radar compared to the number of times guns are used on purpose or accidentally to kill people. You are in the minority of people on this issue.

    9. Joan, that's the way guns were sold decades ago when the violent crime rate was a fraction of what it is today. Over here in Medford, Oregon you can still buy guns at a popular regional grocery store. BATFE FFL licensing and NICS checks still apply, of course. Guns are more tightly controlled today than back then, especially after 1968, yet the violent crime rate is over four times higher.

      So why is violence more prevalent today when guns are not? And if you think guns are too prevalent today, please remember that guns could be mail ordered back then. When the President referred to Chicago, he recognized that there was something more to the violence in this country than mere firepower. He understands that my question is relevant.

      As for the infrequent justified threat of deadly force, we don't know how often it occurs, since brandishing is illegal, so we don't know how often it goes unreported. This point isn't worth arguing because there's no data available to support either argument.

      Finally, you keep saying guns are deadly weapons designed to kill people. I know! That's what makes them so effective at stopping violence. Yes, I understand they are also used to initiate violence and tragedies, but if that was all they could ever do, then they would have been eradicated long ago just like the smallpox virus.

    10. Migo- you must think I'm stupid. We are living in the 21st century where guns are far more effective at killing people and killing many people at a time than back in the early 1900s or whenever the heck you claim they were sold in ordinary stores. Come on. Do you think anyone believes that's a good idea? I'm done with this back and forth because it doesn't lend anything to a serious discussion. virtually no one believes what you are saying here. Guns are more prevalent actually. We have more guns per capital than almost any other country not at war and also among the highest if not the highest rate of gun deaths. No coincidence there? I am done responding to your ideas about brandishing. How would we know? No one can know that. That's why it's a bogus fact. Have a nice night.

  3. There are several major factors in the violence problem but guns are one of them. Guns happen to be the one that is a concrete and tangible factor that we can do much more about, as opposed to education and inner-city problems, for example. Gun availability must be addressed. I'm hoping it will be in a meaningful way during Obama's second term.

  4. I agree, that many people just assume a weapon is unloaded and dont think to check. Even police officers do it.

  5. Joan,

    With all due respect, your president even stated that "assault" weapons aren't the source of most violent crime back in Chicago, that it was "cheap" handguns.

    Granted, that prompted an eyeroll from me because I know his history on concealed carry prior to the presidency and that statements post giffords and the Trayvon Martin circus have been decidedly anti handgun in nature. He was correct however, in asserting that there are root causes to gun violence.

    Have you considered that our deplorable and failed "war" on drugs is in fact, the larger cause of violence? That poverty and a lack of educational opportunities, coupled with cultures who reject education outright (go to an inner city or listen to popular music sometime), has a lot more to do with it than someone owning a rifle with a military patterned design?

    I'm all for reasonable laws. I'm from Romneylalaland. The AWB we still have in place doesn't restrict us from owning large cap rifles or handguns - it just makes getting them to comply with the preban requirements a pain.

    Im also all for background checks on private sales (hey, I like to know who Im selling to) and for them to be required of all gun show sales. That said, I've never once purchased firearm at a show where I wasn't run through NICS.

    Where you, and indeed some of your friendly respondents fall apart however, is the tendancy towards insults. Yes, there are morons out there with permits, no logical person will deny that. But there are also HUGE problems in our mental health and education system that leads to criminality and poverty....which too often leads back to criminality.

    I differ with you when it comes to reducing access to all guns and on the topic of owning military patterned rifles. At the end of the day, its not a winning issue - people won't turn them in, people won't support laws that dictate such actions. Your better bet is to actually WORK with US - the law abiding, the CCW holders who care about how these situations make us look and who have an interest in safer streets. We do exist, but it requires a dialing back on the volume.

    1. No one has suggested that anyone needs to turn their guns in. I would suggest that you get your side to dial back that rhetoric. And while you are at it, tell them to quit insulting us, calling us hateful names, making veiled and not so veiled threats and all the other things coming from your side. Thanks. I would appreciate any help from someone like yourself who makes claims to be somewhat reasonable on the issue. As long as there is easy access to guns by people who are mentally ill and morons, we have a problem. We have a problem with access to health care for mentally ill people as well. I am working on the gun access part of this. Others are working hard on the mental illness side. I care but my efforts are to prevent the gun violence. As to education and poverty? Some of the mass shooters were highly educated and came from families at least in the middle class or higher. See Cho, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, Holmes ( Aurora shooter) Jared Loughner. Yes, there are shootings in areas of poverty. It just happens that the majority of shootings are people who know each other and often domestic in nature ( see latest Wisconsin mass shooting). Suicide by gun is also a serious problem that goes underreported. I doubt that most who commit suicide are people living in poverty where guns are not even affordable It is not the criminals who commit most of the gun homicides. It is average every day Americans who are not labeled as criminals until they shoot someone.

      I would be happy if you would work with us. Thanks.

  6. You said " It is not the criminals who commit most of the gun homicides. It is average every day Americans who are not labeled as criminals until they shoot someone. "

    Where did you come up with this fact? Because what I have seen shows that 75% or more of all murderers have an adult criminal record. Several studies have borne this out.

    An article you might find interesting. http://www.cardozolawreview.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=138:kates201086&catid=20:firearmsinc&Itemid=20

    1. That is absolutely not true. I have gone over this one before on this blog. Check it out. You are wrong. Don Kates is not an unbiased source- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Kates

      For example- " Eighty percent of 1997 Atlanta murder arrestees had previously been arrested at least once for a drug offense; and 70% had three or more prior drug arrests—in addition to all their arrests for other crimes.23"

      Kates is referring here to murder arrestees and not specifically people who have shot someone with a gun. His sources are questionable. Send me something else. This is bogus.

    2. Japete,
      On the subject of gun homicides committed by felons, here is some data I found about gun homicides in Minneapolis.
      "In Minneapolis last year, 30 of the city's 40 homicides were committed with a firearm. Law enforcement officials say a majority of people locked up for committing felony level gun crimes were felons forbidden by law to possess firearms."
      Here is my source:


    3. You didn't prove a point here at all. " Law enforcement officials say a majority of people locked up for committing felony level gun crimes were felons forbidden by law to possess firearms." Gun crimes are not the same as shootings by gun. Several of the shootings in Mpls were stray bullets killing young children. We don't know who the shooters were. Quite a number were domestic shootings where shooter was not a criminal. Most of the recent mass shooters were not criminals. They had mental illness but were not criminals. Most of the incidents I report on my blog are domestic in nature or accidental shootings committed by law abiding gun owners. That is because those are the ones that are in the news most often.

    4. Japete,
      Would this quote from a later part of the series more closely meet your criteria?
      "MPR's investigation of violent gun crimes in Minneapolis in 2010 found that most of the people who either pleaded to or were convicted of violent gun offenses were not legally allowed to possess a firearm."


    5. No. I already addressed that. You are trying to lump all gun crimes in with gun homicides. Gun crimes include robbery or whatever else. Though no one wants to be held up at gun point and some are, I am referring to the gun deaths and injuries that occur on a daily basis, most often not perpetrated by criminals.

  7. Salon shootings or violence are not coincidence, and these men were not just simply "crazy". There is something about hair salons where women/wives/girlfriends/etc work and the affect it has on their relationships. I have spoken to dozens of men over the years about this, after developing my own problems with relationship (ex now), after she began working in a hair salon. They all had similar experiences of relationships just getting plain crazy- much more than any of their other relationships. They usually said their wife/girlfriend all too often literally tried to drive them insane with "teenage games"- spite, revenge, manipulation, etc, and with women spanning 20-50 years old.

    In my situation, I watched it completely transform her morally, into a whole other person. She began to abuse Rx drugs, do whatever her coworkers said was ok, seemed to provoke & argue with me more, cheated with other guys, and just became more material/superficial in general. She literally tried to destroy me; or actually, get me to destroy myself by losing it. I was lucky to get out of that relationship. But it sparked an interest b/c I still see it so often. I must note I have had multiple private investigators tell me essentially the same thing based on their own experiences with investigating relationship problems for men- they see problems with women working in salons WAY more than they would call random. It IS something about that occupation, and the daily influence, and maybe even the chemicals they are exposed to daily. Who knows; as more people become interested (and more salon violence no doubt) it may end up being that these poor women are the mad hatters of our era, but from some occupational exposure other than mercury?

    More than one person (male & female) have described it essentially the same, and the best so far- they are working in a girls locker room all day. Imagine, even a minor relationship problem discussed in such an environment, gets turned into the worst kind of spiteful advice from her coworkers who are generally not proving to be objective adults. And the games begin, even with marriage and children involved. There have also been quite a few discussions regarding whether it is the personality type that is drawn to that profession- no doubt that applies here, as it does to most professions.

    If you are involved in a relationship with a woman working in a hair salon, you might take heed and either end the relationship, or sell your guns. He who fights with monsters might take care, lest he become a monster himself...

    1. This has to be one of the most unusual and crazy comments ever submitted to this blog. I publish it so others can see that either this is a total mockery of actual real life killings or a joke or else that someone actually believes this stuff. So if I have it right then, if you are in a relationship with a woman who works in a salon, beware. She may drive you crazy giving you license to kill her. Wow, just wow. So then, I do agree that you should sell your guns if you actually believe this stuff.