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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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The NRA lost last night!!

The NRA lost last night. President Obama won. He won in spite of the lies and the vitriol from the right. He won in spite of Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers throwing billions of dollars down the drain to defeat him. He won in spite of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Fox News. President Obama won because he has integrity and he cares deeply about the plight of 100% of us. President Obama won because a coalition of Americans who represent what America actually looks like instead of what the old guard of aging and/or angry white people think it should look like. The rhetoric from the right was disturbing, to say the least. The lies were shameful. I worked my tail off for 6 months and exhausted myself in the last 4 days to make sure that President Obama won this election fair and square. And he did. In spite of attempts from the right wing hysterical extremists to cast him as "the other", he won. Had Mitt Romney won, fear, hate, bigotry, discrimination against entire classes of people and plutocracy would have won as well. And the NRA and it's extreme agenda would have won because Romney was bought and paid for by a mythical but powerful and well funded lobby group representing the worst of the fear and lies against President Obama. But he won anyway.

And now it's time for a change in the national rhetoric and hyperbole over gun violence. It's time to burst the bubble that has surrounded the NRA's mythical power over our elected leaders which has led to a stalemate or, worse yet, the slippery slope towards more people owning and carrying guns in more public places resulting in ever more high profile and every day shootings. Over and over again, the NRA loses in elections at all levels. Yet they manage to portray themselves as a powerful lobby group who affect elections. They don't really and the public understands this. But elected officials have been slow at figuring this out. Once they do, the leverage held by this extremist lobby group will wane and we will proceed with common sense legislation to stem the carnage caused by gun violence. Just yesterday, on election day, there was yet another workplace shooting, this time in California. 
"A workplace shooting at a Fresno, Calif., meat plant has left three people dead, including the suspect, and two wounded.
Gunfire erupted around 8:27 a.m. today at Valley Protein, a meat processing and handling plant.
The gunman, who was identified as Lawrence Jones, 42, was found lying on a sidewalk with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said at a news conference today. He later died at the hospital.
"We're still trying to determine what led up to that shooting, what provoked these actions from the suspect," Dyer said.
Jones, who had worked at the plant for 14 months, clocked in at 4:58 a.m
"According to one of his coworkers, he did not appear to be himself when he came to work," Dyer said.
Less than four hours later, Jones, who Dyer said has an "extensive criminal history," allegedly opened fire on his co-workers. Dyer said at least 30 employees witnessed the shooting."
These shootings are beginning to resonate with the public who are largely tired of them. Over time, the collective conscience of the public is awakening. With every mass shooting, with every gun a child gets access to and kills him/herself or a sibling, friend or parent, someone changes their view about the American gun culture that turns its' back on the carnage. For the weekly domestic shootings, the public grows weary. Most voters pay no attention whatsoever to the fear and paranoia of the NRA. The gun issue mattered only in so much as the public wants something done about the violence. The public is also weary of the billions of dollars spent on elections by special interest groups on both sides. Last night, the billionaires and big money lobbies lost. The NRA lost. Check out the evidence below from the Living for 32 Facebook page.


Do I have to remind my readers that these people won their elections in spite of the money spent to keep them from winning and the rhetoric that goes with it? My last 2 posts have dealt with the tactics of the NRA at election time. They don't work. We must break the bubble surrounding the myth of the NRA's power. Once that happens and politicians begin to understand that the fear and paranoia of the NRA is just that- unwarranted fear and paranoia- they will be able to act in good conscious to do the right thing. As a country, we are better than this. Republicans, NRA members, gun owners, Democrats, non gun owners and non NRA members are shot to death daily in America. This is not a partisan issue. This is about saving lives. This is about stopping senseless shootings. This has nothing to do with gun rights. This has to do with the right to be free from gun violence. That is the America that should prevail. There is hope that we are on the right path. There is no reason we have to accept the daily carnage. Good Americans on all sides of the issue understand this and are ready to get behind a plan to work on a solution to our national public health and safety problem. The Brady Campaign issued a statement about the issue today. Here it is in its' entirety:

Brady Campaign Congratulates President Obama On Winning Re-Election

Will work on behalf of Americans with the President and Congress to reduce gun violence

Nov 6, 2012
Washington, D.C. - Brady Campaign President Dan Gross today released the following statement in response to the re-election of President Barack Obama:
The Brady Campaign warmly congratulates President Barack Obama on his re-election victory.
Following the massacre at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, we began leading a national conversation about solutions to gun violence. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, from across the political spectrum, have joined the conversation about guns by signing petitions to both presidential candidates asking for their plans to do something about this critical issue of national safety.
Prompted by a question from New Yorker Nina Gonzalez during the second presidential debate, President Obama discussed solutions such as banning assault weapons and background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill -- solutions that he underscored are consistent with his administration’s belief in the Second Amendment right to own guns.
We were heartened by the President’s response and stand ready to work with President Obama and leaders of both political parties in Congress to adopt and implement effective policies to reduce gun violence.
Numerous polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans, including gun owners and NRA members, support sensible policies, like criminal background checks, that will save lives. The American public knows that we are better than a nation where mass shootings, like the one in Aurora, happen with such alarming frequency, and nothing is done about 32 more gun murders every day.
We are better than this and we look forward to working with President Obama and the new Congress to make this the safer nation we all want and deserve.”
What worries me, however, is that there are a small but violent group of people who are so angry with the election results that they will take matters into their own hands. They believe that the Second Amendment means that they should have their arsenals of weapons to use in an uprising against their own country. They hate President Obama with a vengeance for many reasons. Their assertions about his race, his religion and other hyperbolic claims should not be taken seriously but unfortunately, too many of them believe in their own rhetoric and whip each other into a frenzy of unwarranted vitriol. They believe, wrongly, that he is coming for their guns. What are these folks planning now? We must be ever watchful for they are capable of bad things. Right here in my home town, President Obama was hung in effigy from a prominent sign near the biggest shopping mall in the area. This is ugly and shameful stuff. And I can only guess that the person who did this has hate and fear on his or her mind. This is unacceptable. But these extremists live amongst us. They are insurrectionists. They have guns and ammunition. They are ready to act. Our country's loose gun laws have led to the ability for some dangerous people to be access guns and the NRA's need to keep folks in a constant state of fear does not disabuse them of their radical thinking. The connection between the NRA and the gun industry causes an alliance that has led to a stalemate in any attempts to have a national discussion about gun violence. From the above linked article in Forbes magazine:
Why can’t America keep murder weapons out of the hands of these lunatics? The answer: the NRA Industrial Complex.
Ruger and Glock guns are a common element in a string of recent massacres.
In the Aurora, Colo. massacre that killed 12 and injured 59, alleged shooter James Holmes’ arsenal included two Glock pistols; in January 2011 Jared Lee Loughner shot Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona and 18 others with a 9mm Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol with a 33-round magazine; on July 22, 2011 Anders Behring Breivik murdered 77 in Norway with a semi-automatic Ruger Mini-14 rifle; and in April 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, used a Glock 9 to murder 33 students at Virginia Tech.
Each time we have one of these mass murders, the shooters get enormous publicity. But the makers of weapons — without which these killings would be a deranged individual’s fantasy — seem to benefit. To be fair, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been scaring gun owners about the imminent threat to their arsenals ever since President Obama took office. The NRA’s tactics have contributed to industry growth.
And that growth has been impressive. After all, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation between 2008 and 2011, jobs in companies that make, distribute, and sell firearms and ammunition have grown 30% — adding 23,000 direct jobs. The NSSF estimates that the industry’s “direct economic impact” doubled to $13.6 billion in that time.
Not surprisingly, this growth is great news for shareholders of America’s biggest gun manufacturers. Since 2010, Ruger and Smith & Wesson – our two biggest publicly traded gun makers – have enjoyed a 150% rise in stock market value. In May, Ruger’s first quarter earnings more than doubled – and it temporarily stopped taking new orders since first quarter 2012 order had exceeded those for all of 2011.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that the number of guns made in the US rose 16% between 2010 and 2011 to 6.4 million guns, and the FBI expects to run 17.8 million firearm purchase background checks in 2012 – up 9 % from 2011.
By any measure, the gun industry is outpacing the US economy that has been inching along at a 2% annual rate.
And America can give some of the credit for that to the NRA. Bloomberg reported that the NRA ended 2011 as “a lobbying, merchandising and marketing machine that brings in more than $200 million a year [that] intends to help unseat the incumbent president.”
And the gun industry – led by Ruger – has benefited tremendously from the NRA. According to IRS fillings, from 2004 to 2010, the NRA’s revenue from fundraising — including gifts from gun makers who benefit from its political activism — grew twice as fast as its income from members’ dues.
Fear and power are amazing motivators for all kinds of behavior. But some of the behavior occurring as a result is something to which we need to pay attention. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence keeps track of these folks with their Insurrectionist Timeline. The Southern Poverty Law Center is also letting us know about these folks. The last time I checked, we lived in a Democracy. This is not what a Democracy is all about.

Changing the culture of fear and hatred that leads to potential violence should not be acceptable. Changing the nation's gun culture to make sure that those who own guns are those who are responsible with them and will use them for hunting and recreational shooting rather than to amass an arsenal to carry out what their "God given" right to fight their own country's leaders should be a priority. This can only happen if we burst the bubble of the NRA and its' rhetoric of fear and myth of power. Enough now. There is no reason that reasonable people can't work together to keep us all safe from senseless gun violence. The lies and fear need to be put aside for the safety of us all.  Let's get to work. Lives depend on it.

UPDATE:

I would like to add an asterisk to my post. Others agree with me. In fact, I think, many people agree with me. Here is just one from Steve Blow writing for the Dallas news.com: 
Over their dead bodies were the birthers and the “he’s a secret Muslim” brigade going to triumph with their endless barrage of sinister emails about “the real” Barack Obama.
And that’s not to mention all the caustic Facebook postings about the president from now-unfriended friends.
So the Obama supporters turned out Tuesday to reaffirm their choice of four years ago, but also to take a stand against character assassination by innuendo, by hoax and by flat-out crazy conspiracy notions.
In a campaign costing billions of dollars, that uncashed check from Trump may have been the best Obama money never spent.
What a brilliant get-out-the-vote strategy — to have old trout-mouthed Trump try to stir up one more bugaboo “secret” about the president.
Trump succeeded only in firing up Obama voters to rebuke him at the ballot box.
Granted, voters are motivated by myriad things. I’m not saying this was the decisive issue. But in an extremely tight race, the long smear campaign created a backlash that helped put Obama over the top.
Truth matters. And inversely, blatant disregard for truth comes at a cost.
A simple Google search would have revealed the facts about so many of the lies and distortions spread by email over the last four years. But to those senders, a desire to destroy Obama mattered more than truth.
Now they can live with the truth that they helped re-elect him.

UPDATE #2

I rest my case. It didn't take long for NRA Board member Ted Nugent to let us know what he thinks about the election of President Obama. Here are his hateful statements:
"Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters hav a president to destroy America," Nugent wrote in the first of a storm tweets. "So Obama still demands the hardest workers provide for the nonwotkers. Shared opportunities my ass," he followed, before tweeting, "What subhuman varmint believes others must pay for their obesity booze cellphones birthcontrol abortions & lives."
Calling Americans "soulless fools," Nugent lamented the "economic & spiritual suicide" of re-electing Obama. "I cry tears of blood for The Last Best Place & the warriors who died for this tragedy," he continued. He even went after the Supreme Court, writing, "So 4 SCOTUS idiots dont believe in self defense. Pure evil." It all harks back to when Nugent was questioned by the Secret Service earlier this year.
And then, of course, we have multi millionaire Donald Trump who has been dissembling in this election cycle over President Obama's birth place and other things. Here are his ludicrous and dangerous statements: 
Trump began tweeting before the election was called that it was "a total sham and a travesty." After news outlets projected that Obama won the election, Trump tweeted, "Well, back to the drawing board!" He posted more than 10 angry tweets, declaring "our nation is a once great nation divided" and "the world is laughing at us." He encouraged a "revolution in this country."
"The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy," fumed the celebrity mogul.
Williams showed some of Trump's tweets on air, saying he had "driven well past the last exit to relevance and veered into something closer to irresponsible."
Trump tweeted a retort on Wednesday saying Williams "knows that I think his newscast has become totally boring so he took a shot at me last night." He added, "Wouldn't you love to have my ratings?"
He also deleted some of Tuesday night's tirade, including tweets calling for revolution and incorrectly saying that Obama had lost the popular vote. In a new tweet Wednesday, he said the election was "the Republicans to win" but that Republican Mitt Romney hadn't connected with voters.
Really folks, you just can't make this stuff up. These are two men who have the eyes and ears of the public. Why, I just can't figure out. We should be scoffing at them and laughing them off the stage or out of their business or cowboy suits. Americans should not tolerate tirades like this and these men should not be given a forum. They should be ignored and reviled instead of being supported by those who think either of them have anything intelligent to say.





14 comments:

  1. "Jones, who had worked at the plant for 14 months, had an extensive criminal history, police noted. In 1994, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for robbery. In 1991, he was sentenced to three years for burglary and robbery. In May, Jones was discharged on parole for auto theft."

    "Police said the handgun used by Jones – a .357 Derringer – is an expensive and rare weapon and they are trying to determine whether it was stolen. The serial numbers on the gun were filed off, Dyer said."

    I'm not exactly sure what you think could have been changed. Mr. Jones is a repeat felon. It appears the weapon he used was stolen. California is ranked number one by the Brady Campaign. It requires background checks on ALL purchases. No "gun show loophole".

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/lawrence-jones_n_2084003.html

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    1. Many gun owners don't lock up their guns. There are mandatory lost and stolen gun laws that penalize people if a gun is stolen and they haven't reported it stolen. California is surrounded by states that have no background check requirements for all gun sales. It's simple. We all know that people can get guns anywhere they want easily with no background checks. Since they know the gun was stolen, they may know the original source as well. In addition, California has a low gun death rate compared to other states. http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/usa/california-firearms-death-rate?order=1

      Guns accessed illegally don't fall from the sky. They start out as legal purchases and get into the illegal market, as has been discussed here ad nauseum. Crime guns are often stolen. From where or whom? A legal gun owner or firearms dealer. Or maybe another illegal gun owner who got it from a legal source originally. Or maybe from someone who bought it through a straw purchase and then was careless. Laws can work to prevent some of this. And legal gun owners can lock up their guns so they don't get stolen. Do you do that? You could prevent a crime.

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    2. They do rank 34th in the nation for rate of gun deaths. However there are a fair number of states which rank below California which are either shall issue states like Minnesota, or no permit needed like Vermont. This would lead me to believe that strict gun laws dont necessarily equate to low gun deaths. So there must be other factors involved.
      California also ranks 17th in the nation for rate of violent offenses. Vermont, which doesnt require any permit to carry ranks 50th.
      http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/usa/california-violent-crime-offenses

      "Guns accessed illegally don't fall from the sky. They start out as legal purchases and get into the illegal market, as has been discussed here ad nauseum."
      When you repeatedly make this comment you seem to infer that whenever someone who shouldnt have a gun manages to get hold of one, it becomes the legal gun owner's fault.

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    3. No Mark. It's the fault of a system that allows for access to guns to people who shouldn't have them, however they get them. Our country is among the worst when it comes to that and clearly our country's rate of gun deaths shows the results. If you look at states that have strict gun laws and still have a fair number of gun deaths, you can also look at states like California where there are major cities with high density populations where crime rates are higher in general. And you can also look to the pipeline that brings guns into these states from other surrounding states where gun laws are looser. There is a connection and it has been shown over and over again but you guys are in denial. Gun laws work. If we had more of them and better laws, we would see a difference. If gun laws didn't work, why do all other civilized countries with strict gun laws have such low rates of gun deaths?

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    4. Sounds again like your kind is going to push for bans. Tread carefully, we will resist and youll have.a gop uprising in thehouse and Senate a la 1994

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    5. Yup. I am lining up people right now who will be coming around to communities all over the country to grab your guns. Get ready!!!!! Good grief. Get a life.

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    6. "President Obama was hung in effigy from a prominent sign near the biggest shopping mall in the area", Japete, this is called political speech, just like all the campaign commercials. And it's protected by the first amendment. Did you comment on how shameful it was to hang Sarah Palin in effigy back in 2008?
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/10/27/us-usa-politics-palin-effigy-idUSTRE49Q79N20081027

      Part of having free speech is that even speech you dont like is protected. There are extremists on both sides, both liberal and conservative. Which one is worse? Do you think there might have been some extreme political speech and some lawbreaking during the Occupy Protests?
      Yep, some of those people speaking out against the President likely own firearms and ammo. But until they break the law, they are excercising their rights. Both sides used fear of the other party during the campaign.
      The election is now over and the people have spoken. And now I'm going to sit back and see what happens. You claim that your side has no wish to take anyone's guns. Then there wont be a problem.

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    7. Hanging anyone in effigy is disgusting and promotes the idea of hatred and violence. Hate talk is free speech but it sometimes leads to violence. A prime example is none other than the gun rights extremist Mike Vanderbough who encouraged people to throw rocks through the windows of Democratic candidate's offices. And that is what people did. One of them was Congresswoman Gabby Giffords office. We all know what happened subsequently. There are no excuses for hate speech and hanging people in effigy. I abhor it no matter who does it. I hope you do, too.

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    8. As was reported by the media, the person at the very least is guilty of tresspassing or disorderly conduct which is what happens when you excercise free speech on someone elses property without permission.
      As for Jared Loughner, the man who shot Congresswoman Giffords, he is apparently described as left wing and very liberal by people who knew him. Though in his case I'd prefer the term "bug nuts".
      I prefer reasoned discourse such as I attempt here. Name calling and classifying groups with names and perjorative terms tends to interfere with that.

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    9. Where did you get your "facts" about Jared Loughner? They are not true.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20028120-503544.html

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    10. It was mentioned on the Wiki site, but it gave a source, so I went there to find out.

      “As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy,” the former classmate, Caitie Parker, wrote in a series of Twitter feeds Saturday. “I haven’t seen him since ’07 though. He became very reclusive.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/us/politics/09shooter.html?pagewanted=all

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    11. Ah, well then, that's certainly a "fact". Really Mark. Did you read the rest of that article? He was neither. He was an Independent, according to the link I provided. And he was very mentally ill. What difference does it make? What's your point? 6 people were killed and 19 were injured. Good night.

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  2. I'm a single parent. My pistol is always locked up if it isnt on my person. California also has mandatory reporting of thefts.

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  3. The gop / tea party uprising of 2010 got their asses handed to them in 2012. That's because they were idiots who believed as you appear to do so Pity Angel.

    Don't tell me to 'tread carefully'. I intend to tread boldly, and more than that passionately and intelligently. What you don't seem to get, despite japete having made it quite clear here in her post, is that you just don't have the political power to do much.

    Try any other kind of 'uprising' than the ballot box, and you'll be on the inside of another kind of box, the kind they put you in when they plant you under six feet of dirt. Insurrection is illegal, period. It puts you in the same category as Tim McVeigh, and other terrorists. Committing treason is nothing to swagger about, and it deserves no respect.

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