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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Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?"

I just love this article found on CNN titled: "Give Gun Owners What They Want." The article gets to the truth of the matter about gun policy and the resistance to any common sense measures that might actually fit with what gun owners and even many NRA members say they want. From the article:
"The NRA portrays itself as an organization that speaks for and advocates for gun owners. The reality is that they speak for gun owners with the most extreme views and for the gun industry. A case in point is their opposition to requiring background checks for all firearm sales.
Under federal law and most states' law, only individuals who attempt to purchase firearms from licensed gun dealers must present a government-issued ID, sign a form stating that they do not fit any of the firearm prohibition categories and pass a criminal background check. But criminals and gun traffickers are given an easy alternative. They can simply purchase firearms from private sellers who do not require any of these checks.
Closing this absurd loophole would not be political suicide for politicians who fear losing the support of gun owners. A recent survey found that more than 80% of gun owners and 74% of NRA members want this loophole fixed. It seems likely that Giffords and Kelly, both gun owners, would be among this large majority favoring this reform.
Gun owners don't want dangerous people to have guns. So it seems doubtful that most gun owners think gun dealers should continue to be offered the special protections that Congress has bestowed on them, which reduce accountability and make it easier for criminals to get guns. When states require background checks for all handgun sales and have strong regulation and oversight of licensed gun dealers, far fewer guns are diverted to criminals."
So what do the gun rights extremists really want? They don't like criminals with guns because they are always saying that is why they need their own guns. Let's see now- maybe they DO actually want criminals to continue to easily get their guns because if we actually prevented ways for them to have their guns, why would the average citizen really need a gun for self defense against all of those criminals without guns? Is this nonsensical argument made on purpose or in denial and ignorance? Or do they even get that they want the same things I want but if we do something about it it will hurt their cause? Do they get that they agree with the folks on the side of preventing gun injuries and death? They say they don't want people getting killed with guns. But then they resist all attempts to do something about it. Why? Follow the money. The gun industry is a big industry. Would it actually suffer if we stopped criminals from getting guns? I'm not sure how since federally licensed firearms dealers actually keep those with felonies, adjudicated mentally ill people, domestic abusers and other prohibited purchasers from buying guns by requiring a background check. This doesn't make sense.

Gun rights extremists don't believe me when I tell them that NRA resistance to reasonable gun laws is responsible for some of the daily carnage on our streets. Some of my readers here who make regular comments are always itchin' for a fight with me just because. They love the fight. They love to be against anything I and others like me are for. It's oppositional. But it's more than that. It's some unreasonable fear that if they agree with me something terrible will happen. Like, for instance, someone is going to come around to their houses and seize their precious guns. What a ridiculous and unfounded belief. But believe it they do. Denial, paranoia and hysteria reign. If you read my recent posts you will see references to an increase in gun sales after President Obama was re-elected. You will see references to militia and home grown terror groups fearful of tyranny and ready to commit acts of terror and treason to fight against their own country. There are some amongst us who hate their own government. They have stock piles of weapons. Where do they get them? Do they buy them all from FFLS or do they get them in the unregulated market of private sellers where anyone can get any kind of gun they want, no questions asked? From the article about licensed dealers, above:
But unlike burgers, gas and groceries, firearms are not a perishable or consumable product. They don’t go away.  A rifle used in the 2009 Holocaust Museum shooting was nearly 100 years old, but was still an effective murder weapon.
According to ATF reports, in 2010 there were 5,459,240 new firearms manufactured in the United States, nearly all (95 percent) for the U.S. market.   An additional 3,252,404 firearms were imported to the United States.
Right now if you don’t have a criminal record and you have not been adjudicated as mentally incompetent, you can buy guns.  In 2010 the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) ran 16,454,951 background checks for firearms purchases.  Only a small number of these purchases (78,211 or 0.48 percent) were denied.
Ah, there's the rub. Guns don't wear out or get consumed. Once you have one or two, you have them for a very long time. So in order to keep these folks in business, new markets need to be created. How to do that? Pass laws that get people to think they need more guns ( small concealable guns) or create fear and paranoia of a government run amok coming for your guns ( assault weapons, machine guns, other such weapons usually used by the military). Some people fall for this and run out to get more guns as a result. But still, why resist common sense gun laws? So who are we protecting by resisting, for example, a law that would require background checks on all gun sales? I haven't heard a good answer to that question from the NRA and its minions. Why? Because there is no answer that makes sense.

So, I say, let's do give gun owners the very thing they say they themselves agree to and actually want in poll after poll after poll. I am not going to list the polls. I have done so too many times on this blog. The gun guys know what the polls say. They don't like them but they know. If someone actually believes there should be absolutely no gun laws at all, they are living in an alternate universe. But some of the gun guys are that delusional. Just enact the laws already on the books they say. What would those be? Are we not enacting laws in this country? Give me proof. What are they? Give me examples. But it's one of those stupid things that the gun rights extremists say without challenge. Just like, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Or, "if we pass new gun laws the criminals will not pay attention to them anyway." Or, "if we ban guns only the criminals will have guns." Does anyone actually believe that stuff? It doesn't even make sense but they get away with it anyway. Because the NRA is a mythically powerful organization who, like a wolf in sheep's clothing, fools a lot of folks. Underneath it all, there is not much there. If we pull off the costume and the mask, what do we have? We have an organization that is all bluster with nothing much to back it up. Though they lost in the recent election, they will continue to act as if they won. Their supporters need to believe it.

The truth matters. I came across this great video of CNN's Fareed Zakaria speaking about gun laws and America's unique problem with gun deaths and gun ownership. Watch this. He is saying what many many others are saying these days after so many mass shootings in our country:



The gun lobby never has anything to say after one of these mass shootings. Occasionally one of the gun rights extremists wades in by saying that if only someone had had a gun in the Aurora movie theater this tragedy wouldn't have happened or fewer people would have been shot. It's almost fruitless to argue with such a ridiculous claim. Very few people believe this. The chances are slim to none. Are these people dealing with real life? Why do they say these things? I am guessing they don't actually believe them nor would they actually stand up in a darkened theater where a mad man is shooting indiscriminately with his own gun and attempt to stop it. They would run just like everyone else did. Why? Because they are human. In real life, the NRA scenarios just don't work. In real life, the NRA guys would do the same thing the rest of us would do. This wolf in sheep's clothing doesn't have a bite. It only howls. It makes a lot of noise. Close your ears. It's just noise. Don't believe it.

Just in time for this post, here is another article of proof of the paranoia and fear promoted by the NRA and the gun rights extremists. This writer went to an Ohio gun show after the election and found the usual nonsensical but scary stuff:
The hysteria over Obama-geddon isn't just reflected in the booming business being conducted on the floor here. Shares of arms manufacturers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and Sturm Ruger & Co. shot up the day after former Gov. Mitt Romney lost. No surprise to Wall Street analysts who have tracked increased firearm sales since President Barack Obama took office in 2008, according to Bloomberg.
Obama further spooked the gun nuts by mentioning during his second debate with Romney that he might reinstate a lapsed assault-weapon ban.
I target the unlicensed private sellers, the rogue dealers dumping their prized "collections" of garbage guns, profiting from a cash-and-carry, no-questions-asked gun-show loophole dug by the NRA's legislative lapdogs.
They're easy to spot. Shabby, small-time operators who haunt the shadows of the federally licensed dealers. And why not? Most of these guys are nothing more than a front for illegal gun traffickers.
I talk to a tall, skinny guy selling a Kel-Tec Pf-9 9mm semiautomatic pistol. It's popular with the conceal-carry crowd. George Zimmerman reportedly used a Pf-9 to kill Florida teen Trayvon Martin last February.
Hardly a collector's item. The skinny guy agrees.
"I'm selling it for a buddy," he says. "He was gonna get his CCW [permit]. Then he got laid off."
I express interest. "I want to keep it simple," I tell him.
"No background check," he says. "No record of sale. Strictly cash. I do need to see an ID, make sure you're an Ohio resident."
"Forget that," I say and turn away.
"Hey," the guy whines. "Everything's negotiable."
Put that on the headstone of the next kid shot in Cleveland.
Never mind. Folks continue to sell guns with no background checks and make it easy for people who shouldn't have guns to get them. Folks still believe in the hyped up and disgusting stuff being sold at gun shows all over America. And some gun rights extremists still believe in their own ability to deal with mass shooters or all those "wolves" out there lurking by learning military or law enforcement techniques to protect themselves. You may remember that a recent post on my blog dealt with bizarre and inappropriate behavior of, mostly, men. This bizarre story should make one wonder what could possibly be next for the gun folks? In this post we find women behaving badly as well. Why not shoot real guns at each other for fun and target practice? I mean doesn't everyone think that's just a peachy idea? From the article:
Combat Shooting Sports, a Florida gun range, has taken the concept of target practice to a whole new level. Customers can actually engage in simulated combat against other people, shooting real guns at each other.
However, as local affiliate WKMG explains, the customers aren't using live ammunition. Owner Dave Kaplan gives visitors a choice: He can modify your own gun to fire Simunition rounds.
"General dynamics created Simunition decades ago for the military and later law enforcement," Kaplan said in an email to Yahoo! News. "They recently created a civilian range program and we are probably the only facility doing person on person fighting. We are taking firearm training to a level previously held by professionals."
And while most customers are going for fun, Kaplan says a growing percentage of his visitors are women who show up to improve their personal safety skills and knowledge.
"Most women walk out of here very empowered, and that's the key," says Tiffany Chapin, who teaches one of the safety courses targeted towards women.
"We are insured, certified, and [use] proper safety gear from the Simunition corporation is always utilized," Kaplan added. "People are using real firearms modified to preclude the firing of a live/lethal round."
Because you know, you just might get into an actual gun fight in your neighborhood with some gun carrying crazy person. It happens all the time. People are lurking and then you run and hide behind a tree just like on T.V. or in an action movie. And then the other person jumps out and runs to the house down the block. You chase the armed guy with your gun and the two of you start shooting at each other just like on T.V. It happens all the time. You just never know when something like this will happen to you. Actual person to person combat just like in the military is great training for every day life. Right? Good grief. And let's hope there isn't a live round left in one of those guns by mistake. That happens more often than the gun guys want to believe. Aren't we better than this? In real life, it's often the people you know who pull out a gun and shoot you in a totally unprovoked and unexpected way. I know that one from personal experience. Or it's a more rare, but increasingly frequent, mass shooter whose surprise attack leaves everyone vulnerable with no time to react. Person to person fighting? I suggest that those folks who are getting this training will never have a need for it. Whatever. You might run across a big bad wolf down the street one day as you are walking through the woods. Be careful out there:

12 comments:

  1. Here's an answer, background checks on private sales is impossible to enforce. Criminals will still sell each other guns and steal them.

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    1. No Lee. It's very possible. Some states are doing it- at least at gun shows. California requires background checks on all sales. 17 states require background checks on all private sales at gun shows. It can work and does work. Where do you think criminals get their guns? They don't fall out of the sky.

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    2. And two of those states are Illinois and Rhode Island. One is very safe and the other is very violent. Just goes to show that gun control laws don't have an impact. It's about demographics, not access to guns.

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    3. It's actually more than demographics. Illinois has stricter laws than surrounding states making it easy for people to access guns and bring them into Illinois. http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/15635712-418/illinois-and-indiana-big-source-of-guns-used-in-chicago-crimes-police-find.html

      Indiana seems to be a main supplier of crime guns traced to crime in Chicago. Chicago, like other cities with large urban populations, has more crime and more shootings than other cities in their states. Here is another article about Chicago crime guns- http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-27/news/chi-study-suburban-gun-shops-source-of-city-crime-20120826_1_suburban-gun-shops-gun-laws-gun-violence

      And yet, Illinois has among the lowest rate of gun deaths per 100,000 in the country. Overall Illinois fares pretty well compared to some states- http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/10/gun-crime-us-state

      Here's another chart showing that Illinois' gun death rate is lower than many states with looser gun laws- http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/usa/illinois-firearms-death-rate

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    4. There seems to be some disagreement with your data and other reports. Even the Chicago police superintendent has been quoted that the number one source of guns is right in their county.

      “The No. 1 source of those firearms is not Mississippi. It’s not Indiana. It’s not Wisconsin. It’s Cook County,” McCarthy said in the Tribune.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/chicago-crime-numbers-aldermen_n_2017397.html

      Here is a longer term study regarding the source of crime guns in Chicago:

      http://www.suntimes.com/news/crime/14715658-418/chicago-gangs-dont-have-to-go-far-to-buy-guns.html

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    5. One of the reports shows that many of the guns in Chicago are coming from the suburban areas around the city. Some of them would be in Cook County. Here is what the one article also said: " The Tribune reports that McCarthy wants changes to Illinois gun laws that would require gun owners to report when their weapons are lost, stolen or sold.

      “The No. 1 source of those firearms is not Mississippi. It’s not Indiana. It’s not Wisconsin. It’s Cook County,” McCarthy said in the Tribune.

      Recent reports revealed gun pipelines from as far away as Mississippi, though a major supplier in south suburban Riverdale was discovered in late August."

      Did you even read what I wrote? The one report clearly says that a good number of guns come from Indiana and a good number come from the Chicago suburbs. What's your point or did you just feel as if you had to find something wrong with what I wrote even though it agrees with these articles. Have a nice day.

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  2. But why should one states local problems effect me if I live in a very safe state (like OK). You can enact all the gun controls u want and it won't effect crime rates. The recent Hopkins report revels this about the Clinton gun ban. Drugs and the poverty associated with them r he problem, not guns. To effectively utilize resources we should direct our efforts to reducing drug use.

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    1. Nonsense. That's just an excuse not to pass gun laws. You guys claim that all the time. It is not just drug users who are killing people with guns. It's domestic abusers, it's adjudicated mentally ill people, it's people who ake out a gun to kill someone in a moment of anger or depression. Gun laws will make a difference. They do make a difference. We know that from what other countries are doing and in states that have strict gun laws where gun deaths are lower than everywhere else. How exactly would you be affected? Are you a domestic abuser or a felon? If not, there is no reason for you to be against reasonable gun laws.

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  3. Wasn't Fareed Zakaria suspended by CNN as well as Time and forced to resign from the Yale Governing Board for plagiarizing an article about this issue?

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    1. Yes. Here is the article about it- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/fareed-zakaria-plagiarism-new-yorker-time_n_1764954.html

      It was an article written by Jill Lepore of the New Yorker. I have linked to her article in previous posts. It's a great article, by the way.

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  4. "Actual person to person combat just like in the military is great training for every day life. Right? Good grief."

    Out of one side their mouth, the gun controllers/banners ridicule people who go out and get training. Out of the other side of their mouth, they say that only trained people should be allowed to own/carry guns.

    So which is it? Are you for training or against training?

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    1. Obviously you missed the point, Aztec.

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