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.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

2012 was a year filled with mass shootings and other high profile shootings. It was the year that the NRA's mythology was exposed. It was the year of the most brutal and horrific school shooting in our history. It was not a good year for victims of shootings. It's time to move on to a common sense approach to our nation's huge public health and safety problem. Public awareness is sharp and support for reasonable gun laws is growing. Many politicians are showing support, at long last, for reasonable measures to stop the carnage. The President wants changes to gun laws early in 2013. He spent time with the families of the Sandy Hook elementary school and felt their pain. He said it was the worst day of his Presidency. It's way past time for changes to our gun laws. We have let mass shooting after mass shooting after mass shooting happen before our very eyes and done nothing. We have seen domestic shooting after domestic shooting after domestic shooting happen and done nothing. We have watched way too many children die and done nothing. We have let the NRA make gun policy in America for way too many years. We have let the NRA stop reasonable gun restrictions for way too many years. The shootings of 2012 changed that. There is finally hope that something will be done. It's way too late for too many families of too many victims. I say let's sing Auld Lang Syne and hope for, no demand, a more peaceful 2013.

Here is just a brief list of the shootings from 2012. There are many many more. 32 Americans a day die, on average, in gun homicides. 80 a day die in total from gun homicides, suicides and accidental shootings. So here are a few of the headlines from just some of the 2012 shootings. Remember the victims.

  • Jan. 5, 2012 - “6 Police Officers Shot in Ogden Utah, 1 Dead, 5 Injured”; Shooter, a former military member with possible PTSD used a semi-automatic pistol in the shooting
  • Feb. 17, 2012-“Deadly Multiple-Agent Shooting at Long Beach Federal Building”; 2 Immigration officers fired at each other, leaving one dead, one injured
  • Feb. 21, 2012- “5 killed in possible murder-suicide at Georgia health spa”
  • Feb. 27, 2012- “17 year old Trayvon Martin shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman” 
  • March 14, 2012- “3-year-old boy fatally shoots himself in car while family stops for gas”; gun left in car belonged to police officer father of the toddler
  • March 14, 2012- “Gunman kills 1, injures 3 outside Texas courthouse”
  • April 7, 2012- “Man charged with capital murder in officer's shooting death”; shooter, 24, had been drinking and said, “he intentionally shot the officer because he was trying to stop him from fleeing, according to court documents released late Friday.” Gun used was semi-automatic pistol.
  • May 31, 2012- “Seattle Cafe Shooter Kills 5, and Himself After Citywide Manhunt”; shooter, Ian Stawicki, was called “disgruntled” and a legal handgun permit holder
  • May 31, 2012- “Gun Discharges, 9-Year-Old Girl Killed”; Texas father of girl “forgot” he had a loaded gun in camping bag; gun discharged as family getting ready for camping trip
  • June 1, 2012- “Milwaukee man, 75, charged with killing teenage neighbor”; shooter suspected that teen had stolen his guns
  • June 21, 2012- “ 5-Year-Old Boy Shot, Killed In North Minneapolis”; boy killed when bullet came through house while he was sleeping
  • July 20, 2012- “12 shot dead, 58 wounded in Aurora movie theater during Batman premier”; shooter was student at U. of Colorado, thought to have mental illness; he ordered thousands of rounds of “drum” high capacity magazines, on-line; gun used was Bushmaster AR 15 semi-automatic assault rifle
  • July 26, 2012- “Florida man kills door-to-door salesman: I’ll kill anybody that steps on my property”;  shooter was gun permit holder
  • August 5, 2012- “7 Dead at Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis.; Officials Believe 'White Supremacist' Behind 'Domestic Terrorism’”; shooter used semi-automatic handgun 
  • August 14, 2012- “3 killed in shootings near Texas A&M University” 
  • August 16, 2012- “Louisiana 'ambush' kills 2 deputies, wounds 2”
  • September 12, 2012- “Child killed in accidental shooting was son of police officer”; Utah child finds father’s gun
  • September 26, 2012- “Minneapolis Shooting: Five Dead Including Gunman At Accent Signage Systems”; one more died later; shooter used .9 millimeter Glock handgun
  • September 27, 2012- “Masked Teenage Intruder Unknowingly Shot To Death By Father In New Fairfield”( Connecticut)
  • October 21, 2012-“ Four dead in Wisconsin salon shooting, including gunman”; 4 more injured; he was a prohibited purchaser because of domestic violence charge but bought his gun on-line anyway from Armslist.com
  • October 26, 2012- “Gunman shoots, kills frantic wife in Cottage Grove parking lot ambush”; shooter, gun permit holder, used semi-automatic pistol and then shot himself later- history of domestic violence; 
  • November 23, 2012- “Minnesota Man Arrested for Killing Two Teens During Alleged Burglary”
  • November 28, 2012- “Florida man shoots and kills 17-year-old teen after argument over loud music at gas station”; shooter was law abiding gun permit holder
  • November 30, 2012- “Tom Decker Dead: Cold Spring, Minnesota Police Officer Dies In Ambush Killing”
  • December 1, 2012- “Jovan Belcher Commits Suicide At Chiefs' Facility After Fatally Shooting Girlfriend” 
  • December 5, 2012- “Mpls Toddler Shot, Killed by 4-Year-Old Brother”
  • December 14, 2012- “School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. 28 dead, 20 of them children” 
  • December 21, 2012- "3 killed, including suspect, in suburban Portland, Ore., mall shooting"
  • December 24, 2012- “2 N.Y. firefighters killed in ambush” 
  • December 29, 2012- " Grand Rapids (MN) shooting victim dies; vigil tonight."- a domestic shooting on December 22 resulted in 2 people shot
We are better than this. Peace on earth, good will to all. I wish my readers a Happy New Year. I know that too many will not have a good new year. The parents of the 20 children who were brutally massacred on Dec. 14th will have many bad years ahead of them. Their children's futures are no longer. Their grief will never end but just abate slowly in years to come. For them, 2012 was an annus horribilis.

My wish for the new year? That Congress will at long last come to its' collective and common sense and do the right thing in the name of the victims; that legislatures all over the country will turn away the crazy and dangerous ideas of the extreme NRA lobbyists and pass reasonable gun laws. And let us be a kinder, gentler nation and give a hand to those in need, to those in grief, to those with whom we can compromise, to those who would do others harm....

Remember the victims.

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