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.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Things don't add up

It just doesn't add up that law abiding citizens with guns will never do anything wrong with them. It never has and it never will. That is because our laws are loose enough that just about anyone can get a gun in this country. And with so many guns around and so many "law abiding" citizens with loaded guns in public, it is inevitable that something will go wrong. Actually many things go wrong. So many that I have trouble keeping up with them on a daily basis. So do the other bloggers with whom I communicate. For instance, there are so many incidents of kids getting shot or shooting someone or bringing guns to school, etc. that the Kid Shootings bloggers don't have time to keep up with the posts. Many of these are accidental shootings when a child finds the gun of a family member ( mostly law abiding, by the way)  easily accessible and loaded. The posts on this blog add up to a lot of children being affected by gun violence. That should be enough for anyone to take action.

And as if that isn't enough, the Ohh Shoot blog is constantly busy reporting on accidental shootings. Many of these are just plain stupid and dangerous. Here is just one which turned out very badly:
19-year-old Genaro Mendoza, of West Salem, Oregon, broke into a house in Independence, Oregon. He took several items, left the house and hide them, then left the scene. He returned later with a stolen truck, retrieved the hidden items and went back into the house in order to steal an AR-15 assault rifle and a shotgun. He put the guns with their butts on the floorboard and their barrels pointed upward, toward the driver's seat.
While driving away on the bumpy farm road, the shotgun apparently fell against the AR-15, discharging the rifle and firing one shot that struck Mendoza and exited through the roof.
Police arrived to find Mendoza dead inside the truck.
Hmmm. Not good. This guy was not a "law abiding" person but I have no idea whether he was actually law abiding before this incident and then suddenly wasn't. From another article about the incident:
However, Sheriff Bob Wolfe said police are still investigating the incident to make sure no other parties were involved in the burglary. He added that it seemed clear that Mendoza’s death was accidental and the result of failing to safely store the weapons he stole.
Of course it's generally a good idea to store your weapons safely so they don't get stolen in the first place. But then, if you steal a gun, according to the article, you should also safely store it. Really? We have a ways to go in this country if this is the advice given to burglars. But I digress. More than enough of the incidents on this blog are tragic. And it shows that the NRA lobbyists are not right when they say the "only thing that will take care of a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Which good guys are they talking about? Guns are dangerous and designed to kill. And kill they do. And injure. They are the cause of way too much suffering, devastation and grief.

Some things just don't add up.  How about at Walmart stores where enough trouble has been caused by guns that you'd think the managers would sit up and take notice? But they are probably too busy selling guns and making profits to notice all the shooting incidents in and around their stores. Here's the latest one from the Walmartshootings blog:
Mary Frances Alday, 61, was in a Walmart in Crawfordville, Florida, when her $1-off coupon was rejected.  She became angry and hit a manager with a shopping cart, and was subsequently escorted out.  But she made threats, and once at her car she pulled out a loaded Smith & Wesson .38 Special and pointed it at employees, threatening to shoot them.
Alday was then pulled over by the police, but refused to hand over her weapon, until she was tased and dragged from her car.
Alday is a legal conceal carry permit holder.
Really folks. You just can't make this stuff up.

But it does seem that some of the stuff that comes from NRA lobbyists and their minions is actually made up. Take, for example, the idea that gun permit training classes in Texas should be shortened because there are now so many people applying for permits to carry loaded guns in public that they just can't keep up with the demand for classes. Bad idea. I'm so glad that Stephen Colbert thought so, too, and did this segment about the hypocrisy and lunacy of it all:

So much for public safety and "law abiding" gun owners being safe with their guns. The thing is, guns are dangerous. People who own them and carry them have an awesome responsibility to be safe with them. Way too often they are not. That is what this is all about. The bottom line is common sense about guns and gun policy. What we see in these blogs and in the video of the Stephen Colbert segment is gun owners going awry. We have a problem with gun laws that are not strong enough to keep people who shouldn't have guns from getting them anyway. We also have a problem with laws that assume that people who own and carry guns will be responsible with their guns. That is part of a gun culture that the American public is learning more about after the Sandy Hook school shooting. It all adds up to over 80 Americans a day dying from gunshot wounds from homicides, suicides and accidents. That'a a big number- too big. On 12/14, the total was 26 lives lost. That was 26 too many. Both our laws and our culture need examining with an eye on how to make our communities safer. Lives depend on our getting this right. So far we have failed. More guns and more people carrying them in more public places has clearly not made us safer. This is what needs to change and change soon. We just can't wait for more stupid, dangerous and tragic shootings to happen before we act. It's time to demand a plan from our leaders. We just have to be better than this.


It was inevitable that an armed guard at a school would accidentally discharge a weapon. It happened in New York. From the article:
A school district has put its resource officer program on hold after an officer's gun accidentally discharged Tuesday in a high school here.
Highland Central School District's superintendent, Deborah Haab, told parents, staff and community members at a school board meeting Tuesday night that the program, begun after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that left 20 students and six adults dead in December, would be suspended while an investigation is conducted. (...) 
Police Officer Sean McCutcheon for the town of Lloyd, N.Y., accidentally fired his gun at 1:38 p.m. Tuesday in Highland High School's hallway, the district said. No one was injured, and no students or staff were nearby when the gun went off.
John Nelson, whose daughter is a sophomore at the high school about 65 miles north of New York City, asked Haab on Tuesday night what a loaded gun was doing at school.
"I'm just shocked," Nelson said before the meeting. "I don't understand how a gun could just go off."
Mark Wallen, 43, whose son is a senior at the high school, questioned the value of having armed guards in the schools. He called the choice to have an armed officer in schools a "knee-jerk reaction."
"What if a kid had been killed? We got lucky this time and that's purely what it is," Wallen said.
However, John Gorden, a parent of three in the district, said the community still must depend on police to maintain safety.
"An accident like this isn't going to change my feelings on who a police officer is or what he does," said Gorden of Clintondale, N.Y.
The thing is, guns do discharge frequently enough to be concerned that it will happen when you or a loved one happens to be close to someone who has a loaded gun in public. Where is common sense?

1 comment:

  1. And today, the NRA's David Keene said "It's going to be a very rough and very ugly battle, as many of you have already seen... Fortunately, our enemy doesn't have any guns and they don't know how to use them."

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/nra-david-keene-gun-control-2013-2#ixzz2MnLNnAJ1

    Unfortunately, the pro-gun advocates ARE armed and DO know how to use them, and sadly often do -- wrongly, just like the one at Walmart. And there are simply too many threats of violence from these "law abiding" gun owners, like the ones who have leveled so many threats at an Oregon legislator that she had to postpone a town hall meeting: