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.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What's the matter with America?

It's becoming increasingly evident that what is going on regarding the gun safety, gun reform, gun violence prevention, or whatever the heck we want to call it, is just plain nuts. Nothing makes sense in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. The first thing that doesn't make sense, of course, is the massacre itself. There is no way to make sense of that and the families of the victims will never be able to make sense of it. Secondly, the fact that our country didn't just galvanize and come together to do what every other country would consider to be common sense to prevent another similar shooting is irresponsible and incomprehensible. Third, the gun rights extremists have made this discussion ridiculously difficult and even repugnant and offensive. We should all be ashamed that this is the way we are handling a serious public health and safety problem. Let's just take a look at what the extremists are doing to make sure that reasonable gun laws don't get passed.

Radio talk show hosts at a Minneapolis Fox Radio station have now told the parents of Sandy Hook victims to "go to hell"
I have something I want to say to the victims of Newtown or any other shooting, I don't care if it's here in Minneapolis or any place else. Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn't mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I'm sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don't force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss. I'm sick and tired of seeing these victims trotted out, given rides on Air Force One, hauled into the Senate well, and everyone is ... terrified of these victims. I would stand in front of them and tell them, "Go to hell."
Really, I didn't make that up. Here's a link to the tape of the show. You can hear the offensive remarks for yourself at about 6:23 into the tape. Further, do I need to remind my readers that Tom Emmer, one of the hosts of this program, ran for ( and thankfully lost) Governor of Minnesota and was once a Minnesota lawmaker? What is the matter with America when people like this actually run for and often win elections? It's a serious question that deserves a serious answer.

Speaking of offensive, NRA Board member Ted Nugent is still spewing out hate and vulgarity:
Referring to the perpetrators of some of the most recent mass shootings in this country, Nugent said he would prefer to rely on their family members, friends and even doctors to report their dangerous tendencies, but maintained that it should not be up to the government to make those decisions. But, he admitted, “Every one of those nut jobs should have been in a cage a long time before they committed those heinous acts.”
Ultimately, Nugent concluded, “I just don’t trust the government. I don’t trust the government that claims it’s going to reduce the budget while they increase the budget.” The interview then took an unexpected turn when Nugent asked Burnett if she wants to reduce gun trafficking. When she answered affirmatively, Nugent said, “Then you would support my recommendation that we arrest Eric Holder.”
At that point, Burnett ended the interview, telling Nugent that while “that’s your right in America to have that opinion,” she does not agree with him.
“I love you madly,” Nugent said to Burnett before signing off.
Right, Ted. And speaking of who loves who, the much beloved Wayne LaPierre made the news again. He is an enigma. Who can figure out a guy who really isn't into guns or hunting and yet manages to froth at the mouth and get the NRA minions into a lather over gun confiscation and other such paranoid and false ideas? Whatever. He is becoming more irrelevant with each mass shooting in America. It's getting really hard to come up with slogans and warnings and predictions about the tyranny of the government when little children are massacred in their classrooms. But try he does. Give him credit for that at least.

And what exactly do Wayne LaPierre and the NRA lobbyists have to say about the suicide by gun of a fan of the NRA 500 race in Texas? When you promote shooting and guns and people bring guns to a race car event ( who knows why you need one at such an event?) what could possibly go wrong? Plenty, apparently. Guns are dangerous. They are designed to kill. And kill they do.

And speaking of the NRA,the fact that passage of the compromise, worked out, in part with help of NRA lobbyists, is in doubt should give us all pause. One has to wonder why anyone tries to work out a compromise with NRA lobbyists. There is no such thing for them. In Senator Manchin's ( A rated from the NRA) words:
“We’re asking people to read it,” Mr. Manchin said on CNN. He said that if gun-rights groups like the National Rifle Association will not support the bill, “we just agree to disagree.”
“But there’s things in this piece of legislation that they’ve been working for many, many years to get, and it’s here,” he said.
And speaking of crazy gun notions, I just love this letter to the editor in the Duluth News Tribune today. Passing reasonable gun measures is now "tyranny from within"? This is the veritable pot calling the kettle black. And this is the myth the NRA lobbyists and leaders have promoted. Shame on them.

It's a myth that the NRA lobbyists will make a deal on ANY common sense gun bill. It's a myth that the NRA has the power to take down a lawmaker because they just aren't doing it. And when Senator Manchin says he will just have to disagree with the NRA, something is changing in America. And speaking of myths, the myths about common sense gun measures keep coming in spite of proof otherwise. This article from Media Matters spells out the myths and dispels them quite nicely. The NRA itself is becoming a myth. Why do our lawmakers continue listening to them?

But some are going out of their way to appease the mythically powerful and increasingly strident NRA lobbyists. Take Senator Marco Rubio, for example. Rubio doesn't really want conceal and carry permit holders to get adequate background checks. This is just plain irresponsible thinking and crazy talk. All to get an endorsement from the NRA in case he runs for President. Cynical and insensitive to the actual problem with our weak gun laws. From the article:
"Are we going to start prosecuting people that are trying to buy guns and fail a background check? Because they are not prosecuting those right now," Rubio said. "Are we going to honor conceal-carry permits from across state lines? Because someone who has a conceal-carry permit has been background checked. That's why they have one. Are we going to honor those in a gun show in other parts of the country? I think that should be part of the bill."
The point of the background check compromise negotiated by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is to require background checks for guns purchased online and at gun shows. Background checks are currently not required for such sales.
Sigh. Did Rubio think he could get away with this illogical thinking? That's what he gets for listening to the NRA lobbyists. It's definitely time for a change. After 12/14, it's time for action. Enough of this fiddling around the edges and weakening the background check bill after listening to the NRA. Enough of this nonsense and crazy talk. We might as well just do the right thing and pass a universal background check. That's what the majority of the public and even of NRA members and gun owners want. Let's get to work.


I should have known it was too soon to post this one. From the sublime to the ridiculous, there was a rally in New Hampshire yesterday to protest the lawmakers who voted to repeal the state's Stand Your Ground law. Read the insurrectionist rhetoric for yourself.  But here's the worst of it:
State Rep. Daniel Itse, R-Fremont, urged those in attendance to sign the petitions for redress of grievance against those who voted for the repeal bill, which is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Itse said the measure - which he labeled "Run and Hide" - is unconstitutional. "Therefore, we, the Legislature, have no legitimate power to require you to surrender your right of self-defense."
Organizers said the event, which happened to fall on the birthdate of Thomas Jefferson, was not a "gun rally."
But that didn't stop 11-year-old Hunter Cogswell of Concord from bringing an AR-15 and a big white flag with black lettering: "Come and Take It."
The boy said he was there to "stand up for gun rights."
"I believe in gun rights. It's our constitutional right," he said, adding the gun was real but "not loaded."
Emcee Jeff Chidester, a local radio talk show host, jokingly welcomed "all you racist, hateful tea-baggers to this event."
Itse read a litany of instances in which lawmakers, judges and the governor would violate their oaths of office, from improper taxes to misapplied court rulings. But officials who have done so remain in office, he said, "because the Legislature lacks the collective will to impeach them."
Itse said the state and federal Constitutions also hold the people accountable. "We're not the government," the seven-term lawmaker told the crowd. "You are. We're the administrators. We're the hirelings.
"You have a duty to know your constitutions. You have a duty to make sure that your candidates know the constitutions. You have a duty to make sure that the members of government obey the constitutions."
Yellow "Don't Tread on Me" flags were nearly as plentiful as the Stars and Stripes at Saturday's rally.
You just can't make this stuff up.


  1. The problem is that there is an archaic and obscure part of the US Constitution called the Second Amendment, which is so prone to being misunderstood that politicians have twisted its meaning and obscured its history to the detriment of the US Public.

    Unfortunately, few are willing to call people when people misuse or misunderstand this Section of the Constitution.

    1. Laci, isn't that what the Supreme Court is for? We seem to have managed to define the archaic part called the First Amendment ok so far.

  2. What no one seems to talk about is that constitutions are not sacred documents. They can and should be changed (amended) when they no longer speak to the needs of the country. The right to bear arms is a testament to the 18th and 19th century which is no longer required in the 21st century. It is time for a movement to amend the constitution to strike out the 2nd amendment. Until that is done the debate will continue to be hijacked to talk about the rights of gun owners instead of the right for of all tolife, liberty and the pursuit of government.