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.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Armed idiots

Some days, you just can't make up the stupid and dangerous gun incidents that happen in America. Guns are dangerous. Guns don't belong everywhere we go in our daily lives, and most particularly where we go to enjoy family activities. I grew up loving the Mickey Mouse Club on T.V. It was fun, innocent and non-violent. So when I read an article about a man claiming that he didn't know he shouldn't bring his loaded gun to DisneyWorld, it caught my attention. From the article:
"A Walt Disney World park guest found a loaded gun in the seat of a ride at the Animal Kingdom that had fallen out of a man's back pocket on Sunday.
A grandmother handed a Cobra .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol about noon to a park attendant, who immediately contacted security and the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
A young boy said, "My grandma found it in her seat," the report stated.
The owner, Angelo Lista, 44, of Royal Palm Beach claimed the firearm — which had five hollow point bullets inside — fell out of his back pocket during the bumpy Dinosaur ride, according to a Sheriff's Office incident report.
Deputies unloaded and confiscated the weapon.
Lista has a valid Florida concealed weapons permit and told authorities he did not know he was supposed to tell Disney security because there are no signs posted about firearms.
According to the report, Lista thought the security bag checks were for explosives not guns. He said he was not aware guests were not allowed to bring guns inside the parks.
However, Disney spokeswoman Kathleen Prihoda said their policy clearly states no guns or weapons of any kind are permitted on their property. The prohibition is posted on their website.
A Disney official said they cannot recall any other similar incidents with guns in recent years, calling the episode "rare" because its common knowledge the parks don't permit them.
Deputies said Lista was apologetic and tried to retrieve the gun the moment he realized it was no longer in his possession after the ride.
Disney asked Lista to leave for the day but did not trespass him.
Lista complied and deputies escorted him to his vehicle, the report said."
Truth is stranger than fiction. What's so scary about Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck? What's so scary about the Animal Kingdom at Disney World unless you are afraid of the animals? Why would you bring a loaded gun to Disney World, of all places? Mr. Lista was lucky that his foolish mistake didn't result in someone getting hurt.

Other scary things going on in gun world? How about this one? The armed rebellion against the federal government set to happen on the Fourth of July in Washington DC has been cancelled. We should all be relieved until reading about what will take its' place. That fine, upstanding citizen, Adam Kokesh has now decided that it's a better idea for people to organize armed events at their state capitols on the Fourth to try to dismantle the federal government a little a time. I'm not making this up. I would call it "Mickey Mouse" if it weren't so dangerous and stupid. From the Media Matters article:
Adam Kokesh is cancelling his planned July 4 armed march on Washington, D.C., and instead calling for a march on all 50 state capitols with the goal of overthrowing the federal government.
Kokesh, a former host for Russian state-sponsored RT television who now hosts an internet radio show, told conspiracy theorist radio host Pete Santilli that it was time to "escalate our tactics" before cancelling the Washington march and urging supporters to march on their state capitol instead.
On May 28, Santilli, a promoter of conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks who recently drew scrutiny from the Secret Service over vicious comments made about Hillary Clinton, aired an interview where Kokesh read from a press release and provided other details about the expansion of his plans.
Previously, Kokesh launched a Facebook page to organize his armed march on Washington, an event he hoped would draw at least 1,000 attendees. The page currently lists more than 5,000 attendees. 
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Kokesh detailed how he and others planned to march across the Memorial Bridge -- which separates Washington from Virginia -- while openly carrying firearms in violation of District of Columbia law. Kokesh told Buzzfeed that the event would be non-violent and said, "We're not going to resist government by force in any way." The Facebook description of the event stated, "This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent." District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier stated that those who bring weapons illegally into Washington would face arrest. 
In the press release, Kokesh called for "A new American revolution" where "the American Revolutionary Army will march on each state capital to demand that the governors of these 50 states immediately initiate the process of an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession and reclamation of federally held property." Kokesh also gave the federal government a one-year deadline to comply with his demands before possibly taking violent action, writing, "Should one whole year from this July 4th pass while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible."
Describing the change in plans, Kokesh told listeners who planned to openly carry firearms into the nation's capital in defiance of local firearms laws to not come to Washington, D.C., but to instead organize armed marches or other events at state capitols nationwide. He also explained to Santilli that such an "orderly peaceful dissolution" would be a way to avoid a "chaotic collapse" of government and that it is the "last chance to do it the easy way." After Santilli suggested that "we can't wait for a couple of more elections in order to purge the system," Kokesh chastised him for giving credence to the notion that "elections can have a positive impact," adding, "that's clearly not the case anymore."
Actually, the exchange between Kokesh and radio host Pete Santilli is so inane that I think you should listen to it (from the linked article above):

Seriously. These folks are for real and they are truly scary. Let's just watch and see what happens on the Fourth of July. Can we check on the definition of treason, just in case? This one stands out- "...  is any attempt to overthrow the government or impair the well-being of a state to which one owes allegiance". I'm just saying....  But I digressI have written in the past about gun incidents on that national holiday. They often involve shooting guns into the air and bullets landing in people's heads, leaving them with serious and sometimes life long injuries. Let's hope for a safe Fourth of July holiday all the way around. I suggest that you keep your eyes and ears open for armed insurrectionists and ordinary citizens who are careless with their guns on that day.

And then there are the recent letters containing the poison ricin, received in the offices of Mayors Against Illegal Guns in Washington DC and New York:
The first letter was opened at a New York City mail center in Lower Manhattan on Friday, the police said. Although staff members at the mail center do not appear to have become ill, several police officers who came into contact with the letter’s contents “indicated some mild symptoms the next day, including diarrhea,” and they are being treated in hospitals, the New York Police Department’s spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said on Wednesday afternoon. “They’re being checked out as a precaution.”
The second letter, which was opened on Sunday in Washington, was addressed to Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group Mr. Bloomberg helps run and finances, officials said. Mr. Glaze opened the letter, an official said. No injuries were reported, Mr. Browne said.
Both letters were identical in content, bore references to the debate over gun regulation and contained written threats to Mayor Bloomberg, Mr. Browne said. “It’s threatening, and it’s very clearly about one issue,” one official said of the letters.
Both letters had a Louisiana postmark, said one official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing. Earlier, Mr. Browne said that “something about the way it was addressed” raised suspicion about the letter sent to New York.
So now, if someone is in favor of strengthening gun laws, they have to be afraid of threats from gun rights extremists? Is this O.K. with us? If conspiracy theorists decide to dismantle the federal government with armed thugs, is this O.K.with us? I would say this does not speak well for the gun rights advocates. Raise your hand if you can explain this lunacy. Common sense tells us that there is something gone terribly wrong with our country's gun culture. But the NRA and other gun rights organizations continue with their hyperbolic ads, letters, e-mails, T.V. appearances and robo calls ramping up the fear and paranoia. Just watch this video if you don't believe me:

Mr. Gottlieb says all we need to know about the gun rights extremists' view of the world. These things can lead to dangerous actions by some who take them seriously enough to act on their paranoia. A friend of mine ( gun owner and hunter) just got one of the calls from a gun rights organization and had to explain the idiocy of the false assertions to the person on the phone, at which point she hung up on him. Enough is enough. It's time to stop this insane and dangerous behavior and do something to prevent and reduce the daily carnage caused by bullets. We are better than this.


It turns out the gun rights extremist who sent the 2 letters mentioned above has also sent one to President Obama. We also are learning more about the wording in the letters. From this recent article:
President Obama was the intended recipient of a letter suspected of containing the poison ricin, following similar letters sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, law enforcement officials told ABC News.
The letter was intercepted at a White House sorting facility and never reached the President. It has been taken to a lab for further testing, the officials said.
NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelley told reporters today he believes that letter is identical to a pair of letters recently sent to Bloomberg that were suspected of containing ricin, as revealed by police Wednesday. Earlier today, the Secret Service confirmed the apparent link between the letters.
According to Kelley, all three letters contained the message, in part, "If you come for my guns, I'll shoot you in the face."
Kelley also revealed that another letter with a suspicious substance was sent to a Environmental Protection Agency office in New York but officials have not determined what the substance is.
Late Wednesday, NYPD spokesperson Paul Browne said a pair of letters had been sent to offices connected to Mayor Bloomberg in New York and in Washington, D.C. Neither of the letters reached the mayor.
Before Kelley's comments, a law enforcement source told ABC News the letters also said the author "constitutional and God-given right and I will exercise that right 'til I die."
The letters – with identical text -- were printed from a computer and are postmarked May 20 from Shreveport, La.
Early this morning, Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover said his city is working with the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force to "apprehend those responsible for mailing ricin-laced letters to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg." (...) 
Another article mentions that more violence should be expected:
The text of that mailing was identical to the letters sent to the mayor and his gun group, which threatened: "what's in this letter is nothing compared to what I've got planned for you," police and law enforcement sources said. 
This is serious stuff and should not be taken lightly. It is meant to intimidate anyone who dares to challenge what some gun rights extremists think are "God given gun rights." Mayor Bloomberg is not going to let this stop his efforts to keep the country safe from senseless gun violence. From the article:
Bloomberg is the founder of the anti-gun group and has emerged as one of the country's most potent gun-control advocates, able to press his case with both his public position and his private money.
On Wednesday, the mayor said he didn't know what pushed whoever sent the ricin-laced letters to do so, but that his anti-gun efforts would not be deterred, despite the threats in the letter addressed to him.
"There's 12,000 people that are going to get killed this year with guns and 19,000 that are going to commit suicide with guns, and we're not going to walk away from those efforts," said Bloomberg, adding that he didn't "feel threatened."


  1. The first report I saw of the dry-ice bomb incident in DisneyLAND, Anaheim, indicated the alleged bomber, a vendor employee, was armed when arrested, but subsequent reports don't contain that detail and neither does the Press release from the Anaheim law enforcement.

    Which makes me wonder what the respective Disney operations policies are on employee carry, guest carry, and did the Anaheim Disney operation use any pressure to remove that detail, as they have been reputed in the past to exert strong political influence in that municipality.

    Time indeed to stop the not-so-responsible, not-so-law abiding people from the totally unnecessary and dangerous ownership and carry to a more restricted group of people, with much stronger restrictions on what they own - no assault weapons, no large capacity magazines, no silencers - and where and how they store and use it. And require liability insurance.

  2. Great blog! I cannot for the life of me understand their thinking...and I use the term "thinking" loosely. Extreme gun rights activists/NRA lovers scare me more than foreign/domestic terrorists who want to blow up this country.
    Their rhetoric will come to a halt when we common sense Americans win the battle over guns.

  3. I don't understand how a gun got into the park in the first place.

    1) The verbiage on the website says carrying guns is against policy.
    2) There is presumably a sign posted at the entrance saying the same thing.
    3) At least some cursory searches are performed at the entrance to the park.
    4) There are rent a cops visible at Disney.

    It seems impossible to many that a weapon could make it past so many security precautions. I mean, most places just rely on a tiny sign but Disney at least has some searches and uniformed security! That's like Fort Knox compared to your typical gun free zone. I wonder how hard someone with actual evil murderous intent would find it to carry a gun, knife, or other weapon into a place with a sternly worded sign posted by the door.

    1. I think you missed some points Chris. Was that accidental or on purpose?