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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gun guys on steroids revisited

My readers may remember the several posts in which I referred to the right wing political and gun extremist Adam Kokesh who had a pro gun rally scheduled for July 4th in the nation's capitol. He got himself into some trouble when he showed up by himself with a presumably loaded gun at Freedom Plaza in D.C. and then made a video of himself with the gun. This, of course, is illegal. ( You've got to love him going to a plaza named after Martin Luther King). No guns are allowed in public places in Washington D.C. thank goodness. Think of the tourists from all over the world encountering gun loons walking around with loaded guns while they are trying to enjoy the Lincoln Memorial or the Vietnam Memorial. Imagine the diplomats and foreign leaders traveling through the city in their cars exposed to crazy folks with guns whose intentions are sinister at worst or just plain stupid at the least. But never mind. Adam Kokesh and his minions think they know better. Follow the laws already on the books? Not them.

Adam Kokesh has met up with the law and a judge who sees right through his shenanigans and dangerous behavior. He will be spending more time in jail and we will all be better off for it. From the article:
A D.C. Superior Court judge called a Virginia-based gun-rights activist “dangerous” Monday and ordered him to remain in D.C. jail until trial.
Magistrate Judge Frederick Sullivan ordered Adam Kokesh, 31, to remain in jail on charges of carrying a firearm in the District outside of his home or office. Kokesh was charged with allegedly loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza on Independence Day, recording it and downloading the video to Youtube. (...)
A video posted on YouTube that appears to show activist Adam Kokesh loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza.
According to court records, Kokesh posted the 23-second video to YouTube showing him holding a 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun and loading what appeared to be live shells while speaking into the camera. Kokesh is then seen racking the slide of the shotgun. A caption in the video says Kokesh is in Freedom Plaza.
When authorities searched his home in Herndon, they found nine weapons, including a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum handgun, a .22-caliber rifle and a Maverick Arms 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun. Police also found ammunition and marijuana, mushrooms and “other suspected narcotics,” according to documents.
Kokesh allegedly told police at the time of their search: “I’ll help you out, check in the headboard.” That’s where police found the shotgun, according to the documents.
During the hearing, Kokesh, wearing an orange D.C. jail jumpsuit, sat next to his attorney, Peter Cooper, as Cooper tried to argue that there was no proof that the shotgun in the video wasn’t just “a prop” or that the shotgun recovered at his client’s home was the actual shotgun used in the video. Cooper argued that his client was merely “making a political statement.”
Under questioning, the lead detective in the case, Park Police officer Robert Freeman, said the shotgun recovered at Kokesh’s home had four loaded shells, the same number Kokesh is seen loading into the shotgun in the video.
Cooper also argued that his client lived with eight roommates and that there was no evidence that the guns recovered did not belong to one of the roommates.
The judge said he found “probable cause” that Kokesh did violate the District’s gun laws. ”I consider your client a very dangerous man,” Sullivan said. “You don’t make a political statement with a gun.”
The hearing often became contentious as Cooper and Sullivan argued. At one point, one of Kokesh’s friends sitting in the audience was ordered out of the courtroom. The friend, the marshals said, was trying to take a picture or video of Kokesh with his cellphone. Taking pictures in the courtroom is against court policy.
Kokesh’s next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 13.
What I really enjoyed about this article are the ludicrous comments from the gun loons at the end of the article. You just can't make this stuff up. I suggest you take a look to know just who is trying to influence public health and safety laws in America. For starters, look at the video of Kokesh, now in question:

Kokesh joins "Officer" Kessler from Gilberton, PA as poster guys for what the corporate gun lobby has done to our country. The NRA lobbyists, protecting the gun industry, have instilled this ridiculous fear and paranoia in their believers. Common sense should tell us that we should just render these guys irrelevant and not pay much attention to them. But we must pay attention because they are dangerous and they represent a group of folks intent on proving points while using guns. Guns are dangerous. These guys are arrogant and disturbing. Our lawmakers should ignore them if they can. But when threats are made from the "guys with the guns", it's difficult to ignore them. This has to stop. We live in a civilized society where we don't need loaded guns in public and/or gun extremists making political points while carrying guns.

A recent rally at a Starbucks in Sioux Falls, South Dakota shows us how ridiculous the "discussion" about gun rights has become. Folks carrying guns on their shoulders and in holsters thought they would show others how "civilized" they could be. From the article:
Rierson organized a Sioux Falls chapter of South Dakota Open Carry event that saw about 60 people carrying handguns, semi-automatic rifles and a few shotguns, plus a handful of children and a dog, march from near Yankton Trails Park to Starbucks at 418 S. Minnesota Ave. After stopping for coffee, many planned to walk back.
“We’re trying to change the public perception of firearms,” Rierson said.
While there is no pending legislation in South Dakota to prevent people from carrying firearms in public, one of the participants, Dain Hofstee, said he pushed his 1-year-old twin daughters, Alexandra and Alexis, in a stroller while carrying a rifle and a handgun as a pre-emptive gesture.
“A right that isn’t exercised is a right that is lost,” he said.
Right. If they want to change the public perception about firearms, how about if they support common sense gun laws. The public knows full well the damage done by firearms and, as a result, they support doing something about it. Most people don't care to see others with loaded guns marching around in public. Why? People with guns kill other people in public places. Like at shopping malls, at political gatherings at a Tucson shopping center, colleges, in work places, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, apartment buildings, gun ranges, military bases, coffee shops, .... And what is the matter with corporate Starbucks anyway? There have already been 2 accidental gun discharges by law abiding gun carriers in their shops (here and here). What if someone had been seriously injured or killed? I am betting Starbucks would change their policy in a hurry if someone sued them for allowing loaded guns inside. I do love this video from the story about the open carry rally in Sioux Falls:

KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Raise your hand if you agree with the guy who says that he just loves to see families out pushing babies in strollers with loaded assault weapons carried by their parents. Good grief. What kind of communities do these people think they live in anyway? Sioux Falls is not, by most standards, a dangerous city. It's not because of these folks with their loaded guns since defensive gun use is very rare and hardly ever stops crime and/or public shootings. Ironically "law abiding" gun owners shoot off their guns intentionally or accidentally quite often, killing innocent people. The most recent of these was the shooter in Hileah, Florida, a conceal carry permit holder, who got the idea to shoot and kill 6 people with his legal gun. And you can always check out the Ohh Shoot blog for more accidental gun discharges by "law abiding" gun owners. You can read more about the latest concealed carry mass killer here:
Gunmen with concealed carry permits have been responsible for at least 25 mass shootings since 2007, claiming at least 113 victims when last weekend's Hialeah shooting is included, according to data we have compiled at the Violence Policy Center. Most states, including Florida, do not release information on crimes committed by concealed carry killers. However, based largely on news reports, we have found hundreds of examples of deadly incidents that include not only mass shootings, but other murders, unintentional deaths, and suicides.
The NRA touts concealed carry laws as the front line in its false argument that all you need to stop a "bad guy" with a gun is a "good guy" with a gun: an argument as simplistic as it is self-serving. But using a gun for legitimate self-defense purposes is extremely rare. A far more likely scenario is that the "good guy" with the gun becomes the "bad guy," endangering family, friends, coworkers, innocent bystanders, or themselves.
We are better than this. It's time for a change to this ridiculous gun culture gone wrong. As folks like Kokesh and Kessler make public headlines, the public is getting a good view of just who these gun extremists are and just who the NRA is representing ( or vice verse). As more concealed carry permit holders exercise their "rights" by killing innocent people and gun rights advocates like George Zimmerman and others like him "stand their ground", the public is getting a good look at this minority of Americans. It is not a pretty picture. It is an ugly underbelly of American life that, when exposed to public scrutiny, just doesn't hold up.


  1. "But using a gun for legitimate self-defense purposes is extremely rare."

    This statement has recently been shown to be incorrect. The CDC recently released a study ordered by President Obama that has disputed the belief that guns are rarely used for self defense. I would invite you to read the report.

    “Defensive uses of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

    1. The CDC has not even begun their report or their study yet. They have gotten some information from the organization to which you linked. From the article( http://www.polygon.com/2013/7/12/4517338/cdc-closer-to-kicking-off-study-into-gun-violence-and-gaming): " Sources tell Polygon that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent are reviewing a new report and research questions created by the Institute of Medicine that calls for, among other things, a study focusing on firearm violence as a specific outcome of violence in the media, including music, social media and video games. If approved and funded, the new studies would take three to five years to conduct.

      The research agenda, requested by the CDC, bolsters earlier reports that the Centers believe further research into any possible connection between video games, media and violence is both necessary and likely.

      The "Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence" report acknowledges that recent research into the effects of violence in media have begun to include not just television and movies, but also music, video games and even social media. But it goes on to say that no research has dealt with the specific issues Obama raised in his January Presidential Memorandum.

      "In more than 50 years of research, no study has focused on firearm violence as a specific outcome of violence in media," according to the report. "As a result, a direct relationship between violence in media and real-life firearm violence has not been established and will require additional research."


      The report was created by an ad hoc committee appointed to develop for the CDC a proposed public health research agenda to "improve knowledge of the causes of gun violence, the interventions that prevent gun violence and strategies to minimize the public health burden of gun violence."

      The project, which kicked off about a month after the Presdential Memorandum was announced, is sponsored by the National Academies, the CDC and the CDC foundation.

      The two-page report brief offers new insight into the direction that the mandated research into gun violence might go. The CDC and CDC Foundation asked the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council to help develop a research agenda on the causes of, possible intervention to and strategies to minimize firearm-related violence, according to the report.

      The proposed agenda, which is designed to produce results in three to five years, is broken down into five categories: tracking gun violence, identifying risk factors, firearm violence prevention, examining new gun safety technology and the influence of video games and other media. Examining the impact of mental health was excluded from the research, according to the committee."

      You need to get your facts straight, Mark.

  2. I saw an image the other day of those gun rights marchers in Sioux Falls. My caption would have been "Extremists on Parade."

    I'm not really shocked anymore when people like Kokesh and Kessler spout their hate and insurrectionistic violence talk, or when people like those marchers pull out their guns and wave display them as if they were part of normal family values. These people, as carriers of loaded guns in public, have mentally and physically prepared themselves to kill people at a moment's notice. In light of this, it is hardly surprising that they would be confrontational enough to march around in public with their guns, break the law by bringing a shotgun into a public square in D.C., or make YouTube videos threatening anyone who disagrees with them.

    Kessler, for one, has a very troubling past as "police chief" (he's the only policeman in his town), including shooting himself and "losing" his gun in a bar fight, forming and recruiting for an illegal paramilitary militia in PA, and illegally arresting and strip-searching a councilman for making a complaint about noisy neighbors. See here: http://newtrajectory.blogspot.com/2013/07/police-chief-mark-kessler-dangerous.html