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, August 29, 2013

We need to talk

We do need to have a serious discussion about what's going on in our country concerning guns and gun permit holders. I keep writing about gun permit holders causing harm to others and the "gun guys" keep denying that carrying guns in public is dangerous. The facts and actual incidents speak to my thesis that more guns in public places do not make us safer. Just check out this latest one. A man with a permit was threatening his wife and another man who intervened was shot by the permit holder. This is directly in opposition to the tired old meme being touted by Wayne LaPierre and his minions about "good guys with guns" making us all safer. From the article:
"A man who intervened in an argument between a man and a woman in Frisco is in jail after shooting the man, police say.
According to the Frisco Police Department, at about 1:10 a.m. Saturday there was an altercation between a couple in a parking lot at The Shops at Starwood at 6959 Lebanon Road.
Christopher Ducret, 40, apporoached the man and woman and, at some point, intervened and shot the man, police said.
The police were called and Ducret, who has a license to carry a concealed hand gun, surrendered peacefully.  Ducret was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is awaiting arraignment at the Frisco City Jail.
The 42-year-old shooting victim, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to Medical Center of Plano where he was listed in stable condition.
This isolated incident isn't sitting well with Julie Williams, who enjoys walking her dog around the area day and night.
"I specifically come here because I feel safe. It's well lit, there's always people, there's traffic and I would never feel like I wasn't safe,” said Williams. “It makes me sad because I don't know if I'm going to be walking her anymore in this area."
An investigation into the shooting continues. Police have not said if Ducet and the couple had any relationship."
Whatever went on in that parking lot should not have ended with someone being shot. Did that "good guy with a gun" think he could be a hero or did he enter the argument and then because he had a gun he thought he could make things better? When people have guns, they must be bolder, thinking they will use it if they have to. I suppose I don't have to remind my readers of how often concealed carry permit holders are shooting people in public places and at home. We need to talk about this. Folks with gun permits are not supposed to be shooting other people in public unless there is darned good reason. It sure doesn't sound like that was the case in this incident.

And let's talk about this one- a man shot and wounded 2 people on a New Jersey PATH train early in the morning over- well over nothing really. The problem with gun carrying people is that one small thing can set them off and the next thing you know, someone is injured or dead. Without the gun, maybe a scuffle. From the article:
A woman and two men were shot and wounded during a dispute aboard a PATH train Sunday morning, police said .
The shooting happened around 5:30 a.m. as the train was entering the Newport Station in Jersey City.
Authorities say a man apparently bumped into a woman on the train and he was confronted by her brother. The man then allegedly shot the woman in the ankle and the brother in the hand, spurring the brother to shoot the man in the leg.
A Port Authority official said the three were taken to Jersey City Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. One of them, 34-year-old Tari Turpin of East Orange, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and weapons offenses.
So one of the wounded people shot back. I suppose one could say it was in self defense. If neither of them had had a gun, this would been an argument or maybe a fist fight. And now they are all in trouble. When people get shot over a mere bumping into someone else and the other person shoots back, we have a problem. And they were all lucky that no one else on the PATH train was in the line of fire.

Let's talk about this stupid and dangerous "law abiding" gun owner from Maine who had the chutzpah to post a comment on Facebook that caught the attention of the Secret Service. Why? Check it out:
David Marsters, a conservative candidate for a town position in Sabattus, Maine, was surprised by a visit from the Secret Service after he posted an article on his Facebook about President Obama along with the words “Shoot the ni**er.” But even after the Secret Service visit, Marsters continues to defend his comment as freedom of speech — although he deleted the original posting.
“[They] didn’t see no pictures of Obama with bullet holes in his head,” Marsters said. “It’s not a threatening statement, in my opinion. People take it out of context as a threat.” Marsters maintains his comment isn’t racist, because “white people are ni**ers, too.” In addition to subscribing to the conspiracy that Obama faked his birth certificate, Marsters has pushed for a town law to require a gun in every house.
Marsters told the Bangor Daily News that he is worried Obamacare will take his and his wife Mary’s health insurance away at a time she has been in and out of the hospital. “I’m pissed off at the system, OK,” he said. “We’re about to lose our benefits because of this asshole.”
First of all, we need to talk about the right wing myths about "Obamacare". They aren't true. But that doesn't stop the right from ramping up the fear and paranoia of a law that will eventually provide health care to almost every American. So that's a bad thing? Unbelievable that we are even having this stupid discussion. But to take it so far as to threaten to shoot the President? We need to talk. Does anyone remember when armed folks came to the 2010 tea party rallies which were mostly to protest the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act? Secondly, we need to talk about how someone as insane as Marsters can run for political office. Let's hope the folks in Sabattus have more common sense than to elect Marsters to a town position.

Does anyone remember when armed folks were encouraged to attend other "liberal" group functions? I do. Does anyone know about the guy who had a gun with him on a highway overpass while he was calling for the President's impeachment? I do. We need to talk about why this is so over the top as to be alarming. This man was lucky he didn't decide to shoot at cars in his ludicrous and misplaced anger with President Obama. I say he shouldn't have been released. Who knows what is next? Of course there is absolutely no ground for calling for the President's impeachment. But "Obama Derangement Syndrome" as so labeled in this column by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post seems to be ratcheting up amongst the nation's small but vicious and potentially violent tea party. This is just not OK. And to make things worse, these are the folks who are armed.

Someone may just act on their feelings of hatred and anger towards President Obama or to people who represent him or represent "liberal" causes. These folks are encouraged by right wing media such as Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and others. It's an insane under current running through our nation's political system right now. The guys with the guns don't get to make the rules. (And yes, armed people are encouraged to be fearful and paranoid by the corporate gun lobby represented so openly by Mr. Wayne LaPierre.)

We need to talk about the wisdom of letting citizens carry guns around with them wherever they go. We need to talk about why it is dangerous to ramp up fear and paranoia amongst people who have been led to believe in myths and outright lies about our nation's President. Violent talk and promoting fear and paranoia just may lead to tragedy. What is the sense of all of this? I say there isn't any. We need a whole lot more common sense when it comes to American gun laws and the American gun culture. Will we have the serious discussion that the nation deserves about this public health and safety issue? Please talk to your own legislators and Congress members and ask them to get busy and have a discussion that will lead to action in the name of the victims of gun violence and the devastation to our families and communities. It's time for a change. Let's get to work.


Really. I say this often enough that I sound like a broken record. You just can't make this stuff up. But here goes. An Oklahoma man, intent on chasing down some burglars with his gun, was shot by a neighbor:
An Owasso man is recovering in the hospital after he chased down some guys breaking into his car and ended up getting shot by a neighbor.
It happened off 116th Street North in Owasso late Sunday night.
It was after midnight and Joshua Snow just grabbed his gun when he saw his car getting burglarized and went outside in his boxers; he didn't have time to get dressed.
Ultimately, holding a gun while wearing nothing but underwear is what made him look so suspicious that his neighbor shot him.
"It was kind of an unusual circumstance," said Major Shannon Clark with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.
Unusual indeed, especially when somewhere in the mix of Snow chasing the burglars, somebody else began chasing him.
"That's kind of where things get a little gray. We don't actually know what took place there," said Clark.
Snow was worried enough to bang on Jimmy Null's door in the middle of the night.
Null grabbed his 12 gauge shotgun when he saw a man with a gun in his underwear.
"I guess just in the hype of everything taking place, when the guy reached for his own gun, the homeowner at that time fired a shot trying to protect himself and his family," said Clark.
"I can't imagine being that guy and trying to get somebody, and then you end up getting hurt," said Kayla Brown, who lives near the shooting scene.
Brown said if Snow had come to her door she would have gotten her husband, who's in the Army.
"I think that he would definitely ask a few questions before just going off and shooting him. But, like I said, I understand why that guy did that: to protect his family," said Brown.
Clark says chasing a burglar like Snow did is risky.
"Once there is no continuing threat to a person and/or a life or the community, then you can't use deadly force as an option," he said.
"I'd probably do the same thing, honestly. I would grab a gun and, you know, threaten him because he is on my property that I will shoot him if he doesn't stop," said Brown. 
FOX23's Ian Silver asked if she'd chase down the suspect. "Oh, definitely," said Brown.
Clark said make sure you at least call 911 before chasing them, so help is on the way in case something goes wrong.
Snow is expected to recover. Null is not expected to face any charges.
I have an idea. Don't think of yourself as Clint Eastwood and call the police. As soon as guns get into the mix, bad things happen. If someone hadn't been shot, this would have been a comedy of errors. As it was, it was stupid and dangerous and more "law abiding" gun owners gone wrong. This is the problem with our American gun culture. Just look at all of the comments from other neighbors. I'm glad I don't live in a neighborhood where every household is ready and waiting to shoot someone outside under the notion of self defense or the slightest suspicion. Guns are dangerous.


  1. I'd love to discuss this with you. Lets have it over here though so the 'discussion' doesn't disappear. :)

    1. Nope. There will be no discussion on that blog which regularly demeans me and calls me names. We will have the "discussion" on my blog if you want.

  2. Every holder of a concealed-carry permit in the United States is going to have passed a background check, and many states not only require classroom tests and training for getting a permit, they also require a live-fire demonstration that the person knows how to operate a firearm. Do some permit holders commit crimes? Sure. But studies have consistently shown that they do so in infinitesimal rates and numbers. For example, a recent study in Texas found that CCW holders were much less likely to commit a crime than the general population of Texas. Why are you worried about people who have all passed background checks and are demonstrably more law-abiding than an average American?

    1. Some states require no training or even no permit ( Arizona). Gun permit holders commit crimes that they shouldn't given that they are carrying a lethal weapon around with them. They may commit crimes at a lower rate than the general populace but most of the general populace is actually not armed. They shouldn't be committing any crimes. That was what was promised when the laws passed. It is simply not the case. And they commit more crimes with guns than people who don't have guns. Guns are dangerous and designed to kill. There should be no mistakes. There should be no crimes if the person is actually law abiding. Such is not the case. That is my point of course but you all conveniently overlook the obvious problems. People are law abiding until suddenly they are not. I write about such on this blog frequently.

  3. "One of them, 34-year-old Tari Turpin of East Orange, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and weapons offenses."

    When you throw in examples of people carrying guns illegally along with examples of people with permits, it tends to muddy the waters. New Jersey has a de facto no permits issued system. I don't quite understand why the brother wasn't charged with a firearm crime, though the article states they only recovered one gun.

    1. You are right- the waters are muddied. Law abiding and non law abiding gun carriers are shooting people in public places. When so many people are carrying, it's hard to know the difference.