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.
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

A tale of three states

I'm disappointed, of course that the 2 Colorado legislators forced into a recall election by gun rights extremists, have lost their elections. 

But I need to ask a question from a comment made in the following linked article? Are second amendment rights "for sale"? Is that what this is about? What does that statement mean? Are human lives for sale? When state legislators have the nerve to challenge conventional wisdom to vote for what the people favor and what public safety demands, should they be attacked in this manner? Can small groups of citizens who have an extreme agenda wreak havoc if they don't like decisions made by our lawmakers? Sure. Consider that few of the total eligible voters went to the polls to cast their votes in this recall election. Consider that the NRA challenged the state's voting laws so voters couldn't vote by the usual mail-in ballot for this election. Consider that many of these folks didn't know where to vote. I know this for sure because I made some calls into the Pueblo district and found that some did not know where they should vote. I tried to help them by directing them to web pages where they could put in their address and find their place to vote. These were folks who intended to vote No. I have no idea if they found where to vote. Consider that the NRA, one of the largest groups supporting ALEC has helped to sponsor voter suppression efforts all over our country. They tried it in Minnesota but it failed. So this is not just about gun rights. This is about so much more.

You can watch Mark Glaze from Mayors Against Illegal Guns talk about the recall below. It's a good explanation:



Here are a few statements from organizations working to prevent the gun violence that devastates our communities every day:

From Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign:
Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, released the following statement on the Colorado recall election of Senate President Morse and Senator Giron:
"By passing legislation to strengthen Brady background checks, Senators Morse and Giron were acting on behalf of the will and well-being of their constituents and standing up for a safer Colorado.  Make no mistake, this recall reflects the interests of the corporate gun lobby and a small group of extremists not the citizens of Colorado."
From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:
Our thoughts on the Colorado recall results: Disappointing? Yes. A major setback? No. We are not going to win every battle, but what is different now for our movement is that we can and WILL engage in every battle. We are in a protracted struggle to change gun laws and save lives in this country and up against a well-funded lobby with experience in picking vulnerable targets. The NRA carefully selected two vulnerable senators and defeated them in recall elections marked by low turnout and voter suppression (no mail-in ballots). What is most important is that Colorado's historic new gun laws remain in place. These laws are popular with Colorado residents. And listen to the words of John Morse. He has zero regrets about his role in enacting these laws and would do it again. If he is not bowed, why should we be?
From Mayors Against Illegal Guns:
The Washington gun lobby cherry-picked only four vulnerable senators – and after failing to gain public support in their bid to oust two of them, they funded a major campaign in a low-turnout, off-year election to defeat the other two. This election does not reflect the will of Coloradans, a majority of whom strongly support background checks and opposed these recalls. It was a reflection of a very small, carefully selected population of voters’ views on the legislature’s overall agenda this session. For the last 20 years, the NRA has had the field to themselves in contests like these, but no more. We’re committed to backing elected officials across the country who are willing to face these attacks because they agree with Americans about the need for better background checks.
From Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense:
“The gun lobby may have won this local battle, but they will not win the national war. The National Rifle Association purposely called this recall election in Colorado – just a year before the regular election cycle – to ensure voting obstacles and low voter turnout. This reckless desire to remove legislators from office in an off-election year cost Coloradans more than $500,000 – an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars.
From the outset, this recall was designed as a tool of intimidation funded by the gun lobby. What a ridiculous temper tantrum by a bunch of bullies – moms know them when we see them. 
Fortunately, the recalls do not impact the new gun laws signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Hickenlooper. The Colorado state legislature did the right thing by passing common-sense gun laws, requiring background checks for all gun buyers and limiting magazines to 15 rounds. This recall doesn’t change those laws – laws that will continue to protect Colorado families from senseless gun violence. 
As moms, we are sad, angry, and more determined than ever to stand with those who stand for gun sense. There will be dozens, maybe even hundreds of elections next year, and we will organize and vote for lawmakers who support common-sense gun laws like background checks. Moms will stand with those lawmakers who stand with us, and we will not back down until gun laws are strengthened in every state in this nation.
From Colorado Ceasefire:

From Protect Minnesota:
"This election result only confirms what we already knew - that voter suppression moves election results to the right. It doesn't change that Coloradans and all Americans overwhelmingly support background checks before gun sales."
"The National Rifle Association's Washington lobbyists will try to claim that they control the outcome of elections, but they don't," Martens said. "Voter suppression, however, does affect election outcomes, moving results to the right. The NRA has been one of the main forces behind voter suppression laws in this country. Fortunately, Minnesotans voted down an NRA-supported voter-suppression amendment in 2012. Suppressing the vote is wrong and is no way to run an election."
Polling in August showed some interesting results for what the people of Colorado felt, at the time, about the recall elections and about the recently passed new gun safety measures. Here are some of the results.
By wide margins, Colorado voters oppose efforts to recall two state legislators and say 2-1 that efforts to remove legislators when people don't agree with their vote should be when they face reelection, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 
Voters say 54 - 35 percent that State Senate President John Morse should not be removed from office because of his support for stricter gun control, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Voters also say 52 - 36 percent that State Sen. Angela Giron should not be recalled because of her support for stricter gun control. 
Colorado voters say 60 - 31 percent that when people don't agree with a legislator, they should wait for reelection, rather than attempt a recall. 
While Republicans support both recall efforts by margins of 2 - 1, only 47 percent support the overall concept of recall, while 42 percent say wait for reelection. 
All voters oppose 54 - 40 percent the stricter new gun control laws which led to the recall effort. Democrats support the stricter laws 78 - 16 percent, while opposition is 89 - 7 percent among Republicans and 56 - 39 percent among independent voters. Women are divided on the stricter laws 48 - 45 percent, with men opposed 64 - 33 percent. 
"With wide partisan and gender divisions, Colorado voters oppose the state's stricter new gun control laws, but they don't want to recall State Senate President John Morse or Sen. Angela Giron because they supported these laws," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Philosophically, voters don't want a recall election every time they disagree with a legislator. They'd rather deal with it every four years." 
Colorado voters support 82 - 16 percent requiring background checks for all gun buyers. Support is strong among all groups. 
Voters are divided 49 - 48 percent on a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. 
Colorado's new gun laws will make the state less safe, 40 percent of voters say, while 37 percent say the state will be safer and 16 percent say the laws won't make a difference. 
Background checks and a limit on magazines could not have prevented the Columbine or Aurora mass killings, voters say 68 - 25 percent, and could not have reduced the number of people killed in those shootings, voters say 56 - 40 percent. 
If you listened to what Mark Glaze from MAIG said in the video above, Colorado is a gun friendly state. And yet, the legislature passed common sense laws to keep people who shouldn't have guns from getting them through private sellers without background checks. Is there something wrong with that? It is supported by a strong majority of Americans and Coloradans. But never mind. The corporate gun lobby doesn't seem to care about public safety. Their agenda is to support the gun industry and their own extreme positions which are out of the mainstream of American politics. Follow the money.

The 2nd state where crazy things are happening is Missouri. There, gun rights extremists and their bought and paid for legislators have voted to nullify any gun violence prevention laws:
According to renowned gun rights attorney Robert A. Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute and co-counsel to plaintiff Dick Heller in the landmark 2008 Heller v Washington DC ruling, a proposed Missouri law underscores the limits and excesses of nullification.
The Missouri General Assembly is expected on Sept. 11 to adopt the proposed Second Amendment Preservation Act, which declares invalid in Missouri any federal measures "which infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms" and allows state misdemeanor charges to be brought against federal authorities who attempt to enforce those laws.
That, Levy writes in a Sept. 4 New York Times column, crosses "the constitutional line" from trying to legally void an existing law to actively frustrating enforcement of an existing law. States cannot impede federal enforcement of a federal law "merely because the state deems it unconstitutional," Levy writes, noting nullification could prove to be a double-edged sword used against the Second Amendment.
"If nullification proponents had their way," he writes, "Chicago’s gun ban, which the Supreme Court invalidated in 2010, might still be in effect."
Crazy right? The Brady Center is prepared to sue over this ludicrous state of affairs. But the most recent news is that the vote to override the Missouri Governor's veto of the bill failed. Thank goodness for common sense.

And speaking of gun craziness in states, what about Florida? I do need to comment on what has happened with George Zimmerman in recent days. I already wrote a post about this and got push back from some of my readers, eager to defend George Zimmerman. Are they still after the latest domestic assault involving Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie?
Monday afternoon, Shellie Zimmerman called Lake Mary authorities to her parents' home, saying her estranged husband was threatening her and her father with a gun. Days earlier, she had filed for divorce.
"He's in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun and he keeps saying 'step closer' and he's just threatening all of us," Shellie Zimmerman said in a 911 call.
She later changed her story. According to police, Shellie Zimmerman and her father now say they never saw a gun, and no gun was found. Although CBS affiliate WKMG reports that Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said Zimmerman had a gun holstered to his body.
Shellie Zimmerman has said she won't press charges, but police say video of the alleged dispute on her damaged iPad could play into whether authorities file charges.
Lake Mary Police Department spokesman Zach Hudson said Tuesday that the iPad captured video of the dispute, but the mobile device was in pieces and needed to be examined in a lab.
In her 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman said: "He then accosted my father then took my iPad out of my hands. He then smashed it and cut it with a pocketknife, and there is a Lake Mary city worker across the street that I believe saw all of it."
Mark O'Mara, who served as Zimmerman's attorney in his murder trial in the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, said his client did nothing wrong in Monday's incident. However, on Tuesday, he said he will not represent Zimmerman in Monday's domestic dispute, the station reports. He will continue to represent Zimmerman in a lawsuit against NBC.
The couple separated a month after he was acquitted of second-degree murder in the Feb. 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on July 13. The case made international news after it took police several weeks to arrest Zimmerman in the case.
Shellie Zimmerman has also had trouble with the law. On Aug. 28, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor perjury and was sentenced to one year of probation. She had been accused of lying about the couple's financial situation when she testified at George Zimmerman's bond hearing in June 2012.
So who should we believe? A man who made up a lot of things during his recent trial to get away with murdering someone? Or his lawyer? Something is wrong here, according to this article. Let's get this straight. It's important to know:
Both the Lake Mary Florida Police Chief, Steve Bracknell, and the department’s spokesman Zach Hudson confirmed to ThinkProgress that George Zimmerman told officers at the scene that he did not have a gun on him during the incident. This directly contradicts what ZImmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, told CNN:
"O’MARA: He acted appropriately. He never took the weapon out. The only thing he really did, which is what he told the police, was on the outside of his shirt, he made sure the gun wasn’t moving anywhere and didn’t do anything because [Zimmerman's father-in-law] Mr. Dean was sort of coming at him, that can sort of be seen in the video.
COOPER: So he had the gun actually on his person not like, in the glove box of his car?
O’MARA: That’s correct."
Bracknell acknowledged the contradiction, telling ThinkProgress “Who is telling the truth? Good question.” He added that O’Mara was “on scene providing legal advice to hid [sic] client.” Bracknell appeared to suggest that O’Mara was well-informed of the facts of the case and had little reason to invent facts — like Zimmerman having a gun — that would be damaging to his client.
Crazy right? What is going on? Can't George Zimmerman just take a seat and stay out of the public eye and trouble? One would think, that after he was acquitted of murder in the Trayvon Martin shooting he would try hard to become invisible. The latest of his many incidents since being released show us something about this man that most of us already suspected. He doesn't seem so law abiding after all does he?

And to end, here is Joe Nocera's most recent Gun Report. By my count, from this report there were 11 deaths and 14 injuries in 16 states in America. And that's just in a few days' time.

Crazy right? So forgive legislators if they vote in favor of laws that could have an effect on the gun violence that is devastating their communities. Forgive the gun violence prevention advocates for trying to get laws passed to do something about the gun violence that devastates our communities. If the gun rights folks don't like ANY measures that have a chance to make a difference, what do they really want? Is this really the way we are going to let our democracy work? Is this a democracy? Are we going to let the corporate gun lobby hold our states hostage to their extremist positions and willingness to do anything to get their way? This is chaos. It is meant to cause a lot of trouble and it's meant to threaten any legislator who dares to vote in favor of common sense gun laws. If this becomes the way the corporate gun lobby and other extremist groups get their way, we are in for a rocky ride. It's time to change the equation. It's time to get our lawmakers to have even more resolve when it comes to doing what's right for the citizens of America. We should not let the gun lobby get away with their threats to recall someone if they don't vote the right way. That's what elections are for. Let's get to work. Lives depend on it.

UPDATE:

Here is the current statement from the Brady Center about the failure of the Missouri legislature to over ride the Governor's veto of the nullification bill:
On September 11, hours after the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced that it was prepared to file suit in federal court against Missouri’s HB 436 if it was enacted, the Missouri Senate failed to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of the legislation. HB 436 would have criminalized enforcement of federal gun laws, declared them null and void within the state, and criminalized the publication of names of firearms owners.
Jonathan Lowy, Director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center, issued the following statement:
“Governor Nixon, Attorney General Koster, and some Missouri legislators deserve credit for standing up for the Constitution and the safety of Missourians, and rejecting this unconstitutional and dangerous attempt to allow criminals to obtain guns, and make federal law enforcement officers into criminals. 
Gun violence is a national problem, and the Constitution properly provides the federal government with wide authority to protect Americans by reasonably regulating guns.  Thankfully, enough Missouri legislators got the message that if this bill became law, the Brady Center was prepared to have it struck down in court as the unconstitutional political grandstanding that it was. 

18 comments:

  1. Japete: "But I need to ask a question from a comment made in the following linked article? Are second amendment rights "for sale"? Is that what this is about? What does that statement mean?"

    The statement "second amendment rights are not for sale" refers to MAIGs common tactic of pouring out-of-state money into a market to push their agenda. The Denver Post reported that supporters of Morse and Giron raised $3 million, while supporters of the recall raised $540 thousand. In spite of being outspent by a margin of nearly 6:1, recall supporters prevailed.

    Japete: "When state legislators have the nerve to challenge conventional wisdom to vote for what the people favor and what public safety demands, should they be attacked in this manner? Can small groups of citizens who have an extreme agenda wreak havoc if they don't like decisions made by our lawmakers? Sure. Consider that few of the total eligible voters went to the polls to cast their votes in this recall election."

    The people who did vote in the recall election are those that are passionate about the issue. Those who are pro-second amendment outnumber those who are pro-gun control. The rest don't care enough to vote. If - as you contend - the gun control agenda is "what the people favor and what public safety demands," more people would have voted. But they didn't.

    The Quinnipiac poll you reference in your post states: "All voters oppose 54 - 40 percent the stricter new gun control laws which led to the recall effort."

    If voters oppose the action taken by their legislators, why shouldn't they lawfully remove them from office? Voters who care are simply holding their legislators accountable.

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    1. It's pretty different for the NRA lobby to be outspent. It's usually the opposite with money pouring into states from the Virginia offices of the NRA. And they haven't always succeeded with all that money spent either. You are right about the intensity of those on your side. That is why I am writing this blog- to increase the intensity on my side. In the end though, there shouldn't be sides on the issue of how to best save lives. I am guessing that we agree on more than we disagree about so there is a middle ground. WE already know that 82% of Coloradans are in favor of background checks. That is true nation wide. When you ask a generic question about gun control the numbers go down. But when you ask a specific question about background checks, the number goes up. So this is all about doing what makes the most sense to the most people and not just to the few.

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    2. Japete: "I am guessing that we agree on more than we disagree about so there is a middle ground. WE already know that 82% of Coloradans are in favor of background checks. That is true nation wide. When you ask a generic question about gun control the numbers go down. But when you ask a specific question about background checks, the number goes up. So this is all about doing what makes the most sense to the most people and not just to the few."

      There is no middle ground. I thought there was prior to the 2013 Minnesota legislative session. At that time, I owned a single handgun and was unsure of my position on background checks. I went to the Capitol to learn more about the issue of gun control. After watching Michael Paymar, Alice Houseman, and Heather Martens in action, I realized that they were perpetuating an unconstitutional attack on individual liberty and the natural right of self-defense.

      As Brady Campaign chairman Nelson "Pete" Shields once stated:

      "We'll take one step at a time, and the first is necessarily – given the political realities – very modest. We'll have to start working again to strengthen the law, and then again to strengthen the next law and again and again. Our ultimate goal, total control of handguns, is going to take time. The first problem is to slow down production and sales. Next is to get registration. The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and ammunition (with a few exceptions) totally illegal."

      Background checks are a first step towards the gun control lobby's ultimate goal of registration and confiscation.

      I will not be satisfied there is a complete repeal of the National Firearms Act of 1934, the National Firearms Act of 1968, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1994. How's that for compromise.

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    3. Pete Shields started what is now the Brady Campaign in 1975 and left the organization in 1991. He died recently. It is now 2013. Pete Shields lost a son to gun violence. Forgive him for being passionate about the issue and trying to keep others from having his experience.

      I am disappointed in this uncompromising 2013 point of view. What, Cory, would you think, aside from total nullification of federal gun laws, will lead to a safer America and better gun safety overall given the current numbers of victims of gun violence?

      Cory is not the only commenter here who has made it clear to me that there is no compromising for a small group of gun owners in America. About 70-80% of gun owners don't agree with this uncompromising viewpoint. Those are the people I am hoping will be activated by what I and others are doing to make a safer America for all of us. Of course what we proposed in Minnesota would not have led to anything unconstitutional. We already have constitutional background checks on gun sales at Federally Licensed Dealers which presumably, many gun owners undergo without fear of confiscation. I don't believe any guns have been confiscated due to our current system. If someone can tell me how expanding the very same checks to private sellers will do something different, please let me know. It hasn't happened in the states that have passed universal background checks. There is absolutely no evidence of your claim Cory. Also, of course, people have a natural right to be safe in their communities. That is what this is all about in the end. With rights come responsibilities.

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  2. "Are they still after the latest domestic assault involving Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie? So who should we believe? A man who made up a lot of things during his recent trial to get away with murdering someone? Or his lawyer?"

    As often happens with contentious divorces, there's a little blame to be had from both sides. I'm personally very glad there are no children involved. When it comes to deciding who to believe, if we're to entertain your belief that George Zimmerman lied (though he never testified), then how about Shellie who recently pled guilty to perjury? The only really impartial sources of information are the Lake Mary Police Department.
    For example, the video of George being taken into custody is easily viewed. If the police said they found no gun, it wasn't there. Shellie said she saw a gun on the 911 tape, and when the police arrived, she said she hadn't seen one. She mentioned the gun several times on the tape. Both Shellie and her father changed their stories and officially declined to prosecute after the police arrived.

    “We took him down at gunpoint, and we searched him physically. There was no weapon,” Hudson said — adding that police did not have probable cause to search Zimmerman’s car."
    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/10/20423557-cops-trying-to-recover-footage-from-zimmerman-ipad-after-dispute?lite

    There are differing stories regarding the destruction of the iPad also, you provided Shellie's story, George's is a bit different, though one can hope that even if the data isn't recoverable, perhaps they could discern physical evidence of being cut by a knife as one side reported.
    "Shellie Zimmerman, who called 911 during the dispute, said that her husband grabbed the iPad from her and smashed it, but he told cops she struck him with the tablet, police said."

    I sincerely hope that the video is recoverable, because at present I have a hard time believing either party without evidence.

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    1. All I know is that George Zimmerman's behavior continues to be questionable and the fact that he got his gun and hie permit to carry back is more than concerning given his pattern of behavior. As a member of a board of an organization dealing with domestic abuse, this is classic behavior for men who abuse. We should all hope that nothing more violent happens.

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  3. I agree that a large majority of Americans support background checks, so where is the real problem in getting increased checks passed? It's in the attitudes of the extremists, on both sides. I'm a retired LEO, gun owner, hunter, shooter, I own the dreaded AR-15 "assault" rifle, and I believe in expanded background checks. But I don't trust our government, and I don't trust the anti-gun groups. California has proposed a bill (SB755) that will deny one convicted of drunk in public from possessing a gun for 10 years. Anti-gun activists openly state they are working towards extreme limitations if not actual banning of guns in the U.S. That's scary to a person like me that grew up with guns, shooting in the Boy Scouts (now banned), owning a gun at the age of 10 (now banned). We shouldn't be fighting each other, we should be working together to protect our fellow citizens, but instead we see nothing but legislation and rhetoric all about the eventual elimination of firearms. If this is you agenda, please say so at the beginning so we know that you too won't reach across the isle.

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    1. You haven't heard that from me or the other gun violence prevention advocates. Where are you getting your information? There is no talk of elimination of firearms. We want the shootings to stop and we believe that there are laws that will help to do that. If you can find me something that shows how expanded background checks will lead to elimination of guns, go ahead. Make it factual and back it up.

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  4. Although you will probably write me off as paranoid, let me assure you that I have dedicated most of my life to fighting crime against the innocent. Let's start with the movement to ban "assault weapons". No matter how you want to see things, the fact is if it is not capable of firing full automatic or automatic burst, it is not an assault weapon. Recent attempts to define the assault weapon has moved many anti-gun or pro-gun control people into backing a ban on firearms that no bearing on crime. The mere fact that it resembles a military weapons only credits its reliability, accuracy, and performance. To believe that the existence of a detachable magazine, barrel shroud, forehand grip, pistol grip does not make it an assault weapon. Many rifles posses these items and are not used to commit crimes. As a matter of fact, rifles make up such a small percentage of use in crime that you might as well be talking about a knife. So why the attack on the rifle when handguns are used most often? So although expanded background checks themselves MAY not lead to specific bans on firearms, many people supporting this change are the very same that support the "assault weapon" ban. As far as backing up what I say, I leave the research to those that want to take the time to inform themselves.

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    1. It turns out that it is the gun industry and the NRA lobbyists who labeled the semi-automatic guns used in so many mass shootings assault weapons. You can see a history here: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/02/06/what-right-wing-media-wont-tell-you-about-assau/192553

      There is no question in my mind that these guns are designed to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible. And that is exactly what they do. These assault weapons were not originally designed as a gun for hunting. They were used in war by our military and then changed from auto to semi-auto. The features are there to make it easier to kill. They account for a small percentage of overall shootings but when they are used, they kill a lot of people at a time like, say, 20 first graders. It doesn't matter to me that they account for fewer killings than knives. Your claim that if we pass a background check we will inevitably pass an AWB is specious. But if the mass shootings continue and assault rifles are used to kill lots of people at a time, the public is going to change what they think soon enough.

      As far as research, I think it would behoove you to do some research. You are telling me things that have proven to be untrue. You are parroting talking points from the gun lobby that aren't based on the facts. So if you choose to let the research be done by other people you had better make sure those folks know what they are talking about. Lives depend on our knowing the facts. And it sounds like you don't really want to take the time to inform yourself. That will make any "discussion" here not very possible.

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  5. I do my own research and I'm very meticulous in how I do it. Through my years as a Peace Officer, I know the limitations of data being collected from the streets. Unfortunately the media has decided to misinform the general public, and those that "dabble" in gun control perpetuate the misconception that semi-auto rifles are the bane of society. Yes, guns are designed to kill, there is no doubt about that, but their use doesn't stop there. Responsible gun enthusiasts enjoy many hours of recreation, sport, competition, and education with their firearms. Many of these firearms fall under the newly defined "assault weapon" and are targeted for direct prohibition, even though they are not associated with crime. This is a very important statement that pro-gun control advocates fail to address. So, as I suspected, you just decided to write me off as "fill in the blank" and believe what the media says about AWB. Please, if you're going to "dabble" at least pick a subject that is not so important.

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    1. It is hard to think you haven't also written me off as just another "gun control" advocate who is "dabbling". So please make no assumptions. I believe what I believe after lots of careful thought and lots of reading and being involved in this issue for many years. It is not just the media. What I provided you was a history of assault rifles that was based on fact and research. I know you don't like it and we will continue to disagree about some things. At the least, military style assault rifles should not be in the hands of dangerously mentally ill people and felons. We are doing nothing to prevent that. Expanded background checks would at least prevent some of the mass shootings by assault rifle if someone intent on killing as many people as possible is stopped from getting one at the point of sale. We need to make it harder, not easier. I am well aware of responsible uses of guns. I grew up in a hunting family. I have hunted. My parents were hunters.My husband and many family members and friends are hunters. Not one of them uses an AR-15 for hunting and to a person, think that would be ridiculous and dangerous, actually.

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  6. japete..Once again so sad that those that "dabble" in gun issues don't properly educate themselves in the very facts they spout. I see your "mediamatters.org" and raise you the US Army FSTC-CW-07-03-70 dated November 1970: "..defines assault rifles as "short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachinegun and rifle cartridges." The media picked up th "AR" in AR-15, a civilian semi-automatic version of the military M-16 as meaning "Assault Rifle" when the fact is the original version of the M-16 was prototyped as AR-16 for ArmaLite, the company that originally designed the M-16. The AR-15 fails to meet this definition of an "assault Rifle/weapon" because it does not have selective fire capabilities. But then in the great scheme of gun violence, this really doesn't matter. Unless you wish to perpetuate the "assault Weapons" myth, like "(t)hese assault weapons were not originally designed as a gun for hunting". Yes they were, just replace the word "hunting" with "killing". So now we are back square one, how to stop gun violence in our society.

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    1. I am only perpetuating the facts, Denube. I won't be using any more comments from you if you continue to say that I am "dabbling". That is an insult to me and all of the folks I have worked with for years. It is also an insult to victims who have lost loved ones who are passionate and have educated themselves during their quest to prevent more gun deaths and injuries. I am one of those since my sister was shot to death. I also serve on local, state and national boards dealing with this issue. I have written a lot about this and spoken in public a lot as well. I believe I know what I am talking about and a lot of people respect what I am doing, knowing that I am a reasonable, reasoned person who does her homework and has worked tirelessly to do something about the carnage. I have a great relationship with my local Police Chief and Sheriff who regularly come to events and with whom information is shared back and forth. We have mutual respect. I am NOT dabbling. If you want to continue, you will have to show more respect for my position even though you don't agree with it.

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  7. LOL!! We are jumping back and forth between the two blogs on gun control. For those that did not see my post on "Why we need to expand background checks" on this site, the US Army defines an "Assault Weapons" as "as "short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges" back in November of 1970. The Anti-gun groups associated the "AR" in "AR-15" as meaning "Assault Rifle" when it really stands for ArmaLite, the company that originally made the M-16. So to continue to use the term "assault weapons" discredits your stance on the gun issue. I have hunted for years with the AR-15 platform, from rodents to mule deer and elk, and many-MANY- others do the same. Don't assume that it only comes in .223 Remington (5.56 NATO), that would make you look silly!!

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    1. Another insult. We don't agree but that doesn't make me silly. I have so far not insulted you and I don't intend to. That is not what this is about. If you care to have civil discourse if that is what you can call this, then stop insulting me.

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  8. I'm not calling you silly, just stating that if you do believe in the myth that the AR-15 platform is not heavily used in hunting it would make you look silly. I applaud your dedication in what you believe in, but if you ARE serious in combating gun violence, then you need to talk about why gun enthusiasts fear the gun control agenda. This must be step one in coming together to enact real common sense gun violence legislation. I can declare my convictions, contacts, past actions too, and I just found out last night that my cousin committed suicide (overdose), but this still does not change the fact that step one exists. It is the greatest barrier to effective legislation against gun violence. Notice I didn't say gun control, or weapons ban or anything else? My condolences to you for the loss of your sister. Btw, I am no longer a LEO because a 19 year old kid shot me in the face with a shotgun. He was a prohibited possessor too.

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    1. I don't believe those Sandy Hook parents believe there are any myths about the power of the AR-15. Some of their children's faces were unrecognizable to them. I have no idea why gun enthusiasts are so fearful but I do lay a lot of blame on the corporate gun lobby who pushes the fallacious fear and paranoia to sell their guns.

      I am sorry that you were shot. My husband's brother committee suicide by jumping off of a very tall bridge. One of my daughter's friends committed suicide by hanging himself. That doesn't stop my campaign to prevent people from committing suicide and/or homicides and accidental deaths by gun. By the way, check out the Ohh Shoot blog for more about how often law abiding gun owners discharge their guns. Are you concerned about that at all? http://ohhshoot.blogspot.com/

      And now you have taken up far too much of my time. Have a nice evening.

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