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.

Monday, March 3, 2014

How many more will it take before we have had enough?

I have a question. How many more permit holders does it take to accidentally discharge their guns before the country realizes that passing loose conceal and carry laws was a bad idea? For instance, what about the woman at the YMCA who forgot she had her gun in her purse and it discharged? She forgot she had the gun in her purse? Guns are dangerous. The bullets that are discharged from them kill people. No one who has a permit to carry should forget where their gun is. When the conceal carry laws passed we were promised that the permit holders would be safe with their guns. They would all be law abiding. But they were wrong. There are far too many of these incidents. I linked to an article in my last post listing more than a few incidents of permit holders accidentally discharging their weapons. This is simply not OK.

Further, the woman in the above incident was only issued a citation for the gun discharge. Why? Because she was a legal gun permit holder and those folks get a pass for these incidents because they didn't intend harm. Never mind that their careless behavior potentially endangers the lives of others. Perhaps we should re-examine penalties for "accidental gun discharges" in public places by "law abiding" gun permit holders. I'm just saying. Guns are dangerous weapons designed to injure and kill human beings. There should be zero tolerance for the carelessness sometimes exhibited by their owners.

Or what about the mother who "accidentally" left her gun in her second grade daughter's backpack? I'll let you read this one for yourself:
The arrest stems from an incident on Feb. 6 when police were called out to Newington Elementary in reference to a 2nd grader finding a gun in her book bag at the end of the school day.
According to police reports, the child called her teacher over immediately when she realized that her mother's gun was in her backpack. The student's mother works as a parent volunteer at the school.
The teacher took the weapon, notified the principal and the police were called.
A day earlier, another parent volunteer who spoke to Live 5 News on the condition of anonymity said the same mother had bragged to her about having the gun.
"She opened up her purse and showed us a gun that was black and pink. And the other volunteer said you cannot have that on school premise," said the volunteer. "She said she had a concealed weapons permit. I was shocked."
Live 5's anonymous source said she told another volunteer about the gun. That volunteer allegedly notified the principal the next day.
Live 5's source said on February 6, the mother confronted one of the volunteers who had asked her if carrying a gun at school was a good idea. She says she became flustered and left.
Later that day, the pink and black Ruger .380 was found in her child's bag.
According to a police report, the child's teacher told police that the mother had stopped by her daughter's classroom and asked the teacher if she could put a book in her bag. She then placed the bag back in the classroom. (...) "(The) gun was found in (the) backpack on Thursday. How can you say it's not an immediate danger," said one parent.

"What if that child had picked up that weapon and the gun would have gone off and somebody would have gotten shot?"
Indeed. What if someone had "gotten shot"? First of all, please note that when this mother showed her gun to another parent who questioned her, the mother's first response was that she had a permit to carry. So what? Does that excuse bad behavior? Or does it encourage bad behavior? Or are some gun permit holders deceived into thinking that carrying a loaded gun in public gives them license to do whatever they want with that gun? I'm just asking.

Raise your hand if you think people like this should be able to carry guns in public. The corporate gun lobby has made sure that women like the above feel that if they don't have a gun for self protection, something bad will happen to them. And then, something bad happened. One woman was arrested for being totally irresponsible with her gun and endangering the lives of others, most especially children. The other received a citation but should probably have received more than that. Will it matter for the next time? Will these women keep their permits and their guns after exhibiting careless and dangerous behavior?

And then there's the Wisconsin home owner who must have thought all was safe when he/she bought 9 guns to keep the home safe. The problem is, those very guns were stolen and now may be in the illegal market where who knows what will happen with them? It was a quiet neighborhood. Most home invasions take place during the daytime when people are at work or just not home. So the lesson here? Lock your doors and windows when not at home. Get a security system. Make sure all guns are stored very securely so stealing them will be very difficult, if not impossible. Guns won't get used for self protection in the home if the home owner isn't home to use them and guns are stolen often during home invasions. I wonder why?

Another "oops" in Texas..... What are people thinking when they target practice in their back yards? Apparently not much. This Texas man was stupid and dangerous and now a 9 year old neighbor is in critical condition. The news video says neighbors believe the shooter was a "nice boy." Well the thing is, even nice boys with guns can get careless. Guns are dangerous. There should be no cavalier and careless use of a gun.

But the problem for the gun rights extremists who don't think anything different needs to be done about the gun violence that is so devastating to so many is that they are in denial over incidents like the ones I write about on my blog. Guns are a risk to their owners and also to others. They should be treated with much more respect. Those who own them and carry them should have to go through much more stringent background checks and training.

So why and how does this Oregon convicted felon have a gun in his home that discharged, injuring his 5 year old son? The question should be asked and answered. Felons should not have guns. They can get them too easily all over our gun crazed country.

An Indiana "law abiding" grandpa didn't think his 5 grandchildren would find the loaded gun he had in his car ( for self protection?). He was wrong. One of his grandchldren fired the gun and is now injured. Was this grandpa a gun permit holder? One could presume so since he had his gun in his car. Was he acting responsibly with his loaded gun? When people get used to carrying their loaded guns around with them everywhere they go, they must forget about safety. I suppose that is because all they are thinking about is the chance to use that gun in self protection which would be very rare. Instead, as you can read in this blog post and the many others like it, these incidents are frequent. I refer you to the Ohh Shoot blog for more of these. Does anyone find it ludicrous that so many bloggers are keeping track of stupid and dangerous behavior with guns? I'm just asking.

Oh, and then there's the one at an Oklahoma Bass Pro shop where a boy accidentally shot himself and his Dad inside the shop. Luckily no one was badly injured. I'm sure we'll learn more about this one. Can the guns for sale be loaded inside of a store that sells them? Or was this a gun carried inside of the shop from outside? I'm just asking.

So looking back at these incidents, what are we to think about whether more guns have made us safer? What are we to think about law abiding gun owners committing so many accidents with guns? What are we to think about gun permit holders being so careless with guns? Is this the kind of communities we want in our country? How could anyone honestly say that allowing the carrying of guns in more pubic places is a good idea? How can anyone say we shouldn't examine our gun culture and our gun laws in order to make us safer from the incidents like those I have highlighted here? How can this continue without an end in sight? Why are we not doing anything about what is actually happening on a daily basis in this country?

Will the gun rights extremists do something about this? Most of these folks are their own "law abiding" compatriots, convinced that carrying guns in public is a good idea- convinced that buying and owning guns for self defense at home will keep them safer- convinced that mistakes like this won't happen to them. Until they do. This is the result of a gun culture gone terribly wrong. Where are the gun rights extremists decrying these senseless shooting incidents? Why are they not working with the gun violence prevention advocates to stop these things from happening. If this were any other product on the market, there would be a national movement to recall the product or insist that the product be made safer or insist that more regulations are made to stop avoidable incidents like the ones I have described here. And I remind my readers that these are just a few of the many. These happened only in the span of a few days. Add them up times 365 and we have a very serious problem. This is the result of the corporate gun lobby writing gun laws in states all over America.


Note that I have not even touched on the daily incidents of gun homicides and gun suicides in this particular post. Anyone with common sense understands that we are better than this and that something needs to change. It's time for change to happen and we can make it happen if we have the will and we raise our collective voices to insist that our lawmakers have the national conversation that we deserve. It's obvious that we have not tried hard enough to prevent the carnage from gun violence. It's also obvious that we haven't yet had enough in spite of what is in front of us every day. We are better than this.


I forgot one. This one, from the Walmart Shootings blog, is about an incident in Iowa where a permit holder accidentally shot himself in the butt:
A man with a conceal carry permit was putting his gun in his vehicle, in the parking lot of a Sam's Club in Waterloo, Iowa, when he unintentionally fired it, hitting himself in the butt.  He then drove home, and was persuaded to get medical attention.
Ouch. He was lucky the bullet didn't travel further in the parking lot where others could have been endangered. This is not the first incident at a Walmart store involving conceal carry permit holders making stupid and potentially dangerous mistakes with their guns. People should be able to shop at Walmart stores, one of the nation's largest gun sellers by the way, without fear of being shot by a permit holder.


They just keep coming. I may have reported about this one earlier but now a Florida father has been arrested for being responsible for the shooting death of his 3 year old daughter. From the article:
Thomas Chambers, 41, of Lake Worth, was arrested Sunday after detectives learned he left the gun unsecured despite his training in responsible gun ownership and despite knowing his daughter, Zuri, had picked it up in the past. The little girl died after she pulled the trigger and a bullet hit her in the head, according to his arrest report. (...) 
Deputies rushed to the Chambers' home on the 1200 block of North O Street. Zuri was airlifted to Delray Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 5:59 p.m., according to the report.
Chambers, who had a valid concealed weapons permit, told investigators he left the gun out because he didn't want to forget it when he left for work. He said he takes the gun to work because he has to make nightly deposits at the bank. His occupation is not clear.
Last month, a family member described Chambers as a responsible gun owner and said he is the "most wonderful father in the world.
Responsible gun owner? How can anyone say that after what happened? The man was also a gun permit holder. Aren't they supposed to know better? I'm just asking. But I digress. This is not the first time that his daughter showed interest in his guns. He didn't imagine a 3 year old could pull the trigger? Just read the news. It's happening with regularity all over our country. Many of us are writing about these incidents. What will it take before people have had enough? What it will take for "responsible gun owners" to actually be responsible with their guns? Maybe this. Maybe getting arrested and being held responsible will get the message out. Guns and children do not go together. Guns should never be left out loaded around little children or even around older children. As we say on the Kid Shootings blog: "Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult."


Remember the Bass Pro shooting incident, above? Well here's the real story and it's not pretty. From the article:
A young boy accidentally shot his father and himself Saturday night, when he got his hands on the father's loaded gun at the Bass Pro Shops in downtown Oklahoma City.
According to police, the incident happened in the men's dressing room when the father was trying on a waist-band holster.
The father said he took his gun and holster off and put them on the bench in the dressing room. And his son, who was sitting on the bench at that time, got a hold of the gun and it went off.
The father said he grabbed the gun, threw it on the ground, and yelled for someone to call 911.
According to police, the dad suffered a gunshot wound and a graze type of wound to his leg. His son received a gunshot wound to his knuckle on his thumb.
No one was arrested because, because, well because: " Police said the father does have a Texas concealed carry license."

Yup. When you get a license to carry that gun around in public, apparently it's hard to be arrested for being careless. It's time to change our laws.


  1. "How could anyone honestly say that allowing the carrying of guns in more pubic places is a good idea?"
    Well, I would assume that the police would be one group that could answer that question with some degree of authority.
    See http://www.policeone.com/Gun-Legislation-Law-Enforcement/articles/6183787-PoliceOnes-Gun-Control-Survey-11-key-lessons-from-officers-perspectives/
    Another group that would seem to be considered experts (world wide) would be Interpol:
    See http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/exclusive-westgate-interpol-chief-ponders-armed-citizenry/story?id=20637341

    To get an objective view of the subject we might want to see how CCW people compare with the general population on crimes of all types. Not sure if there is a reference that covers all of the US, but for Texas Department of Public Safety CHL web site has that information. The crime rate for CHL people in Texas is so small as to be non-existent in comparison.
    I can agree that your examples are all things that should not have happened, however, the solution is to stop attempting to portray gun owners as "bad people" but portray them as the good guys and encourage more training. I would think that it should be a priority to have gun training in every high school in the country. I also think that the payback for low cost gun training by local police departments would be very great. So, my recommendation is to talk more about solutions and stop being part of the problem. Continuing to throw verbal stones at gun owners is part of the problem not part of the solution. Just as you can not train a pet by abuse, you will not make progress on the goals that you claim without gun owners help.

    1. The majority of gun owners do support what we are doing. It's the Congress that is afraid of moving forward under great pressure from folks like you, apparently, since you don't seem to believe that any gun law supported by people like me will make a difference. I don't know where you guys get this "good guy" stuff. It's just not true. I write enough about "good guys" with guns making dangerous mistakes. Are there good guys with guns and bad guys with guns? There are people with guns. Some of them shouldn't have them. We can do something about that so the rest of you law abiding folks won't have to worry about the "bad guys" with guns. Then you won't need your guns in public places. But failing to recognize that most shootings are committed by people who know each other rather than random "bad guys" with guns is a problem for your side. Permit holders shouldn't be committing crimes. We were told that all of you guys with loaded guns in public would be law abiding and not committing crimes. It hasn't turned out that way.