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, April 17, 2014

The gun lobby against the rest of us

Things are changing in the gun violence prevention movement. We are organizing. We are raising money. We are getting the 90% activated so something can finally be done about our national public health and safety epidemic. We are stronger than ever- many organizations stronger. Watch for much more because we are on the move. The people's lobby is ready to make things happen.

Everytown for Gun Safety is happening. Adding that to the newly energized Brady Campaign, the new Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Sandy Hook Promise, the Newtown Action Alliance and the many other new social media groups, we are ready to take on the challenge of changing the gun culture and changing the hearts and minds of our leaders and those they have failed to represent. I mention the many other organizations working on this issue regularly on this blog so I won't list them all here. We have all been beating the drum for many years but without the financial resources that it apparently takes to make change. Money talks in America. We all know that. The NRA and other gun lobby groups have had the landscape mostly to themselves for the past 30 years and the policies they have pushed have added to the daily carnage in our country. There is big money associated with the gun lobby. The stakes are high for them. They have their second amendment rights to protect after all. The policies they have opposed could save lives. And we have done little to make the changes we all deserve. That's why change is coming.

And don't believe anything the gun rights extremists whine about concerning Mayor Bloomberg and his money. The hypocrisy of their cries is ludicrous given the money in the gun rights movement.

The reason we need to take on the well funded and powerful corporate gun lobby is because of the events of the past few weeks. ( and of the past few decades for that matter). If we don't think we have a public health and safety crisis in our country after an armed military member with mental health problems brought his problems to the Fort Hood military base along with his gun and shot up his fellow soldiers, then put me down as skeptical. If we don't think we have a public health and safety crisis in American after a known militia/KuKluxKlan/ hate group member took out his hatred at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas City yelling "Heil Hitler" to the press, then call me amazed.

Thankfully the public and most people with common sense agree with me. The landscape is changing. As a group, we are speaking out more loudly. And when the main stream press starts investigating what is actually happening and calling out our leaders for their failure to act, things are changing. Neil Mcdonald, wrote today for the Washington Post, about the national public health crisis that is our shameful ignoring of a serious problem right before our very eyes every day. From his article:
Three days after Frazier Glenn Miller tried to kill some of the Jews he has spent his life despising (the self-styled paramilitary warrior actually wound up gunning down three Christians instead), the National Rifle Association's website remains silent about the attacks.
Instead, the site features, among other things, a Fox News appearance by the NRA's chief legislative lobbyist about the need to defeat Barack Obama's nominee for surgeon general.
The nominee, a doctor named Vivek Murthy, has publicly called gun violence, which kills thousands of people a year here, a "public health crisis."
Imagine. The gall of the man. Clearly a poisonously biased partisan unfit to serve as a guardian of the nation's medical well-being. (...) 
Americans, to quote the NRA, need to understand the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
It would no doubt apply the same logic to Terri LaManno, a Catholic mother of three, active in her parish, whom Miller went on to shoot dead at the nearby Village Shalom assisted living centre where she was visiting her mother.
She, too, paid the price for walking around in public unstrapped. And by the way, why didn't that retirement home have armed guards?
As for Miller, a Hitler-loving, Ku Klux Klan follower, he was, at least until the moment he started firing, exercising his Second Amendment rights.
Referring to Miller, the Kansas City shooter, Mcdonald says this ( from the linked article):
But if he acquired the pistol and shotgun he used Sunday from a private seller or at a gun show, the law says no background check is necessary. And the NRA is determined to keep things that way.
It's a matter of liberty, you see. The fact that criminals aren't allowed to own guns doesn't justify the government invading the privacy of peaceful, law-abiding gun lovers. 
The NRA also opposes a bill by House Democrats that would take guns away from felons, fugitives and spouse abusers.
In this article, Mcdonald refers to a book by retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens ( from the linked article) and then concludes with this:
Aside from the aforementioned federal legislators running and hiding from the NRA, state legislatures are unlikely in the extreme to approve any such constitutional change. Some have been on a gun-happy spree for years.
Eighteen states now allow residents to walk around in public with pistols on their hips.
The state of Georgia's "guns everywhere" law, which takes force this summer, would allow people to carry guns in nightclubs, schools, churches, some government buildings (if proprietors allow), and excuses anyone who inadvertently takes a gun through airport security.
The NRA really likes that law. It's terrible to be a victim in America, but it's sure a great time for militias.
It's not a great time for the annual 30,000 or so victims of gun violence. It's not a good time for America when armed citizens confront government agents in Nevada over cattle grazing rights. It's not a good time for America when it's necessary to write The Gun Report which appears regularly in the New York Times to call attention to the daily carnage caused by firearms.

But we know we can do better. And that is what we are about. Joining forces with Mayor Bloomberg's new group, the many other gun violence prevention groups who have been working so long for common sense gun laws are changing the conversation. And then we are going to change the hearts and minds of not only Americans but of the elected leaders who represent them. So far they have failed to represent those among us who have lost loved ones. They have failed to keep us safer from the gun violence that devastates our families in communities all over America. Every town experiences gun violence. Any town can have a mass shooting. Every American could experience the grief of losing a loved one in a shooting death. I know that from personal experience. This is everyone's problem. We can't let Congress and legislators get away with thinking it's everyone else's problem but theirs. Enough is enough. It's time for a change. Let's get to work.

UPDATE:

It was just a matter of time before the NRA weighed in on the new group formed by Michael Bloomberg and the new report from physicians daring to mention the risk of guns to their patients. A "twin threat" according to Fox News' Megyn Kelly. Watch what Chris Cox of the NRA has to say about both. Hypocrisy, fear and paranoia all around. From the article, linked above:
Cox highlighted the NRA's membership in his attack on Bloomberg's plans, but left unstated that -- like many advocacy groups -- the NRA receives significant non-membership funding. According to the NRA's public tax forms, the gun organization received more than $86 million in contributions and grants in 2012 separate of membership fees. A significant portion of the NRA's corporate funding comes from the gun industry. In a 2013 report Violence Policy Center revealed that since 2005, the gun industry has given the NRA between $19.3 million and $60.2 million.

3 comments:

  1. "...we are ready to take on the challenge of changing the gun culture..." So are gun control advocates planning on bringing their message to local shooting ranges and gun shops? Possibly attending Civilian Marksmanship Program events, Appleseed classes, or concealed carry classes to explore middle ground with other attendees?

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    1. Since the majority of gun owners already agree with background checks and a number of other measures to save lives, I doubt I need to come to the gun range or CCW class. The majority of gun owners are hunters and maybe have a gun in their home for self defense. That is where I would find them. It's interesting that you think we should come to where you are. What about the opposite since we are in the majority? But it is possible you will see some of us at a gun shop, gun range, etc.

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  2. One of my readers wrote that the VPC is wrong about their numbers. This is what he wrote:" $60 million since 2005? NRA has a yearly operating budget of about $250 million dollars. Over an 8 year period that's about 2 billion dollars. 60 million is about 3% of 2 billion dollars. So what you're saying, or what VPC is saying, is that 3% of NRA's budget comes from the gun industry. That $86 million is mostly coming from contributions beyond our membership dues. Most of us donate beyond our dues.

    This is all pubic record. You can look it up and do the math yourself if you don't believe me. The fact of the matter is that NRA receives scant funding from the gun industry."
    Of course. That is what is always said about anything I write on my blog or the VPC or the Brady Campaign or any other group. Lying about the numbers. This person said the yearly budget of the NRA is $250 million!!! That is a lot of money. And they are complaining that Mayor Bloomberg would spend "only" $50 million! And this person also thought that most of that is coming from memberships. If I have my math right, about 4 million members ( or that is what they say anyway- I have my doubts about that number- lying about the numbers?) at $35 a person comes to $140 million. That leaves $110 million coming from another source. I wonder what that could be if not the gun manufacturers. From- https://www.vpc.org/press/1104blood.htm " The vast majority of funds--74 percent--contributed to the NRA from “corporate partners” come from members of the firearms industry: companies involved in the manufacture or sale of firearms or shooting-related products."

    From http://www.businessinsider.com/gun-industry-funds-nra-2013-1 " The NRA also made $20.9 million — about 10 percent of its revenue — from selling advertising to industry companies marketing products in its many publications in 2010, according to the IRS Form 990.

    Additionally, some companies donate portions of sales directly to the NRA. Crimson Trace, which makes laser sights, donates 10 percent of each sale to the NRA. Taurus buys an NRA membership for everyone who buys one of their guns. Sturm Rugar gives $1 to the NRA for each gun sold, which amounts to millions. The NRA's revenues are intrinsically linked to the success of the gun business.

    The NRA Foundation also collects hundreds of thousands of dollars from the industry, which it then gives to local-level organizations for training and equipment purchases."

    The reader who sent me his own numbers who does not get published in my blog by the way is wrong.



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