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, May 20, 2014

Responsible gun owners?

As I say often here, guns are dangerous and designed to kill an animal or other human being. There really isn't room for mistakes. So when a Nebraska man left his AR-15 rifle in its' case, loaded with a magazine, in the back of his truck without safely securing it, it shouldn't be too surprising that it fell out of the truck. There was a sign along a busy street with a message that the gun was lost and the owner would like to have it back. A photo of this sign made the rounds on social media pages for obvious reasons. AR-15s are expensive guns so naturally the owner wanted it back. And then, of course, he should have been concerned about who might find this gun and what would happen to it if, say, a felon or a teen-ager or a domestic abuser found the gun. It's sort of surprising that this gun owner admitted to this careless behavior with a gun. Luckily for him, the gun was found by a responsible person and the owner had a bit of egg on his face. Lesson learned, I hope.

Speaking of egg on people's faces, let's take a look at some incidents that should have resulted in people feeling that way, or worse.
  1. A North Carolina sheriff's deputy left his service gun out for his 5 year old child to find. Unfortunately for all, the boy shot and injured himself. It could have been worse, right? 
  2. In a repeat performance for Texas Open Carriers, they decided to show up, armed, at a Chipotle restaurant. You can see a photo of these wonderful looking law abiding gun owners at the link posted by a group called "Guns Save Lives". They appear to be upset that the Moms Demand Action group is calling attention to the ridiculous notion that openly carrying assault rifles will make the public feel safer. Even if it happens to be legal, most people do not want AR-15s with their burritos. But do check out the nasty lies and insinuations ( in the linked article above) about Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. More "law abiding gun owners" making the world safer for all of us. And what's better, as a result of all of the attention to these "responsible gun owners" making a show of carrying their assault rifles in family restaurants where customers would rather they not, Chipotle issued a statement saying these gun owners were not welcome in their eateries. Yes, there is common sense after all.
  3. A "prominent" Arizona Republican shot himself in the hand while cleaning his hunting gun. This seems to happen more often than responsible gun owners would want us to believe.
  4. In other Arizona political news, one of the Republican "law abiding" gun owning candidates for Congress claimed that most of the mass shootings in Arizona have been committed by Democrats. And then he bragged about how many guns he had. You just can't make this stuff up. To say this is "over the top" is an understatement. Is this the voice of a responsible gun owner? I'm just asking.
  5. And then there are the gun trolls who are, one assumes, "law abiding" gun owners. Why do they insist on threatening, harassing, bullying, intimidating, demeaning, attacking and worse on gun blogs like this one, on Facebook and Twitter pages and other social media sites and articles written by gun violence prevention advocates? This is just one article written about what happens when you venture into the area of writing about common sense gun safety measures. I guess they think we will stop if they actually threaten and attack us. They are the "guys with the guns" so it is disconcerting when this happens. They should be more careful. They are the fringe of gun owners, most of whom are responsible enough to know that reasonable measures like universal background checks won't threaten them or their rights. The recent Politico poll, taken in May (linked article) shows the consistent support for reasonable gun laws over time. That shows, again, that most Americans don't see common sense gun laws like background checks on all gun sales as a threat to responsible gun ownership or rights.
  6. And then there's the controversy over the Maryland gun dealer who agreed to sell the ArmitixiP1 "smart gun" at his shop. He got into hot water mostly from the gun extremists who went after him and even threatened him. I wrote about this in a previous post. Was he being responsible in agreeing to sell a gun that could save lives? One would think so. But he was intimidated into backing down and then he posted a rambling and sometimes offensive video on YouTube. Staff from Coalition to Stop Gun Violence engaged in conversation with the dealer and were invited to visit with him and go to a shooting range. Here is a blog written about that experience. Is there room here for agreement? One would hope so. Responsible gun laws and responsible gun owners understand that new technology and stronger laws will help us all be safer.
  7. In this Huffington Post piece, another responsible gun owner wrote a blog about the tactics of the guys who insist on carrying their guns into public places and then getting upset when the public gets upset. This is how the majority view what the extremists who represent the minority are doing. From the article written by Robert Cavnar: "The notion of openly toting loaded weapons in public is radical, if not stupid. There's no objective reason for it, and the Second Amendment is no weaker without it. Even worse is the notion of lifting all training and licensing requirements to carry these weapons. Gun deaths will certainly go up because more guns equal more death, all the time, every time, especially with a lack of background checks and training. However, I believe this is yet another lesson that we'll learn the hard way." More common sense from a responsible gun owner. And learning the "hard way" is just plain wrong. Lives will be lost senselessly. That is not OK.
I want to quote more from the above article in point #5 about "gun bullies". It expresses so much of the truth that it bears repeating. From the linked article above:
Americans need to admit that there is a dangerous faction of their society, one that takes owning firearms beyond a right to fetishization. These are the gun bullies. The Open Carry advocates. The subscribers of the fraudulent John R. Lott Jr. The trolls. They presume to speak for everyone, but they absolutely do not. Just look at the joke ofOperation: American Spring to see that. A handful of nut bags milling about D.C. in the rain. Do they represent you? They shouldn’t.
Gun TrollsDon’t let weapons extremists speak for you. Yes, you should be free to own a firearm, but you should also be able to prove you are mature and responsible enough to own one. Your right to own a firearm should not take precedence upon your neighbors right to live, should you suffer from mental illness, or have a history of domestic abuse or criminal activity.
And if you don’t feel free unless you own a gun, that’s not really freedom. Don’t “Second Amendment” me, either. I dealt with all gun troll talking points here.
Bullies need to be opposed. Trolls are named for horrible monsters of myth. Guns are not toys, and no, not everyone should own one. I’ve worked as a security professional long enough to be paired with plenty of guys I wouldn’t trust with a soft shell taco, let alone a firearm. The “good guy with a gun” is not present in any screenshots shown her. 
Notice that the same gun bully was on both of these articles. Nice guy, right? And when we see the same guy responding to blogs/articles, we can surmise that he represents a small group of people who are just not reasonable and would rather intimidate than be involved in an effort to make us all safer. And can we call them responsible gun owners? I'm just asking.


The thing is, most of these folks do not appear to be embarrassed by their carelessness or their behavior. They are living in the bubble of the gun extremists that believe there should be guns everywhere owned and carried by anyone and everyone. And anyone who disagrees is treated to their intimidation, harassment and bullying. It's all about their rights and little about the rights of others to be safe in their communities and homes from the gun violence that is so devastating to families all over America. I wonder if they ever read The Gun Report by Joe Nocera of the New York Times? While they are bullying people who are working to stop the carnage, this is what's actually happening in our communities.

In the latest report, the gun trolls could read about accidental discharges of guns, homicides, domestic shootings, shootings by kids, gang shootings, stray bullets injuring or killing others, home invasions, robberies, arguments between friends and other gun injuries and deaths. This is not the America we want or deserve. We just have to be better than this. It's time for a change. Let's get to work.

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