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, June 26, 2014

Domestic violence and gun lobby nonsense

Before I get to the main point of this post- the gun lobby's new reason to be in favor of domestic abusers having guns- let me provide you with just one recent example of the nonsense coming from gun rights extremists. A Texas gun store is going out of business due to a default on the loan for their business. But the owners are blaming President Obama and ramping up the paranoia that the President is at fault for them going out of business. From the article:
"Tactical Firearms, the Katy gun store known for its snarky marquees that mock everything from President Obama to gun control could soon be out of ammo and out of business.
“Right now our second amendment is under attack,” said Jeremy Alcede, co-owner of Tactical Firearms.
Their latest marquee claims Obama and Icon Bank are “trying to end them” on July 1st.
“We’ll lose everything, 150 people will be affected,” said Alcede. “They count on this job, we’re one big family.”
Icon Bank is set to foreclose on Tactical Firearms next week. The bank said the gun store’s loan is in default, but the gun shop said this is about politics. (...) 
The bank won’t talk specifics, but said it’s made the business long term loan offers that the gun shop just hasn’t pulled the trigger on. It released this statement to KHOU 11 News:
Due to banking privacy mandates, we are not permitted to share full details of the Tactical Firearms loan, but we can say our decision was made because the Tactical Firearms loan is in default.  We have been actively working with the business owners of Tactical Firearms for over a year now by granting them several short term loan extensions and offering them several long term financing options, none of which have been accepted by them. (...) 
But KHOU learned of a new twist. Alcede, the same man accepting donations online is being sued by his business partner Coe Wilson for allegedly taking money from the business an using it for personal purchases like a Caribbean vacation and jewelry.
“He’s blamed the President of all people for his problems, when he should be blaming himself,” said Richard Nguyen, who represents Coe Wilson. “Jeremy has mismanaged funds to the detriment of the company.”"
Sigh. There is absolutely no need to invoke the name of President Obama and if anyone thinks this is a responsible business owner, raise your hand. Such nonsense is all a part of the promotion of fear and hatred of the President and ramping up gun sales and business. It's scare tactics and hysteria and it's not O.K.

And speaking of the blame game, the NRA's very own Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, is at it again. I wrote in one of my previous posts about the domestic violence bill that passed in Minnesota and other states which includes more abusers in the prohibited purchasers of guns category. Stalkers are one of these people who abuse women/partners. There are numerous examples of men who stalk women repeatedly ending in the death ( most often by gun) of the woman. These people should not have guns. They are potentially dangerous. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has introduced a bill to include stalkers in the definition of those who should not have guns. But never mind. LaPierre has invented a new reason why this bill is a bad idea. He is now trying to say this bill would hurt those in gay relationships. Seriously. From the linked article:
Federal law already bars persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from purchasing firearms. S. 1290, introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), would add convicted stalkers to that group of offenders and would expand the current definition of those convicted of domestic violence against "intimate partners" to include those who harmed dating partners.
Aides from two different senators' offices confirm that the NRA sent a letter to lawmakers describing Klobuchar's legislation as "a bill to turn disputes between family members and social acquaintances into lifetime firearm prohibitions." The nation's largest gun lobby wrote that it "strongly opposes" the bill because the measure "manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as 'domestic violence' and 'stalking' simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions."
The NRA's letter imagines a "single shoving match" between two gay men as an example of how the domestic violence legislation could be misused. "Under S. 1290, for example, two men of equal size, strength, and economic status joined by a civil union or merely engaged (or formerly engaged) in an intimate 'social relationship,' could be subject to this prohibition for conviction of simple 'assault' arising from a single shoving match," the letter says.
You can't make this stuff up. Leave it to LaPierre to invoke fear and paranoia and lie about a bill that has been widely supported in several states already. We heard none of this in Minnesota when the bill passed. In fact what we heard from even pro gun legislators was that there are some people who should not have guns and that women need to be protected from these folks. But LaPierre must have gotten wind of the fact that keeping stalkers from having guns has bi-partisan support and has a chance of passing through Congress. Of course, he doesn't want any bill that looks like a gun bill to pass in Congress. Even if it's to protect lives. Does the corporate gun lobby want to save lives? I'm just asking.

More from the article:
"As a former prosecutor, I know how domestic violence and stalking can take lives and tear apart families," Klobuchar said in an email to HuffPost. "This is a commonsense bill that would protect victims and keep our families safe, and I will continue to work to move this legislation forward."
Domestic abusers who have access to guns are over seven times more likely to kill their partners than those who don't have such access. A report released by the Center for American Progress last week shows that stalkers and physically abusive dating partners can be just as deadly as a violent spouse. One study of female murder victims in 10 cities found that three-quarters of the women killed, and 85 percent of women who survived a murder attempt by a current or former intimate partner, had been stalked in the previous year. And almost half of all intimate-partner homicides are committed by a non-married, non-cohabitating dating partner who was not covered by federal gun restrictions.
Legislation to prevent all convicted domestic abusers from purchasing guns has been gaining momentum in the states, and the NRA has actually relaxed its stance on such bills over the past year -- ever since one of its top officials was convicted of domestic violence and stripped of his guns.
But the federal push for domestic violence gun bans may be sounding a few alarm bells for gun rights activists. Klobuchar, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) have all introduced legislation to expand and strengthen gun restrictions on persons who have been convicted of domestic abuse or stalking, or who have been issued an emergency temporary restraining order.
Yes. Alarm bells. And what about one of the NRA top officials being convicted for domestic violence? Hypocrisy is the name of this game. Mr. LaPierre is good at alarming others and looking alarmed when he makes his ludicrous statements. Never mind that women all over America are alarmed at the risk posed by stalkers who have access to guns. We should all be alarmed at this rhetoric from LaPierre. I mean, he's the man who said "the guys with the guns make the rules":

Women are more likely to be killed by a domestic partner when there is a gun in the home. I guess that means the "guys with the guns make the rules". Women are at great risk for their lives when there is a gun in the home and are dying at an alarming rate:
Between 2001 and 2012, more women were shot to death in the U.S. by an intimate partner than the total number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. But while U.S. federal law prohibits persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from purchasing a gun, the law has so many gaps and loopholes that tens of thousands of known domestic abusers can still either legally buy a gun or are never properly reported into the background check system.
Convicted stalkers and non-married, non-cohabiting dating partners who commit domestic abuse, for instance, are not included in U.S. gun restrictions relating to domestic violence. But these categories of abusers can be just as dangerous with a gun as a spouse convicted of misdemeanor abuse. The CAP report cites a study of female murder victims in 10 cities that found that three-quarters of women murdered, and 85 percent of women who survived a murder attempt by a current or former intimate partner, had been stalked in the previous year. And nearly half of all intimate partner homicides are committed by a dating partner who is not covered by federal gun restrictions.
The report referred to in the above article released by the Center for American Progress is not only extensive, it is well researched and provides evidence of a serious problem in America. As I wrote in my last post, research and evidence should be the reason we make good policy in American, not lies, deception and hysteria. Common sense tells us all that domestic violence is a serious problem. In America, women are killed by guns by their domestic partners at a much more frequent rate than in any other civilized country not at war.

So let's not listen to the nonsense coming from the corporate gun lobby and gun rights extremists. Exposing their lies and nonsense is important. Why? Because lives are lost every day in America. For the gun lobby and extremists to invoke the kind of fear and paranoia seen on an every day basis in America is disingenuous and self serving. If gun sales are more important to these folks than saving lives, that is a serious problem. The thing is, the problem can be addressed by passing effective and meaningful legislation. The solution is in front of us. And that, apparently, is what is making LaPierre so nervous. He should be nervous. Rising up against a law that would save the lives of ( mostly) women is just not a good idea. In fact, it is oppositional and defiant. It's time for LaPierre and the gun lobby to stand down and let Congress do its' job to save lives. We can only hope that this time, Congress will stop listening to his tactics, nonsense and hysteria. Just like the Texas bank has done its' job in refusing to continue the loan for a gun shop that has defaulted on the loan.

The blame game should be laid right at the feet of those who are playing it. We aren't listening to it any more. In the face of so many lives lost and common sense, the public understands what this is all about. Follow the money and the links between the corporate gun lobby and the gun industry. Facts matter.


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