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, October 9, 2014

What is wrong with this picture and other gun news?

In my last post, I talked again about the fallacy of the "bad guys" with the guns and the need for the "good guys" to protect themselves from these awful people who are lurking around in every nook and cranny of our communities. The problem with this false idea is that the "good guys" with guns are killing people every day. Take this Ohio domestic shooting as just one example:
"Police said that Samson shot his wife multiple times with a 40-caliber handgun and records show that the Terre Haute doctor held a Federal Firearms License, which effectively enabled him to trade and sell weapons from his property - in a manner similar to a gun store owner.
Indeed, according to Advance Indiana, police recovered a literal arsenal of weapons from the home, including assault rifles, hand guns and several hundred rounds of ammunition."
Just another "good guy" with a gun and a "law abiding" gun owner exercising his second amendment rights. You just can't make this stuff up.

Every day I run into articles about the dangers that come with too many people who shouldn't have guns killing or injuring others or "good guys" making mistakes. Take the incident of an Oregon "law abiding" gun owner who had just purchased his handgun and decided to carry it holstered so everyone could see it and maybe be afraid or be impressed? Someone else with a gun saw it too and decided he wanted that gun. He robbed the man of his new gun. You just can't make this stuff up. Some gun owners who open carry are like male peacocks. They are showing off to get a response. It doesn't always go so well. Why display a weapon openly? Most of us don't understand it but the "Open Carry" movement is still trying to prove something to the public, believing they can "educate" the rest of us about the value and safety of carrying guns around in public. We aren't buying it.

And then there is the increasing concern of those who have guns in educational facilities and the risks involved. Doesn't this Illinois "law abiding" former FBI member know gun safety? Guns in schools are simply a really bad idea. This guy was darned lucky something tragic didn't occur. You just can't make this stuff up. But it's happening every day in America. What's wrong with this picture?

As I mentioned in my last post, we have things to fear in this country. There is increasing concern and talk about the Ebola virus. Some of it is hyped up in ignorance or purposely which is a really bad idea. But we need all the "boots on the ground" we can have to deal with a public health issue and to make sure Americans are safe. I remind my readers that we have gone without a Surgeon General in our country for quite some time. Why? Because the NRA lobbyists and leaders have decided that the nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy, might just do something about gun safety reform to keep us safe from the gun violence epidemic. It's time for that to change. Common sense tells us that no matter what else a Surgeon General does, surely that person is needed to engage and inform the public about health and safety concerns. Some Democrats and most Republicans are afraid to confirm this man. Shame on them for their lack of courage. What difference does it make since this great article points out that at election time, the NRA endorses mostly the Republican candidates anyway. From the article:
Howard Wolfson, a political strategist now employed by Bloomberg’s pro-gun control PAC, Independence USA, saw a similar effect from Begich and Pryor’s NRA freeze-out. “It’s not clear to me what their votes got them other than grief,” he said. “If this is how [the NRA] rewards their friends, I certainly wouldn’t want to be one. They would have been greatly advantaged politically by voting the right way. They would have actually made friends rather than take heat from the people they sided with. That’s a very teachable moment. You do the thing you know is wrong for political motivations and then the people who you think are going to help you hurt you. That will be long remembered in the Democratic caucus.” (Pryor’s campaign declined to speak on the record for this story. Begich’s campaign did not return calls, nor did the NRA.) (...)  
All of which is to say that even some pro-gun-control politicians and advocates are still wary about where and how to make themselves heard—which, let’s face it, undercuts their own effort to persuade other elected officials and the media that gun politics are heading in their direction. But that shift is happening, regardless. There’s still a ways to go—for one thing, it’s quite possible that Republicans will reclaim the majority this fall even without guns being a big rallying cry for the right, which will all but doom the prospects of bringing Manchin-Toomey back for another try in the next two years. But if there is another vote, it’s quite possible that Kay Hagan will be in the Senate for it and Mark Pryor and Mark Begich won’t. And their colleagues may well draw a lesson from that, one that will further erode the ancient, self-perpetuating notion of NRA omnipotence.
Let's hope our leaders realize that siding with the corporate gun lobby is a really bad idea given the consequences of not acting on laws that could save lives. What is wrong with us? We have been led to believe some things that are simply not true by a mythically powerful organization representing a large industry- the gun manufacturers and sellers. Meanwhile, according to the Violence Policy Center, more Americans are affected by gun violence than car accidents in some states. And men continue to murder women with guns at an alarming rate.

It is a sad state of affairs when our elected leaders are willing to sacrifice the lives of their citizens because of fear of the corporate gun lobby. There is a lot wrong with this picture. Let's get to work to make the changes the majority of Americans want and deserve. While we are diddling around and showing our feathers, people are dying. It's a national shame and a tragedy. We are better than this.

UPDATE:

It didn't take long to find yet another example of a "law abiding" "good guy" with a gun doing something very tragic and stupid with his gun. A Pennsylvania State Trooper was killed when another trooper's gun discharged in a training session and hit him in the chest. These things are avoidable and senseless. In America we treat guns too cavalierly and too many incidents like this are happening. What is wrong with us?

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