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, December 16, 2014

Bad day for the corporate gun lobby

This blog post was already started before I watched The Rachel Maddow Show last night. She was clearly on the same page as the rest of us "gun grabbers" after Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed for his new job as Surgeon General early last evening. Rachel gets it. Things didn't go so well yesterday for the gun lobby, sometimes known as the National Rifle Association (NRA). And here's why:

Things are not as they once were for the NRA and the corporate gun lobby. The persistence of people who believe that changes must happen in our country is leading to small successes. And those small successes will build on bigger and more important ones. Common sense wins in the end over political wrong headedness.

It was also a bad day for the tired old false mantra that more guns make us safer. In Virginia ( again) a high school student was found to have a cache of weapons and ammunition in his car parked in the school's parking lot. Inexplicably, from the article, this statement was made:
Both the school superintendent and Middlesex Sheriff’s Officials said there was no indication Martin planned to attack the school. They said he was very cooperative when he was brought to the front of the school to asked about the weapons.
If this young man was not going to attack the school, what or who was he going to attack? 18 year olds should not have guns like this in the first place. Where did the guns come from? Stolen? At home? In the second place, it is unlikely that a kid is carrying weapons and ammunition around in his car for the fun of it. If not the school, perhaps he was planning to attack a shopping mall or a movie theater or any number of places where mass shootings happen on a regular basis in America.

And in Pennsylvania, a spree shooting occurred leaving 6 dead and the gunman still on the loose. This was clearly a domestic dispute gone very wrong. It was also a case of someone with known PTSD and a drunken driving charge who also had a gun(s). There are some people who should not guns. Governor McAuliffe (above) understands that. Most of the world and even most Americans understand that. But the corporate gun lobby defies common sense and tries to claim that just anyone should be able to purchase weapons in America. And innocent victims suffer as a result.

The thing is, many of the gun deaths in America are preventable. Guns are dangerous weapons designed specifically to kill others. Not everyone should have them. The violence that occurs as a result is devastating to families all over the country on a daily basis. We can change that if we put our heads together for a national conversation not based on fear and hyperbole. We can change things if we change laws and change the conversation.

It was a very bad day for the families and friends of the Pennsylvania victims and it will be a bad day for the shooter once he is found and if he is found alive. It was a very bad day for the family of the 18 year old Virginia student found with an arsenal in his car. It's a bad day for America whenever incidents like the ones above happen and the ones I write about every day.

And the corporate gun lobby does not know what to do with the demonstrations of insanity of the open carry advocates who flaunt their weapons in public to make some point that alludes most sane Americans. These folks claim to be "law abiding" folks who intend no harm. So it was a bad day for Texas Open Carry advocates who learned that one of their own killed her ex-husband and one other person 5 days ago:
A woman charged with shooting and killing her ex-husband and stepdaughter has strong connections to groups advocating for expanding open carry gun laws in Texas.
Local news outlets on Wednesday reported that Veronica Dunnachie was arrested and charged with shooting and killing her ex-husband and step daughter.
Buried in some of the initial reporting on the arrest of Dunnachie seems to have been an active participant in open carry groups in Texas. The local ABC affiliate, WFAA, noted that Dunnachie's Facebook page is photos of her engaged in open carry firearm advocacy activities. WFAA also noted that one of her profile pictures included the text "Sometimes removing some people out of your life makes room for better people."
Veronica and Russell Dunnachie were going through a divorce, according to court records.
Clearly those guns did not make this family safer.

Every day these incidents happen is a bad day for the corporate gun lobby and a bad day for Americans. Let's get to work and change the news. It's happening slowly but it's happening. And while things are changing we will continue to keep the victims in mind. For that is why we do this work.


In case you hadn't heard, the body of the Pennsylvania spree shooter was found in the woods near his home. He killed himself by "cutting" himself in his abdominal area. Now there will be some mystery surrounding what caused a man to kill so many people. But hopefully more information will be revealed in the next few weeks. Here's a bit more information about the life of a man so desperate he was willing to do anything.


  1. So....According to gov McAuliffe I as a gun collector would only be able to buy 12 handguns in a year in Virginia. Can someone please tell me how this is going to do any good besides slow me as a collector/investor down from collecting? P.S don't come back with; "it will limit straw purchases" as that is already illegal. Also if all lives count (which they do), not just one or two or several, if someone is going to straw purchase what about the life or lives affected by that one gun allowed? Or in a years time 12 guns? The ONLY thing that will accomplish is raise the $$ value on the illegal sale of said gun. Clearly not the answer to completely stop illegal gun sales. I do not have the answer. Anyone??

    1. I must admit to not understanding your logic about livers saved if there is no limit on the number of guns purchased a month or at any given time. Isn't one gun enough for self defense if that is what you mean? Limiting gun sales to one a month is a way to limit trafficking. Guns in mostly states with loose gun laws like Virginia end up getting trafficked to states where laws are stricter. Why not stop that? We don't want guns in the hands of those who shouldn't have them. I think you agree to that paladin. Also, if we had universal background checks or at least background checks on gun sales made by private sellers at gun shows and on the Internet, we would be pretty certain that guns are being sold to those who do not have bad intentions ( at least at the time of the sale). That is our biggest problem right now. Anyone can buy guns just about anywhere. There need to be some limits. Straw purchasing is illegal of course, but it happens any way. We need to strengthen our laws against straw purchasing and crack down on "bad apple" gun dealers. As to raising the value of illegal guns? Is there proof of that happening? Wouldn't it also raise the price of illegal guns making it harder for people who shouldn't have them from being able to purchase them? The answer is not complete as you said. I don't have all the answers either. No one does. But we surely need to make attempts to do a better job of keeping us safer from devastating gun violence. It sounds like you agree with that.

    2. japete, my logic is that one gun in the wrong hands is one too many. You said limiting gun sales to one per month is a way to limit trafficking. Yes it may limit, but it will not stop trafficking completely, that is the frustrating part of more laws than we already have. It isn't about one gun a month for self defense, there is way more to that than I think you want to be bored with right now. (I would very much enjoy visiting about that with you sometime but I type way to slow) :) So then it comes to what next? this is where gun owners get frustrated because not even an outright ban will stop all gun homicides, but that is what we fear is around the corner. We need to get to the core of the problem, whatever the hell that is, you can't pick just one thing, it is a lot of things that add up, society's value of life and values in general, video games, mental illness, gangs, race...I could go on, the point is it is not just THE gun/tool used to hurt or kill someone, it is the mental state of the person who is denying another of life or well being. Is he/she in the gravel pit like me with my kids shooting at cans or is it a wanna be gangbanger shooting at someone for initiation? Once again I have no problem with keeping guns out of the wrong hands, just frustrated with how to do it in a way actually works.

    3. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I, too, am frustrated. All I know is that other countries have managed this by strengthening gun laws. It really is no mystery that where gun laws are stronger, there are fewer gun deaths. That is true of the states that have passed stronger gun laws. There are fewer gun deaths per capita. That indicates that laws do matter. Of course, I get that not all deaths will be stopped. None of us suffer from that illusion.But saving lives is what we are about. Certainly we put a lot of effort and research into stemming the tide of auto accidents, deaths from smoking/second hand smoking, drunk driving, cancer, etc. In some cases it took laws passing to make it happen. But it also took a change in attitude and culture and looking at everything that contributes. That is what we are trying to do here. We are not trying to limit law abiding gun owners like yourself from having your guns as long as you use them safely and store them securely. And if your state of mind changes, such as in depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, a nasty divorce, etc. we hope that guns will not be accessible just in case. That is why my sister is dead. So yes, it's keeping guns from those who shouldn't have them and limiting access to people who have them and are going through a life crisis of some kind. And certainly keeping guns from small children and teens to prevent accidental shootings and suicides.