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.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Problems with guns and blogs

I am experiencing difficulties with my blog so have not been posting as often as I would like to be. I am also unable to post comments at the moment which is too bad because I want to respond to a few. Here are what some of my readers said, as copied and pasted by me, about my last post:

BHirsh has left a new comment on your post "Political agendas, gun laws and gun lobby influenc...": 

You guys just refuse to listen.

You can't take our guns, you can't restrict our use of guns, you can't do DICK about our guns, period.

We will not let you.

Got it? "

I do like that one because it reflects the level of fear and paranoia that I reference often while writing my blog. So Hirsh is pretty sure I'm out for his guns and nothing can be done, period. There. That's the end of it then. I guess we'll all pack up our bags and go home. Further he is apparently threatening something here. And if I (we) don't get it, then what?

And this next one reflects the lies and deceptions of the gun rights extremists:

Ralph has left a new comment on your post "Political agendas, gun laws and gun lobby influenc...": 

Background checks will open the door for registration/confiscation..

Know your history "

Well, Ralph, it's you who doesn't know your history very well. In the over 20 years since the Brady background check law has been in existence, the door has not been opened to registration or confiscation. Do we have gun registration in America? No. Have we had gun confiscation other than taking guns away from those who used them with bad intent or were threatening someone? I wonder what he is talking about? It's not happening. Instead 2.4 million gun sales have been stopped at licensed dealers all over the country when prohibited gun purchasers have tried to buy guns anyway. 

So while I'm waiting for things to get fixed on my blog, I continue to monitor the senseless shootings that happen every day which is why us "gun grabbers" keep working on stopping the shootings. It's only common sense that we should do something about this national epidemic.

Here is what's going on in your neck of the woods- pick a place:

An Iraqi man who fled to America to escape the horrors of the Islamic State was shot dead as he took pictures of the first snowfall he had ever seen.

Ahmed Al-Jumaili, 36, and his new wife moved from Iraq to Dallas, Texas, 20 days ago to be near relatives and start married life in a 'safer place'.

But on Wednesday night, at 11.30pm, a group of men armed with rifles appeared outside the couple's apartment and opened fire, striking Al-Jumaili in the chest, police said. 

Authorities are investigating the possibility Al-Jumaili was the victim of a hate crime.
It's getting to be pretty dangerous to live in America. Getting to be? It's been this way for a very long time. And the coincidence of a man who fled Iraq for a safer country being shot to death in America is stunning. From this article:
Officers responded to a shooting call in the 9900 block of Walnut Street at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday and found 36-year-old Ahmed Al-Jumaili, who police said had suffered a gunshot wound.
Witnesses told police that a group of men was randomly firing a gun. Police said Al-Jumaili was in a nearby parking lot taking pictures of the snow when he was shot.
So a group of "law abiding" gun owners were out randomly firing a gun? Can you do that? If so, why? What were these guys thinking? Not much apparently. And why oh why are there so many idiots with guns on our streets? Anything goes for some stupid and dangerous people with guns. Bullets don't know where to stop and when flying around on our streets, often find an innocent human being. Guns are dangerous weapons designed to kill another human being. They are a risk that is rarely admitted by the corporate gun lobby. Thus, this is the country we have. It's a uniquely American second amendment problem with no good solutions in sight because - the gun lobby.

How about this incident in Michigan?:
But then Pioneer High School choir director Steven Lorenz noticed before the performance that Wade, who has a concealed pistol license, was openly carrying his gun at the show.
"He came up to me before the concert started and said he wanted to let me know I was making some people uncomfortable," Wade said.
"I said, 'Thanks for letting me know.'"
After this initial encounter, more ensued:
In between sets, DiBlassio approached the row Wade was sitting in and attempted to photograph him. Following the concert, he stood at the back of the theater and asked for everyone's attention before pointing out that Wade had been openly carrying his pistol during the event.
"I told everyone I thought they should be aware that while they were at the concert watching their kids that there was someone with a firearm and ammunition and maybe we want to think about that," DiBlassio said.
He went on to tell people to look into contacting school board members and state representatives if they also felt uncomfortable.
"I posed the question to them saying 'don't we want something like a gun-free campus' for our schools," DiBlassio said. "And I said I personally wasn't comfortable with this."
As he finished speaking, DiBlassio said told everyone in the audience where Wade had been sitting and that he was wearing a white shirt.
Wade said he was able to leave the auditorium without any major incidents. However, he said his father was attacked in the lobby by a woman at the show. He said the family has video of the alleged incident and is considering pressing charges for assault and battery.
The thing is, the presence of a man with a loaded gun is not necessarily reassuring or comfortable to most people. The man didn't do anything illegal. That's the problem. Legislators passed gun permit laws so people like this guy can carry in public. They thought it was a good idea. It wasn't. It was a bad idea. Why? Because there is likely a zero chance that someone would need a loaded gun at a school music performance. And there is actually more of a chance that the gun could be used against the person who is carrying it or someone near by. Take this one for just one recent example of why the idea of loaded guns in public can "backfire":
ROSEBURG, Ore. – A Roseburg man was arrested after he accidentally shot himself in the groin at a downtown Roseburg tavern just after midnight Thursday, according to the Roseburg Police Department.
Around 12:15 a.m., officers responded to a report of a man, 27-year-old Jeried Christopher Wiliker, who had accidentally shot himself while inside the Idle Hour Tavern.  
Officers say they found Wiliker lying on the porch on the west side of the tavern, where the man told Officers he had accidentally shot himself.
A military sharp shooter ( also from Texas) wrote in the Houston Chronicle about why open carrying of loaded guns is a really bad idea: 
The mentality of many gun owners today is a far cry from what I knew growing up. What is heard from open-carry fans seems to be a fascination with guns - a swagger-inspired fascination that possessing a pistol in a public forum will make everyone safe. The chutzpah of open-carry advocates: We will be the protecters against the bad guy!
But I wonder: When the bullets fly, will police know who is the good guy? Maybe one will be a hero and then again maybe not when others pull their guns and begin to fire. Hero-seekers are a danger to themselves and others.
What I will not be comfortable with if open carry becomes law in Texas, as some state lawmakers are proposing, is encountering a gun carrier in a restaurant sporting a holstered 9mm with an extended magazine. I will wonder: Is this person really licensed, or is he an unlicensed bad guy casing the premises to commit crime or an act of terror? Is he of a proper mental state or has his mental health changed since he was licensed? Does he properly maintain and clean his weapon as required? Is his weapon housing a chambered round? When was the last time he qualified on a firing range? Can he really be trusted to take on the gut-wrenching task he obviously seeks? Should the business owner check the licenses and qualifications of gun-holstered patrons before allowing them to enter armed?
The open-carry advocate will say he is strapping on heat to protect himself. Doing so in your home or on your property, yes, I would agree we have that right. But when openly carrying a firearm in a public setting, the dynamics include folks like me. And my internal commentary will go something like this: "I don't know you from Adam, so I question your ability. A police officer has the certification that assures some level of confidence that she can safely and appropriately manage her weapon, but I won't know if you do."
Most gun owners understand common sense about guns and gun violence.

It's not normal for citizens to be carrying loaded pistols around wherever they go. The people who do so think it is. They also think that nothing will ever happen to them. But things happen all the time. I've blogged about them before. In the meantime, the rest of us don't feel safer or more comfortable with these guys with their guns. And pushing the open carrying of assault rifles in public places as a show of intimidation and stupidity is just not working out so well for gun extremists. Check this one out as open carriers thought they could "educate" the public about the safety they can provide for the rest of us in grocery stores where so much bad stuff goes down.

Let's look again at the recent shooting epidemic of children shooting other children in Texas as just one example of why the idea of guns everywhere is a really bad idea. A writer in the Houston Chronicle writes about common sense around guns:
I can't help but wonder what Alice Tripp, legislative director of the Texas Rifle Association, a state-level affiliate of the National Rifle Association, might be thinking now. In September 2014, Tripp told the Austin American-Statesman in an interview that she wouldn't dream of asking about the presence of unsecured guns when dropping her grandkids off for a play date.
Perhaps to her, and too many others in our state (long known for its gun-friendly culture), the question seems gauche, even taboo. It might even seem unnecessary, given that Tripp, "teaches [her] children and grandchildren gun safety. That's the best insulation."
The best? When pausing on this backward line of thinking - one that ultimately shoulders curious 4-year-olds with the responsibility for their own safety around unsecured and loaded firearms - it doesn't help that some would dismiss tragedies like those of this past weekend as "nuanced." (As in: That wouldn't happen in my neighborhood.) Indeed, a host of additional social problems, some involving Child Protective Services and accusations of child neglect or abuse, infused the life of at least one of these young victims. The harshest of critics might even conclude these kinds of shooting deaths only happen in homes with these types of issues.
However, the truth is that 1.7 million American children of otherwise law-abiding and responsible families live in homes with unlocked and loaded firearms. And according to a report by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, nearly two children age 14 and under are killed in unintentional shootings every week. Two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them.
Given these numbers, responsible parents understand, contrary to the Texas Rifle Association leader's rather linear version of gun safety, that it also behooves them to ask other families about their gun storage practices. Yet, Tripp's dismissal of gun-nosiness goes well beyond an outdated, bizarre version of gun-owner decorum.
The NRA itself has a documented history of fighting to stop doctors (who can reach children of all slices of life) from asking if their littlest patients live in a home with guns.
Inside the gun lobby, it is evidently considered a privacy-invading outrage if a pediatrician talks to parents about safe gun ownership, or offers hard statistics on the life-threatening risks faced by children living in homes where firearms are improperly stored.
The vast majority of Americans see it quite differently. Seventy-three percent of us - and 72 percent of gun owners - believe that doctors and teachers should be allowed to educate parents about safe gun storage at home.
And 86 percent of Americans agree that parents with guns in their homes should be required to keep them locked and unloaded.
Families, in turn, must be proactively "SMART" about firearms: by Securing them, by Modeling responsible behavior around guns, by Asking about gun storage practices in other households where their kids play, by Recognizing the signs of suicide, and by Telling their peers about these same practices.
When a child dies or is injured by an unsecured gun in a home, it is not a blameless accident.
And do remember the Brady Campaign's ASK program so you can feel confident that your children and grandchildren are not playing in homes where guns are left unsecured and loaded for small hands to find them. Speaking of the ASK Campaign and the gun lobby resistance to saving lives, Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign, has written this blog post about the NRA's oppositional defiance:
The NRA president falsely claims that Brady leaders and supporters "are flat-out saying that they want to take your guns and your neighbor's guns." And he hits the panic button over our focus on parents' responsibility to realize the real dangers of guns in the home and to take appropriate steps to keep our kids and families safe.
It is ironic that the guy with the guns is spreading fear over a conversation about child safety. But we won't be shouted down by the corporate gun lobby. We'll do whatever it takes to protect our kids.
Unsafe access to guns in the home is a leading cause of deaths among U.S. children and teens, according to The Truth About Kids & Guns: 2015, a new report from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The basis for this strong statement lies in statistics available to the public from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The most recent data, from 2013, shows that firearm-related injuries are the second most common cause of death for children and teens ages 1-19. Only motor vehicles were responsible for more deaths among this age group. In 2013, suicide by firearm increased among American adolescents for the third consecutive year. In 2013, suicide by firearm reached a 12-year peak, claiming 876 lives among adolescents ages 10 to 19 - the highest level since 2001.
Research shows that most of these youth suicides (82 percent) occur with a gun belonging to a family member, usually a parent. The same trend holds true with unintentional shootings and even school shootings. In most school shooting cases (67 percent), the gun comes from the home of the shooter or a friend or relative. (...) 
The NRA wants to squelch the simple message of responsible parenting to protect our children. We'll do everything we can to keep our kids safe. We will be heard.
Join our conversation. Talk to friends and family. Ask if there is a gun where your child visits or plays. Ask how it is stored. And if one of your loved ones is depressed and having suicidal thoughts, then remove items from your home - like guns or medication - that could be used in a suicide attempt. If you don't want to get rid of a gun to prevent a potential suicide, then consider storing it in a secure location off-site.
The Second Amendment lets Americans own guns. The First Amendment lets us talk about how dangerous they are. Don't let the NRA shout down the national conversation about the extraordinary danger to children and families of guns in the home.
Let's review shall we. "...and 72 percent of gun owners- believe that doctors and teachers should be allowed to educate parents about safe gun storage at home." And from another article: "The most recent data, from 2013, shows that firearm-related injuries are the second most common cause of death for children and teens ages 1-19. Only motor vehicles were responsible for more deaths among this age group." But the gun lobby will have nothing of it. I guess it's OK by them for small children to shoot themselves or others. I guess gun suicides and domestic shootings are fine by the NRA. This, too, is a uniquely American second amendment problem and we have it because, well, because- the corporate gun lobby.

We must be better than this. If we work together like adults with the interest of safety and victims in mind, we can solve this problem. Let's get to work.

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