We’ve Become Desensitized to Guns

This past weekend, headlines across the country told the shocking tale of a Michigan Uber driver who randomly shot and killed six people, gravely wounded two others, all over a seven hour shooting spree, intertwined with his picking up and delivering various fares.

What failed to garner national headlines included what are now commonplace events, occurring every weekend, every weekday, every moment, in communities across the

country. These non headlines were the following: Over this past weekend when Jason Dalton apparently randomly shot innocent people living their otherwise uneventful lives in Kalamazoo, MI, there were occurring five other mass shootings that accounted for the deaths of four additional people and the wounding of 14 more, and in total across the country, the weekend saw 80 people shot and killed by gunfire, and 150 wounded. These victims brought the totals for the first seven weeks of 2016 to 1,754 deaths and 3,437 wounded by guns across the good old USA.
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And yet, the cry of vocal gun fanciers across the nation is not to do ANYTHING to in ANYWAY restrict the God-given right to shoot your neighbor by putting substance and enforcement in gun purchase regulations, but rather to arm more and more people, in particular through concealed carry permits, because as we all know, the good guys with a gun will ALWAYS stop the bad buys with a gun.

From the book, “Yea, Right”, coming to a Barnes & Noble near you.

Two of this past weekend’s mass shootings occurred in the great state of Florida, home to some of the most lenient gun laws in the country. Florida law widely permits concealed carry, gun sales between individuals are totally unregulated, and while state law does not require background checks for gun purchases, it does reserve that power to individual counties, but only four of the state’s 67 counties have enacted such requirements. Just where were these “Good Guys with a Gun” when 28-year-old Manuel Ortiz was shot and killed and three others wounded at a Tampa, FL bar, and where where they when four people were wounded at a Parramore, FL grocery store?

By all accounts, James E. Lonaker was a “good guy” – ambitious, hard working, raising a family, and no reported criminal record, and the possessor of a concealed carry permit in his home state of Indiana. Sunday night, Lonaker and his wife, and their 6-year-old son were all in the master bedroom when Lonaker put the gun he had been holding down on a table, and turned to his computer. Mrs. Lonaker heard what sounded like a “pop”, thinking little of it, until she turned to see her husband bleeding from a bullet wound to his chest.

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With zero idea as to what he was doing, the 6-year-old had picked up the gun and shot and killed his father.

Records indicate that in this the seventh week of the year, that it was the 18th accidental shooting by a child under the age of 10 in the US - and of those, the sixth fatality, virtually one per week - up from last year when children under 18 were responsible for “only” 265
accidental shootings.

And while all this is going on, the small but vocal pro-gun lobby here in West Covina is on its way to greatly expanding the proliferation of guns in our community. A year or so ago, the city council voted down 3-2 a measure to allow private citizens with concealed carry permits to bring their guns to City Hall and to City Council meetings. Now, post the November, 2015 election, the pro-gun side has apparently reversed the majority, and is in the process of revisiting that measure.

California law provides that the Country Sheriff or if so agreed, local police chiefs, are the issuing officers for concealed carry permits, within certain defined restrictions, including a “Good Cause” requirement. Each such issuing officer is required by state law to promulgate their own guidelines for such issuance, and that was done by the current West Covina Chief of Police. In fact, the West Covina Chief of Police has not issued a new concealed carry permit in many years, and that has rankled the haunches of some in the community. Thus, this past week, a measure was brought up on the council agenda for city staff to research and bring back proposals for “Good Cause”, to be discussed and ultimately determined by the council, in clear violation of state law, which gives the issuing officer – here the chief of police – sole responsibility for such determinations. As part of the council discussion, the Chief was asked what were his guidelines, and he read them to

the council, some of whom were not pleased, and the measure was then passed by the new 3-2 majority.

This is all happening when the US Ninth Circuit Count of Appeals is about to issue a ruling in the case of Peruta v San Diego, where the issue of “Good Cause” for the issuance of concealed carry
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permits is about to be determined. The case was argued last summer and a decision is expected momentarily, but the council would not wait for the Court to provide guidance and even to determine the legality of the “Good Cause” requirement.

This portends the bringing back for reconsideration of the failed measure to allow weapons at City Council meetings. Even in Florida, that is not allowed.

About theHoundDawg

For many years as a lawyer, I saw much of the good and bad of society, and did what I could to right many wrongs. The lack of understanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, as evidenced by such events as the election of King W as president, (who as such far surpassed the evil of richard nixon but not quite that of ronald reagan) lead me in a new direction, to spend my time trying to understand what is happening to our society, to try as best I can to spread my insights to others, and along the way to maybe even eke out a living through the internet.
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3 Responses to We’ve Become Desensitized to Guns

  1. pwh says:

    he never was taught t appreciate a gun sorry folks u dont leave a gun out like that no one t blame but ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;if u dont know better not own a gun

    • theHoundDawg says:

      Unfortunately, this type of thing happens all too frequently. A significant number of gun owners either refuse to understand the danger or just do not care.

  2. Michael Case says:

    Unfortunately, it is true. Americans are so desensitized to gun violence and it goes back to their wild west roots. It is part of their culture, part of their history so they just accept it as it is.

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