Some of the commentary currently taking place almost exactly duplicates what I have been saying all along. Do not get me wrong! I am completely for Americans keeping and baring arms. I believe the Second Amendment to be completely clear on the subject and that the framers of the Constitution meant exactly that – it is our right.
Having said that, my experience has fully taught me that those not trained AND full time experienced in the appropriate response to situations like that that took place in Tucson, AZ have no business caring a concealed weapon and acting as the law and order in like situations.
All situations not being equal, this time the answer was citizens with their bare hands. No one or multiple individuals could have stopped the rapid fire occurrence that took place – it was over in a matter of seconds. Joe Zamudio was almost the culprit in what was soon to be a much worse tragedy – had it not been for the other unarmed citizens that “yelled that he had the wrong guy” there just might possibly been more than six dead – it was just that close. The fact that Joe has a gun and was ready made absolutely no difference whatsoever. His training “working at his mother’s art gallery” did not come into play.
For those that don’t know who Joe Zamudio is, he is just a guy that had just bought a pack of smokes in the Walgreens and upon leaving the store herd gunshots ring out. Joe hauled himself over to the Safeway with gun in hand, ready to do his duty. Joe went after the wrong guy; after all Joe works in his mother’s art gallery and is not a trained first responder. Joe almost shot the wrong guy; a hero doing his best trying to hold down the real perpetrator. Waving a gun around might had made Joe the second gunman feared to be involved at the onset. Joe, another hero, just might himself have been shot by another first responder. Had the events speculated actually took place the tragedy that took place in Tucson doubly tragic.
I take the details of Joe’s actions and situation from a commentary published in the Denver Post (Close Call at the OK Corral) and authored by Mike Littwin, dated 19 Jan 2011.
I don’t have the answers to what we need to do. I do believe there are two areas where we need to do better. First, those individuals identified with mental trouble need to be identified and prevented from purchasing any sort of firearm. Second, assault type rifles have no business in the hands of civilians; it was a mistake to ever allow this to become the norm. There is absolutely no need for anybody outside of the military and law enforcement to have this capability. BUT, how do you turn back the hands on the clock? This is the conundrum that we face – but face it we must.