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Posted at 11:47 AM ET, 01/10/2011

In Arizona, packing heat didn't work

By Lee Hockstader

The horror in Arizona exposes the lunacy of the notion, popular among Republicans, that a heavily armed populace can stop a deranged gunman.

After the horror at Virginia Tech, in 2007, gun advocates -- overwhelmingly Republicans -- advanced the idea that the massacre might have been cut short if students had been allowed to carry weapons. School policy at Tech forbids students, visitors and most others to have weapons on campus. The Tech massacre even gave rise to an advocacy group, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

The cause was given prominent voice just a couple of months ago by Keith Fimian, Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia's 11th District, who said, "I think at Virginia Tech, if one of those kids in one of those classrooms was packing heat, I think that -- that would not have happened."

In the resulting uproar, Fimian was forced to backpedal and apologize for what he called "a horrible choice of words." In fact, it was precisely the same choice of words that many like-minded Republicans had used in reference to the Virginia Tech tragedy. In a close race, voters in the 11th District, no doubt recognizing the stupidity of his remark, handed Fimian a defeat he might not otherwise have suffered.

Now we have the events in Tucson, not dissimilar from those at Virginia Tech, where a loner with a gun undertakes a lethal rampage whose body count mounts quickly due to the suddenness and surprise of the attack.

The assault in Tucson took place in public, in a state that has some of the laxest gun laws in the country. Given the huge numbers of people who carry weapons there, it's inconceivable that some nearby witnesses in the parking lot or the supermarket were not, as Fimian would have it, packing heat.

But none of them could stop Jared Loughner from inflicting his carnage, just as none of the students at Virginia Tech, even if they had been armed, could have stopped Seung Hui-Cho. A determined, decisive gunman, acting quickly and with murderous intent, has the overwhelming advantage of surprise.

The real problem is the stupendous ease with which virtually anyone in Arizona, as in Virginia, can purchase a handgun and ammunition. (Cho's, remember, was the hollow-pointed variety, designed specifically to inflict maximum bodily damage.) Cho's widely recognized erratic behavior and mental health problems, Loughner's equally widely recognized erratic behavior and failed Army drug test -- none of it was enough to keep them from buying a weapon with minimal effort. Packing heat doesn't deter murder worth a damn; but turning up the heat on state lawmakers to get serious about gun control just might.

By Lee Hockstader  | January 10, 2011; 11:47 AM ET
Categories:  Hockstader  | Tags:  Lee Hockstader  
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Next: Reconciliation in the school reform war


Between the NRA and weapons dealers, the chance of an American state or city instituting sane gun control laws are next to nil. Every time some maniac gets a gun legally and wipes some innocent people out, we think about it. Then promptly let the issue fade.

Posted by: CardFan | January 10, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I guess a better answer would be that more Democrats should get off the gun control wagon and get on the 2nd Amendment rights wagon.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | January 10, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Does the NRA really believe that every man, woman and child in America should be armed? But with everyone armed, no one is safe. How many of us want to live in a country like that?

Posted by: 85edwardearthlinknet | January 10, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Does the NRA really believe that every man, woman and child in America should be armed? But with everyone armed, no one is safe. How many of us want to live in a country like that?

Posted by: 85edwardearthlinknet | January 10, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Imagine if everyone walked around with a loaded gun with an extra large ammo clip, like the one Jared Loughner had. How many silly traffic disputes would turn into shoot outs? How many verbal altercations would be ended with gun fire? Those who think we would be safer if everyone carried a gun on them fail to realize that for every criminal who may be deterred there will be ten ordinary citizens who will let momentary anger turn into an incident they will always regret. It is time for the pendulum in this country to swing back towards common sense and safety when it comes to gun laws.

Posted by: soberg2002 | January 10, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The reason popular figures have armed security personnel is to take out nuts like the killer in Arizona. It appears that the security staff were not trained properly in crowd control and offensive tactics. A properly trained security official should have wounded or killed the shooter after he exposed his weapon. I would say the local Sheriff and his officers need additional training.

Posted by: quillerm | January 10, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

This article is comically misinformed. Simply because of the state of gun laws in Arizona, the author assumes that someone in the crowd must have had a firearm. Contrary to his assumption, it is perfectly conceivable that no one close enough to the action was packing. The congresswoman was a gun-control Democrat, her constituents most likely shared those views, so it is perfectly reasonable to come up with a sample size of 20 or so (who would be in position to stop the shooter) who did not have a gun with them at that particular time.

Now in the case of Arizona, it seems that their background checks (if there are any) do need some bolstering. This dude should not have been allowed to legally purchase a gun. However, Arizona does not need to become like D.C., where legal gun owners are/were not allowed to keep their guns in a ready state should they need them for self-defense in their homes.

And let's dispel with this notion that "guns kill people." Last time I checked, a gun requires someone to pull the trigger. With how troubled this dude was, he could just as easily (and much more cheaply) bought a knife or some other weapon. Limiting the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves is not what we should allow, nor is it constitutional.

Posted by: octopi213 | January 10, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

soberg2002 thousands of people in AZ, VA, and other states are carrying firearms openly and concealed as I type this. Why aren't they shooting at each other in traffic? VA has always allowed citizens to carry openly, and ten or fifteen years ago when they expanded that to allow carrying concealed, your "wild west" argument was rolled out as it always is when states relax gun laws. Fifteen years later, i read the paper every day, and there have been no wild west scenes in VA, or any shootouts over being cut off in traffic that I'm aware of. Anti gunners disregard reality, logic and facts and cling to a notion that is complete bunk. How come there aren't daily shootouts in states like VA and AZ? Can you explain that to me? I can explain it. It's a crock. It doesn't happen. The problem isn't guns, it's loonies who misuse them. If I run over a family with my car because I just want to, or because I don't like republicans, are you going to be screaming that the govt should take away your car and everyone else's? I don't think so.

Posted by: red2million | January 10, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Saturday’s tragedy is a stark object lesson in the need for common-sense interpretation of our Constitution. This event has proven that, as a society, we will be unable to enjoy the essential and most precious rights guaranteed by the First Amendment - freedom of speech, petition for redress of grievances, etc. - as long as the Second Amendment is interpreted to provide virtually unfettered access to, and unlimited availability of, deadly weapons. For what was the gunman doing, other than exercising his perceived right to protest governmental actions with which he disagreed?

Speech in the mouths of everyone, including dissidents: by all means, YES! Firearms in the hands of everyone: a resounding NO.

Posted by: nan_lynn | January 10, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

A good defensive weapon is always ready and cannot be used offensively, to avoid prompting pre-emptive strikes. A gun is not a good defensive weapon and no amount of NRA spin can make it so.

Posted by: vmax02rider | January 10, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Given the huge numbers of people who carry weapons there, it's inconceivable that some nearby witnesses in the parking lot or the supermarket were not... packing heat."

This entire argument is based on this absurd ASSUMPTION.

AZ is an OPEN-CARRY state. What would the reaction be if someone was openly carrying a pistol to a meet-and-greet with a congresswoman?

What about the people who TACKLED the shooter? Would it be "inconcievable" to you that they weren't carrying?

This column is devoid of facts and reason and another example of shameless partisan scorekeeping in the wake of a national tragedy. Well, CONGRATULATIONS! It looks like you've won your debate. Now take your trophy back to your cave.

Posted by: jboogie1 | January 10, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

While it is foolish to point to an isolated instance and say "see X law didn't work" ... the same could be said for the myriad federal restrictions on gun ownership. The law touted as gun control's greatest modern accomplishment ... Brady background checks ... didn't work, either.

Posted by: ambiguae | January 10, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

octopi213 might want to read up before writing. Gifford supported the right to carry concealed weapons and at her last event some got so excited that when they were jumping up and down their gun fell out of its holster. So I'd say that given there were concealed weapons on hand it is more likely than not that there were this time.

Posted by: crete | January 10, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

i read the paper every day, and there have been no wild west scenes in VA, or any shootouts over being cut off in traffic that I'm aware of.

Posted by: red2million | January 10, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, there was one a year or so ago, in which someone opened fire on a truck driver who cut him off on I-95, claiming he was being run off the road.

Posted by: jboogie1 | January 10, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Octopi213 - You are misinformed.

Rep. Giffords is a conservative "blue dog" Democrat and is by reports I have read very much a defender of second amendment rights. She represents a largely Republican district.

What in the shooters background would have legally stopped him from obtaining a gun?

Your assumptions are just as fallacious.

What if somebody with her was carrying a gun or if she was, but they are the first ones hit? What then? I know! then we need EVEN MORE of the people to be armed so that statistically one will survive the initial ambush and return fire. 10 or 20 more rounds whipping around would certainly have helped the situation.

Posted by: quinnser33 | January 10, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

An unbelievably stupid piece serving no purpose other than to pander to a liberal anti-gun audience. If the author really believes his drivel, he should immediately move to Washington, DC and never leave the city. He should then, according to his diatribe, be safe from "gun violence".

Let's hope that he takes this advice.

Posted by: curious606 | January 10, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

You don't hear of anything like this happening in civilized countries like France, britian and Germany. No, only in the lunatic backwoods of the good ole' USA. No wonder we are declining in power, status and commerse.

Posted by: sux123 | January 10, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

nyah, nyah, nyah... the SafeWay shoppers missed him?

That's the author's point? Seriously?

You stay classy, Lee.


Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 10, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

My question is a simple one: why is the U.S., alone of all Western nations, obsessed with the idea of personal ownership of firearms? There is unbelievable gun violence in Mexico and Brazil, but none of it is wrapped in pious declarations about constitutional rights. Yes, I know all about the second amendment to the Constitution, but that doesn't explain why we are, as the title to one book about the history of violence in America has it, the "Gunfighter Nation."

Posted by: purdyjack | January 10, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"Given the huge numbers of people who carry weapons there,.." Just exactly how many people carry guns in Arizona? I doubt that it is anywhere near what you "imagine" it to be. I lived In Tucson for 4 years during the period of time when the law did not allow concealed weapons but rather insisted on it being openly displayed. And in 4 years I saw 3 guns within the city of Tucson. I suggest you come up with more than just your "opinion" on what a huge number is. In Texas, where I am licensed to carry a concealed weapon there is somewhere around 250,000 to 300,000 licensed to carry. Out of a population just over 25 million that is about 1.2%. Odds of one of us being at the scene of a mass murder is pretty thin.

But please tell me what is a "huge number"?

Posted by: staterighter | January 10, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"Given the huge numbers of people who carry weapons there,.." Just exactly how many people carry guns in Arizona? I doubt that it is anywhere near what you "imagine" it to be. I lived In Tucson for 4 years during the period of time when the law did not allow concealed weapons but rather insisted on it being openly displayed. And in 4 years I saw 3 guns within the city of Tucson. I suggest you come up with more than just your "opinion" on what a huge number is. In Texas, where I am licensed to carry a concealed weapon there is somewhere around 250,000 to 300,000 licensed to carry. Out of a population just over 25 million that is about 1.2%. Odds of one of us being at the scene of a mass murder is pretty thin.

But please tell me what is a "huge number"?

Posted by: staterighter | January 10, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

liberals protecting themselves with guns.... how preposterous.

it was a liberal get together.

liberals choose NOT to protect themselves with guns. that is how they choose to live.

maybe they should have brought a right winger with them for help.

absurd argument.

Posted by: docwhocuts | January 10, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Obviously the OP didn't bother to research Arizona's gun laws or he would not have written this article. It's still illegal to carry a gun to a political event. Anyone who had done so would have been breaking the law. Maybe we need to amend our law to allow guns at political events so that anyone who attempts to repeat this tragedy will find themselves staring down multiple barrels owned by other spectators.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | January 10, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The argument that ordinary citizens carrying firearms could have stopped or reduced the casualty counts at Virginia Tech or in Tucson falls apart for several reasons.

First--the surprise factor. Anyone who isn't a well-trained pro, watching for exactly this kind of attack, will not react instantly. The shooter will get off multiple shots in that time. When the citizen does react, they may not have a good sight line, or if they do have a clear field of fire, they may miss and add to the carnage. Accuracy suffers when the shock of an event like this takes place.

Second--maybe one clear-headed, fast-shooting average citizen stops the lunatic at once. How will law enforcement personnel, arriving on the scene, going to know that they have a hero and a dead bad guy? With shots already fired, you may get a dead hero, too.

Worse is the case where there are two or more armed citizens present when the lunatic pulls a gun and starts shooting. If they all pull their guns, how can any of them know that the lunatic doesn't have company? How do they choose who to shoot?

Even if the first one to shoot targets and hits the original lunatic, other ordinary citizens who don't have the same viewpoint will think the hero is another, or the original, lunatic. The probability that innocents will be killed goes up enormously each time another gun, held by an ordinary citizen, is removed from its holster.

I believe, personally, that individuals should be able to own firearms. I enjoy target shooting, and have taken firearms safety courses. I am certain that owning a firearm is a responsibility, that it must be earned (through safety courses, crime-free background, and character references--if not psych screening--from local police, clergy, teachers, or others who can speak realistically to the mental stability of the person who wants to own a firearm). Registering firearms is part of being a responsible owner, as is use of trigger locks and locked gun safes.

I am absolutely certain that I do not want everyone, or a large percentage of the people around me, to be packing heat, because most of them have little or no idea how to use their weapon in self-defense, and less of a clue as to how they would protect another person.

It is true that an armed civilian sometimes can protect themselves from attack, or even help when someone else is attacked, and such stories are well reported. Less often there are reports of someone who tried to help, and shot the wrong person. Almost never reported are the cases in which the person with the pistol never had a chance to use it, or had it stolen from them.

To avoid events like VA Tech and Tucson we don't need more guns in civilian hands. We need it to be hard for good people to get guns, and even harder for the bad people. We need to junk the attitude that more guns will fix the problem.

People in this country own more guns per capita than anywhere else in the world, and that is the real problem.

Posted by: AndrewfromNH | January 10, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Crete might want to do some research before he speaks: Ms. Giffords also supports a ban of semi-automatic weapons, which is a form of gun control.

I'm not saying there were or weren't any people there who had firearms. But the author makes an assumption that can be seriously doubted: That there was somebody packing heat within striking distance of this attack. He offers no proof, yet his entire argument is based off of this less than stable assumption.

Posted by: octopi213 | January 10, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

No. Ask yourself what's worse than a nut firing a gun in a crowd. Answer, two nuts firing guns in a crowd. What's worse than that? Three nuts firing guns in a crowd.

Pistols are hard to shoot straight, even if you are very well trained, used to violent situations, and know who the bad guy is.

Think of it, if there had been somebody else on the scene armed and with the presence of mind to try to shoot the shooter, they might have managed to do it, but easily as likely they would have missed and killed somebody or somebodies else. The cops or a second Second Amendment type turn up, who's the bad guy? They're both shooting up the crowd as far as an outsider can see, better kill them both.

Same with a lot of these things. VA Tech would have been the same. Guy starts shooting students, someone is armed and starts shooting back. Kills Suzy Coed and Clever Johnny, and then is shot by the other killer. Two or three other students in different parts of the building "packing heat" hear gunfire and start jumping for joy at their chance to play Dirty Harry and head off into the halls to find the bad guy with the gun.

Course in the movies we know who the good guy is, it's Clint! In real life we know who the bad guy is too, it's the black silhouette on the target, or the guy sneaking around in the halls with a gun. Oops.

And of course in this case, even in Arizona, where there are an unusual number of guns, it was a brave woman who had already been shot who wrestled with the killer and gave three other brave people the chance to jump him.

On gun control, there are a number of commonsense and helpful tweaks that could be made, but really isn't a heck of a lot that can be done. Too many guns already, too embedded in the culture. And really, this new concealed carry business has not caused any big problems so far, though I would bet far more innocent people have been killed by accident than bad guys gunned down.

The cops know this, and mostly like the handgun laws both because it allows them to arrest violent idiots on gun charges when they find them, and they also like to be able to spot the bad guy.

Posted by: bawrytr | January 10, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

While there is certainly a right to bear arms, no right is absolute.

Do we really want to live in a society where those who pose a danger to themselves and/or others have no difficulty getting guns?

Posted by: UnPatriotic | January 10, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

As long as the right loves it's right to bear Glocks more than it's family and children, this will continue to happen.

Posted by: areyousaying | January 10, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, if you want to defend your home, get a shotgun with the shortest possible barrel and some shells loaded with #2 shot. Much, much, more likely to hit what you are aiming at, you know the bad guy or your wife or dog or whatever. And much less likely to kill me sleeping in my bed next door if you miss.

These days a 9mm Glock is almost quaint. Lot of these souped up handgun cartridges will go through a couple normal house walls like they were tissue paper and kill someone 100 yards farther on. Look at the gun the major used on that military base. Basically designed to pierce body armor - you know a terrorist gun for killing cops and important politicians.

Posted by: bawrytr | January 10, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The real lesson is that if you want to attack people do it in a gun free zone or a a democratic party event where the chances of their being an armed person around are the least.

Of course there will always be those who think the answer is less freedom.

Posted by: armykungfu1 | January 10, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Pistol permits needed ! If the only person to interview the gun purchaser is the gun seller this will happen again .

Posted by: PIA9 | January 10, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

so long as there are people who think tey know how other people should live and then try to force them to do so....

Posted by: armykungfu1 | January 10, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Anyone check Safeway's rules about carrying firearms in AZ? All that was needed would a sign banning firearms.

If Pima CC or local LE had this assailant committed involuntarily for homicidal ideation he would not have been able to buy. Cops and Pima CC feared a law suit. Where did he get the money for the gun and cab he had no job? And where were his parents the punk was still living at home. Testing positive at the MEPS is not a bar to owning a firearm.

And some of you mall ninjas need to learn about SD and ammo before running your pie hole.

And before widespread panic sets in when was the last time someone shut a member of Congress? And aren't you all a bunch of fine upstanding racist Progressives. None of you have said anything about the 9 gun related murders in PG county this year and a similar amount in Baltimore. But when an attractive white woman and 9yo white girl get killed you racists want to ban and confiscate all firearms. What a load of BS! Okay for the African americans an Latinos to ice each other with firearms but not for whites to kill whites. Wallies World is having a sale on white bed linens suggest you stock up for the next KKK rally.

Posted by: sheepherder | January 10, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Mcsonalds Happy meals are banned! We don't care what you want. You stupid rednecks! you are too dumb to make your own choices.

Posted by: armykungfu1 | January 10, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

6 bullets per cartridge seems plenty. Why would anyone need 35. Is it really depriving someone of their freedom that they have to change cartridges after 6 shots?

Posted by: rjma1 | January 10, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

All we can do is hope that the NRA executive group is on hand at one of these massacres. The results will tell us if the GUNNERS are right or wrong. I suspect that the wack job will accomplish his mission. I also suspect that the NRA folks, firing into a crowd, will only ADD to the carnage.Contrary to the GUNNERS philosophy, it is very difficult for the average person to pull out a gun and return fire in such a scene as the one in Arizona. They would have literally seconds to pull their gun, identify the shooter, clear the unarmed and take out the shooter. Harry GUNNER ain't that good.

Posted by: Freethotlib | January 10, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

What a clueless writer very much in need of a testosterone injection.

Posted by: 1911a1 | January 10, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Great column. Guns don't deter street crime. They might help inside your own home, if you wake up before the crook gets your gun first. But even policemen occasionally get shot with their own guns. Our society needs fewer guns not more. And frankly after reading many of the posts online, there's an awful lot of people I don't want allowed to carry guns. They aren't sane, responsible adults.

Posted by: MNUSA | January 10, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

A very big assumption here is that anyone in the crowd was carrying a weapon other than the shooter. Unless you know this for fact this argument is invalid.
The real issue here that nobody seems to want to talk about is the fact this guy had serious mental issues and he was free to walk around the streets, and thereby purchase a handgun. The community college that he attended restricted him from campus unless he could provide a note from a doctor stating he was not a danger to himself or others. It used to be in this country the mentally ill were warehoused. I am not saying we should return to the dark days of mental illness treatment, but this is somebody who obviously needed to be evaluated and possibly held until he was cured or made safe.
In the meantime let's talk about wether he was a democrat or republican, or if gun laws would have stopped this. But just know you're wasting your time and not preventing it from happening again.

Posted by: AZChris2 | January 10, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

The notion the writer suggests that the 2007 massacre of student at Virginia Tech might have been terminated quickly if students had been allowed to carry weapons on campus and in the classrooms is not supported by the facts of the Arizona mass shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and others.

It was private citizens who took down the Tuscon shooter and pinned him to the ground. One woman took control of the shooter's extra 30-round magazine, further cutting the bloodbath short.

Another citizen, an armed man, participated in the take down and could have used his concealed handgun to take out the shooter at that point had he managed to reload and start firing again.

This article is full of mistakes driven by misconception and an obvious prejudice against fireams on the part of the writer and I assume The Washington Post.

Posted by: stump1 | January 10, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

So many superficial, poorly thought out articles based on the imagination of the author presented as fact. If the author wants to make a legitimate claim that "packing heat didn't work" then he will have to determine if anyone within the immediate vicinity of the shooting was indeed carrying a concealed weapon, and failed to use it.
A patron in the meat department of the Safeway grocery store that had a gun doesn't count.

Posted by: glenmayne | January 10, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

for all you gun nuts out there (and nuts is exactly what you are) who keep refering to the 2nd amendment to the constitution,
let me say this:

the 2nd amendment was written in the 18th century and this is the 21st century. if you want to give every tom,dick, and harry, sane or insane a MUZZLE-LOADING MUSKET FROM THE 18TH CENTURY i'm completely OK with that.

as for GLOCK 19's there has to be other
requirements to own such a weapon.

Posted by: surlydoc | January 10, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Self-defense invariably involves a duty to retreat, or a right to stand your ground by any means necessary. That will (probably) not include a gun for me since I don't have one.

There is no ability to stand your ground against purely economic crime - identity theft and financial fraud.

I want a means to defend myself. Having or not having a firearm is not a solution to my problem. Wake up Washington!

Posted by: gannon_dick | January 10, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

This is the world Hockstader and the Brady Campaign would have us live in. There were only two people with guns at the speech by the Congresswoman, a Federal Marshal assigned to protect the judge and the gunman. The Brady Campaign's position is that we have a duty to be a victim. We must not carry firearms in public to defend ourselves, or even keep them in our home.

The fact is, had Loughner attempted an assassination surrounded by people openly carry guns he would have quickly been shot down. But he didn't choose to wade into a group of people who were armed, he choose to open fire in a group of unarmed people where the only person carrying a gun was a U.S. Marshall. The Marshall's sole job was to protect the Federal Judge (which he failed to do).

Fortunately this isn't the 1960s. After decades of increasingly restrictive gun control laws, Americans have finally realized that these gun laws which restrict the liberty of honest Americans do not deter criminals or madmen.

The left-wing press and politicians will try to capitalize as much on this story as they can. Fortunately, Americans have long since disregarded their opinions.

Hockstader and the Brady Campaign will continue to espouse their world view that you have the duty to become a victim and then point the finger elsewhere when their world view comes true, as it did in Tucson.

The rest of us will continue to advocate what the U.S. Supreme Court said in June of 2008 and again in June of 2010 in the Heller and McDonald decisions. We have a fundamental, enumerated, individual right to carry a weapon for the purpose of self-defense, via the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

You can exercise that right or take the advice of Hockstader and the Brady Campaign/Center - Choose to be a victim.

The choice is yours.

Choose wisely.

Posted by: CNReporter | January 11, 2011 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh, because gun owners are allowed to carry now you are going to say, at every crime scene, that arming folks is not working. Do we have to explain to you that one of those armed gun owners has to be there? You cannot really be that simple can you?

Posted by: Pourshot | January 11, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I am sure that whatever drugs he preferred, pot, etc., are very much against the law in Az. and the U.S. in general, but he apparently had very little trouble getting them. Gun laws, like drug and for that matter immigration laws, are only as effective as the authorities ability and/or willingness to enforce them, which does not seem very effective at this point.

Posted by: GnirJ | January 11, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

in fact, there *was* somebody packing heat in the crowd. (there have been news articles about him)

By the time he got close, however, 20 people had already been shot and the gun had already been wrested away from the shooter, so our would-be hero grabbed the bystander who was now holding the gun, and almost shot him before the situation was explained to him. It was pure dumb luck he grabbed first instead of shot first.

So much for an armed populace preventing violence.

Posted by: organizizer | January 17, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

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