Tucson Tragedy Sparks Controversy Over Arizona Gun Laws
That Tragic Day
On the morning of January 8th, 2011, US Representative Gabriell Gifford was holding an open meeting in front of a Safeway grocery store near Tucson, Arizona. A shooter, 22 year old Jared Loughner, targeted Gifford, shooting her in the head, and then opened fire on the crowd. Laughner shot 19 people, 6 of the victims died. Laughner stopped shooting when he ran out of ammunition. When the shooter attempted to reload he was hit over the head with a chair and 74 year old Bill Badger tackled the shooter to the ground, even after he himself had been shot. The gunman was subdeud by Bill Badger, Roger Sulzgeber and Joseph Zamudio. The gunman attempted to reload at which point Patricia Maisch grabbed the magazine. Badger is a retired Army colonel and credits his military training for his quick response. Other heros include Daniel Hernandez who acted to slow the Gifford’s bleeding and Dorwan Stoddard who died trying to shield his wife from the gun shots.
Bad Guy – Good Guy? – The Other Person With A Gun
Before Joseph Zamudio helped hold down the gunman, he was inside Walgreens and heard the shots, he reacted quickly running outside. Zamudio was carring his firearm, as he left the store he clicked the safety off and had his hand on his gun that was concealed inside his jacket. When Zamudio arrived on the scene he saw Badger holding the gun, and initially thought he was the shooter. This brings up an important point, if you carry a firearm and you are on the scene of a shooting you need to think before you act. The person with the gun may not be the actual shooter, and you don’t want anyone, especially the police to mistake you as the shooter. This kind of mistake or “friendly fire” can happen in combat or during police action. First responders and those in the Military are trained to size up a scene upon before taking action. Unlike Badger, Zamudio did not have any military training. Zamudio admits he hasn’t had any formal weapon training, however he was raised around guns and is very comfortable with his firearm.
The Debate Continues
It’s one of the most debated subjects, to carry or not to carry. Many people like to express their Second-Amendment right to bear arms. There are also those that think that stricter gun laws are needed. Some people have this idea that gun owners want to run around like a vigilante, others simply believe it is their god given right to protect themselves and their family. People in favor of stricter gun laws feel that citizens don’t need a weapon for self defence because we have police for that. Gun advocates point out the violence and chaos after Hurricane Katrina, citizens were left to fend for themselves. With the Tucson Tragedy at the forefront of our minds, more and more people are talking about carrying weapons. Some people criticize Arizona gun laws and the recent shooting near Tucson has further ignited debate over gun laws. Recent debate includes whether or not students should be allowed to carry a weapon on campus.
Whether you are for or against citizens being able to legally conceal and carry weapons, you should read this story about Zamudio, the young man that ran to the chaotic scene of the shooting in Tucson, especially if you do carry a weapon. Running onto a scene where there are gun shots can be very confusing, and it may be difficult to identify who the bad guy is. The attached story includes the different dynamics of this tragedy and how serious split second decisions were made by this young man, with no special training. Understand how these actions can save a life.
Arizona law no longer requires you to obtain a concealed weapons permit, in order to conceal a weapon, however I would still recommend taking the class if you plan to conceal and carry. I have taken the class at Scottsdale Gun Club, and learned a lot about the laws and my rights to carrying a firearm and defending myself in a worst case scenario.
We will always remember the heros and victims of this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.