If Everyone Had A Gun, Stupid Mistakes Would Be Tragic Mistakes

Advocating for guns isn’t that hard. Just argue that people should get the benefit of the doubt when they want to buy a weapon. The Constitution says as much, and the ‘well-regulated’ part gives plenty of basis for setting sensible limits on who should not have a firearm (e.g., paranoid schizophrenics) and on what kinds of weapon we want to avoid selling to private citizens (e.g., a truck-mounted .50-caliber machine gun). That lets most people buy what they need and it’s a hard argument to credibly dismiss.

Still, people like their ideas pure and their arguments absolute, and the gun fetish crowd feels less need to keep their demands reasonable now that the rational debate is over and they won. Thus we get silly arguments about how great the world would be if everybody carried a firearm all the time. As evidence, just imagine if everyone at some violent incident had been packing! A dozen good guys would have shot the bad guy before he could do whatever terrible thing he ended up doing! And indeed, it would be great if a dozen people who don’t know each other all pulled out a gun and knew instantly who the bad guy was so that they could shoot him. They would know this because good guys wear uniforms and bad guys wear a different uniform and in a chaos of smoke and gunshots you can tell right away who is which kind.

I know that this will sound crazy, but imagine for a second that the good guys and bad guys don’t wear uniforms. Imagine that they’re just regular people, and nobody knows each other, and they’re not psychic, and it really isn’t clear what’s going on. One citizen vigilante might accidentally shoot the wrong person. Since vigilante #1 forgot to wear his bronze deputy star that day, another citizen vigilante (also not wearing his bronze deputy star) might reasonably think that the first guy is an accomplice and try to shoot him. Vigilante #1 would make the perfectly reasonable decision to shoot back. He might shout ‘hey! I’m not a terrorist!’, because a terrorist would never think to say that. A minute later good guys in uniform do arrive on the scene. Who do they shoot?

Sounds silly, except that it really isn’t. Thank god Joe Zamudio took a critical moment to reflect before he made an awful day in Tucson that much worse.






94 replies
  1. 1
    Wapiti says:

    There are already too many cases of off-duty and undercover police shooting each other or or getting shot by uniformed police. Adding more armed and untrained civilians to the mix will just raise the death toll and make law enforcement more difficult.

  2. 2

    I was listening to MPR this morning, and the topic was gun control. A caller stated that he had been a deputy sheriff, was a member of NRA, and he taught gun safety. I thought he was going to say what you did. To my utter surprise, he said, “Everyone should be packing. If everyone had been packing in AZ, this guy would have gotten off a few shots at most before he was dropped.” He said he carried all the time and when one woman in a restaurant saw his gun, she asked if she should be nervous. He said, “You should feel the safest you do all day.” Then he cited some movie about a bad guy trying to rob a cop bar, and he (the robber) saw every guy had a gun drawn on him. The caller’s conclusion is that no one will rob a place if everyone is packing heat.

    Fortunately for my blood pressure, the guests dismantled his argument pretty thoroughly. One pointed out that AZ has one of the laxest gun control laws in the country, and yet, they have a high rate of crime by gun. And, as you pointed out, in a situation like Saturday, it’s not easy to tell who’s wielding the gun.

    And, I highly doubt that if the Republicans saw a group of young black men all carrying heat to a town hall meeting, said Republicans would think this was just dandy.

    To me, ‘everyone with guns’ would just make things worse. I don’t want untrained people with guns whipping them out in the time of crisis or panic.

  3. 3
    jpmeyer says:

    This kind of thing neeeeeeeeeeeeever, eeeeeeeeeeever happens:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05.....29cop.html

  4. 4
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    Duh. You can tell the good guys from the bad guys by skin color. I’m pretty sure that’s what’s in their mind when they think about guns in terms of self defense. It will be obvious to all the real Americans which guy is the black or Hispanic guy.

  5. 5
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @ Barb: You got it. Loughner’s big mistake was in failing to be non-white the way he should have been.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    Countdown till there’s an AZ law that says you have to carry a gun and you have to shoot it if anyone else shoots theirs.

  7. 7
    El Cid says:

    Personally I don’t think that outside the obvious of banning outright lunacy for civilian use (certain types of ammo, certain very careful definitions of weapons types, magazine size, registration and checks, and so forth) — which would all be big enough impossible political achievements — it might reduce but not significantly impact the sorts of violence we’re discussing.

    Our problems with the now numbingly common murdering of ex-significant others and to mass shootings is cultural and societal in nature.

    If we were saner, we would do a lot less of such killing despite (ordinary) gun presence.

    It would be worth it even to cut down on such paroxysms as the attempted assassination of Giffords and its mass deaths and the Va Tech slaughter. No doubt.

    But as to the all-too-common story here in the South where some bitter or depressed guy goes and hunts down his ex and if she has one then her significant other, and maybe the kids, or the version where he shuts himself in with them and decides it’s best if the all day, I don’t think that would be solved by greater gun control.

    What I think would help us get better gun control laws is what I and so many others have been suggesting:

    Begin programs to train and help arm (i.e., not fund but maybe helping them understand, or negotiating group discount vouchers) poor black and Latino citizens and so forth and informing them of their carrying and ammunition rights.

    When the gun-obsessed types take a look around and see those people carrying, we might see a Mulford Act repeat.

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    Bad guys wear matching outfits so you can pick them out easily.

  9. 9
    Catsy says:

    Near as I can tell from the accounts we have, Zamudio was the very model of what an armed, responsible citizen should do in that situation. And at the point where he entered the scene, the right thing to do was to take a moment to evaluate the situation and not draw his weapon.

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    A minute later good guys in uniform do arrive on the scene. Who do they shoot?

    Nonsense. There are no “good guys in uniform”. See the Book of Reagen, chapter 9, versus 17.

    “The eleven scariest words in the English language are ‘I am from the government and I am here to help’.”

    Besides, if everyone has a gun why would we need the police?

  11. 11
    Hogan says:

    Buffy: Does it ever get easy?
    Giles: You mean life?
    Buffy: Yeah, does it get easy?
    Giles: What do you want me to say?
    Buffy: Lie to me.
    Giles: Yes. It’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and… everybody lives happily ever after.
    Buffy: Liar.

    (I would so love to have a .50 caliber truck-mounted machine gun. It would be terrible, terrible public policy to let me have one.)

  12. 12
    Nemo_N says:

    From the link:

    But before we embrace Zamudio’s brave intervention as proof of the value of being armed, let’s hear the whole story. “I came out of that store, I clicked the safety off, and I was ready,” he explained on Fox and Friends. “I had my hand on my gun. I had it in my jacket pocket here. And I came around the corner like this.” Zamudio demonstrated how his shooting hand was wrapped around the weapon, poised to draw and fire. As he rounded the corner, he saw a man holding a gun. “And that’s who I at first thought was the shooter,” Zamudio recalled. “I told him to ‘Drop it, drop it!’ “But the man with the gun wasn’t the shooter. He had wrested the gun away from the shooter. “Had you shot that guy, it would have been a big, fat mess,” the interviewer pointed out.

    I remember reading this part of the events at azcentral and thought, before getting to the part where Zamudio holds the guy’s arm, “oh god he is going to shoot him”.

    It’s scary stuff.

  13. 13
    Sasha says:

    Still, people like their ideas pure and their arguments absolute, and the gun fetish crowd feels less need to keep their demands reasonable now that the rational debate is over and they won. Thus we get silly arguments about how great the world would be if everybody carried a firearm all the time.

    Which is why these self-same people also argue that the world would be a more peaceful place if only every country on the planet had a nuclear arsenal to protect themselves with.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Man, I’d love to see these guys riding around with .50 cals in the beds of their pickup trucks.

    The endless amusement from them destroying their weapons by failing to set headspace and timing would be most entertaining.

  15. 15
    Moonbatting Average says:

    After wading into the fever swamps today, one of the things I learned was that liberals are “utopians” who engage in “magical thinking”. Thank goodness the vision of an omni-armed, and thus completely peaceful, society doesn’t fit that description.

  16. 16
    sven says:

    For the first two days after the events in Arizona the FBI were unsure whether the shooter acted alone.

  17. 17
    Zifnab says:

    @El Cid:

    Begin programs to train and help arm (i.e., not fund but maybe helping them understand, or negotiating group discount vouchers) poor black and Latino citizens and so forth and informing them of their carrying and ammunition rights.

    Interesting idea in theory. In practice, you already see plenty of guns in urban neighborhoods and minority rural districts. Giving guns to minority civilians really just offers the local law enforcement an excuse for excessive force.

    After all, if you’re living in a neighborhood where everyone and his six year old have automatic weapons, how will that change your procedure for the standard execution of an arrest warrant or a search and seizure? Better kick down the door and go in guns blazing. Then we’ll let the anti-minority administrators figure out if you were acting out of line.

  18. 18
    sven says:

    For the first two days after the events in Arizona the FBI were unsure whether the shooter acted alone. It seems ridiculous to assume that civilians under fire would be more clear headed than trained professionals many hours later.

  19. 19

    I can’t remember the last time I read about a shooter actually being taken down by a citizen with a gun. The University of Texas shooter was brought down by a guy who went to his care and got his gun. This was approximately 50 years ago. Since then? Anyone?

    There are 100 million guns in this country. There are tens of millions of people who walk around with guns every day. There are stories about spree shooters several times a year in this country. If arming citizens is a good way to limit the damage cause by spree shooters, why doesn’t it actually happen?

  20. 20
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    The “as part of a well regulated militia” got swept under the rug how, exactly? That’s a hell of a trick.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @El Cid:

    Begin programs to train and help arm (i.e., not fund but maybe helping them understand, or negotiating group discount vouchers) poor black and Latino citizens and so forth and informing them of their carrying and ammunition rights.

    When the Black Panthers did this in California in the 60’s, Ronald Reagan was signing gun control legislation so fast it made heads spin.

  22. 22

    @joe from Lowell: Not sure. Mrs. Polly over at Rumproast did some research and couldn’t find any. (In the comments).

  23. 23
    Makewi says:

    The good news is that the decades in which guns have been illegal in major US cities saw a virtual end to gun violence. It’s just a shame that those golden days have come to an end.

  24. 24
    Obliterati says:

    I almost shot a platoonmate in Afghanistan.

    High stress situation, dark and smoky and scary, we stumbled into each other’s sights and even though he was wearing US Army combat gear, and even though I had spent virtually every day of the past year around him, and even though I had months of comprehensive training and months of combat zone experience, and even though my brain was frantically screaming “STOP!”, my reflexes were wound too tight and I pulled the trigger. It was only luck and incompetent aim that led me to shoot the wall instead of his head.

    What happens when untrained, inexperienced, panicky groups of people all whip out guns in a crisis situation? I was as well prepared and well trained for that situation as I could have been, I knew what I was going into before it started, and I still fucked it up.

  25. 25
    El Cid says:

    @Zifnab: The existence of hidden and/or illegal weapons in those communities doesn’t get the same effect. In fact it doesn’t even have to really be done much in such communities — you just have to look like you’re really carrying the effort out, and you get enough blacks and Latinos and whoever else, middle class, suburban, or otherwise to open and proudly carry and thank the new program.

  26. 26
    El Cid says:

    @Obliterati: Well, you know, omelets and eggs and all.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Obliterati:

    There are not words to express my emotion upon reading this post.

    The fact that you can relate it now, and apply the lesson to this situation, is a tribute to your training and your integrity as a soldier.

    /salute

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    @Obliterati: How do Afgh vets think about this? If you can generalize.

    A new generation of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afgh. Would be curious to know what they think.

    Many cops belong to the NRA, but they support many gun control measures. Experience means more than slippery slope arguments.

  29. 29
    David Hunt says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel):

    The “as part of a well regulated militia” got swept under the rug how, exactly? That’s a hell of a trick

    They got enough hacks onto the Supreme Court who support the NRA/Republican line no matter how stupid it sounds.

    SATSQ

  30. 30
    Stefan says:

    Thus we get silly arguments about how great the world would be if everybody carried a firearm all the time.

    Sure, just compare, say, Somalia, Yemen or Afghanistan, where everybody’s armed and lives in peace and security, to, say, Japan or Sweden, where no one has a weapon and the defenseless citizens are constantly slaughtered in the streets.

  31. 31
    Comrade Luke says:

    What argument does a gun owner that’s not a hunter make that doesn’t have something to do with either defending himself against the government or black/brown people?

    It has nothing to do with the Constitution, at all. And the NRA gets away with it.

  32. 32
    Stefan says:

    And, I highly doubt that if the Republicans saw a group of young black men all carrying heat to a town hall meeting, said Republicans would think this was just dandy.

    You know, somebody should really organize that.

  33. 33
    Nellcote says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    If arming citizens is a good way to limit the damage cause by spree shooters, why doesn’t it actually happen?

    If tax cuts for the rich creates jobs, where are the jobs?

  34. 34
    Obliterati says:

    @BGinCHI: Of course, virtually every combat vet is wary of civilians carrying guns around, in the same way that a NASCAR diver would be wary about racing against some yokel who’s never driven before.

    But that being said, a LOT of guys I served with carry guns, and if you asked them why right now, they’d say “Tucson”.

    There’s no getting away from it: carrying a gun makes you FEEL safer. That’s the bottom line, and people’s feelings are obviously quite resistant to logic and reason.

  35. 35
    celticdragonchick says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I can’t remember the last time I read about a shooter actually being taken down by a citizen with a gun. The University of Texas shooter was brought down by a guy who went to his care and got his gun. This was approximately 50 years ago. Since then? Anyone?

    Jean Assam shot the gunman who entered the church in Colorado Springs in December 2007 after he murdered a person at the Youth With A Mission campus the night before. Jean had been fired from a police department 10 years previously. The gunman committed suicide in the parking lot after he was shot by Assam.

  36. 36
    Stefan says:

    There’s no getting away from it: carrying a gun makes you FEEL safer. That’s the bottom line, and people’s feelings are obviously quite resistant to logic and reason.

    This is why I carry my magic rock. Thirty years I’ve been carrying that thing and no one’s ever shot me yet. Also, too, no bear attacks.

  37. 37
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Makewi:

    The good news is that the decades in which guns have been illegal in major US cities saw a virtual end to gun violence. It’s just a shame that those golden days have come to an end.

    What planet did that happen on? Just wondering.

  38. 38

    @Stefan: I love the cut of your jib. But, as to your idea of organizing a group of young black men packing heat to show up at Republican town hall meetings, I would be afraid to send the young men into that situation, even armed.

    @Obliterati: This is interesting to me. One of my best friend’s hubby is in the Army, and he feels safer carrying a gun around as well.

    Me, I would constantly worry I would shoot my toe off or something. I’m pretty clumsy.

  39. 39
    Kryptik says:

    Zamudio is a responsible gun owner and wearer. Despite the fact that he was ready to draw, in a heated situation, he knew well enough not to draw and point immediately, even as stress was high and he was shouting down someone with a gun. Had it been someone with less restraint, we might have another innocent man dead, and not at the hands of Loughner.

    Mr. Zamudio is a gun holder I would feel safe around, but he’s also the exception that proves the rule. If more people were packing, rather than just him and Loughner, just how hard do you think it would’ve been not to panic draw, and how long would it have taken to figure out who’s not involved, and who’s just drawing for protection? This is why I’m so upset at how the immediate response to this is ‘ARM EVERYONE!’ Because I know for a fact that not everyone who’s arming themselves in a panic right now will be anywhere near as responsible as Mr. Zamudio was.

  40. 40
    Ana Gama says:

    @Stefan: The Repubs would only object if it was one of their townhalls. If it was a Dem’s though, not so much.

  41. 41
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Stefan:

    Sure, just compare, say, Somalia, Yemen or Afghanistan, where everybody’s armed and lives in peace and security, to, say, Japan or Sweden, where no one has a weapon and the defenseless citizens are constantly slaughtered in the streets.

    Silly lib, you forgot about American exceptionalism. That negates all possible comparisons to anywhere else in the world, no matter how overwhelming the evidence they might provide. To paraphrase McMegan re bonobos, we are not like Somalis or Swedes because, well, we’re not like them.

  42. 42
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Stefan:

    This is why I carry my magic rock. Thirty years I’ve been carrying that thing and no one’s ever shot me yet. Also, too, no bear attacks.

    As a GLBT person who has been stalked and personally threatened with injury and/or death…I don’t think the magic rock thing really cuts it. I have to be able to stay alive and protect my loved ones long enough for law enforcement to get to me and my family if somebody decides I (or us) am/are going to be their evening entertainment. That means I have to be armed and know how to use the weapon in my possession.

  43. 43
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Kryptik:

    Zamudio showed better judgement than many police officers, imo. How many here think that a rookie cop with have just started shooting like the guys who gunned down the man holding a water hose nozzle in Long Beach last month withiut any warning or demands to put it down?

  44. 44
    Stefan says:

    The Repubs would only object if it was one of their townhalls. If it was a Dem’s though, not so much.

    It would be great, though, wouldn’t it? The next Jan Brewer town hall and 20-30 young black and/or Hispanic men carrying assault rifles march into the room in order to peaceably air their grievances. They don’t wave the guns around, they don’t brandish them, but they’re just….there. Armed to the teeth.

  45. 45
    Skepticat says:

    A thoroughly ditsy, flighty, not-too-bright acquaintance of mine in Florida is quite paranoid and believes that almost any stranger–and certainly anyone with swarthy skin–anywhere near her is determined to harm or steal from her. She recently maced a bicyclist who stopped to ask directions. She just got her permit to carry a concealed weapon. I cannot tell you how that frightens me.

  46. 46

    Or, if Joe Zamudio had been a track star, perhaps he would have taken down the nutjob quicker, saving 6 lives.

    It’s a little unreasonable to play games like this and the conclusion that was drawn in this blog post could easily be drawn to prove the other side. Oh, I know you don’t like my conclusion, but that’s not the point- the point is, if evidence can prove one side or the other depending on who is arguing, it’s probably bad evidence to use for the whole purpose of some big post on an important subject.

    If you want to debate gun laws, please do so in the future without using dead people as your props in your debate. It’s kind of sick.

  47. 47
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: Yeah, but look, someone stole the health care of the Japanese and Swedes. Couldn’t done that if they were armed and yelling at their goverments to stop raping them or else.

  48. 48
    BGinCHI says:

    @A Conservative Teacher: Or, if Zamudio had been a conservative teacher, he could have lectured the shooter about personal responsibility before he went home to watch Glenn Beck and Magnum PI while eating his carryout from Old Country Buffet.

  49. 49
    Stefan says:

    If you want to debate gun laws, please do so in the future without using dead people as your props in your debate. It’s kind of sick.

    Sorry, A Conservative Teacher, but I’m afraid Tom Tomorrow has already pre-parodied your position on Twitter yesterday:

    It’s simply disgraceful how people who oppose gun violence are exploiting this example of gun violence to further their case.
    6:06 PM Jan 11th via web

  50. 50
    maya says:

    I have no intention of visiting Arizona. God only knows what would happen reaching for my cellphone.

    Too bad Tim F couldn’t put a musical background on his piece. This would be my choice.

  51. 51
    harokin says:

    I love that fact that every ad on this site is now for guns and gun training (and, oddly, body armor).

    Can someone do a post about, I don’t know, the coming Milan men’s fashion show?

  52. 52
    Bill ORLY says:

    @Kryptik: This is my take, and why I was vehemently against the recent change in CCW in AZ where anyone can carry concealed. At least with the licensing process, I had to take a class focusing on the legality and ramifications of the use of deadly force. I feel that if you are going to carry, you have an obligation to understand that if you use the weapon, you WILL be in a mess of trouble regardless of your judgment. Even if someone shoots a genuine bad guy that person will likely spend a significant amount of time speaking with law enforcement and will nearly certainly be subject to civil suits from the family of the guy who gets shot.

    My defensive weapon is primarily a means to gain the time and ability to run away. Take my property, burn down my house, whatever. Just let me and my family get out of your way.

  53. 53
    Stefan says:

    If you want to debate gun laws, please do so in the future without using dead people as your props in your debate. It’s kind of sick.

    In the same way, I find it kind of sick that MADD always points out the dead people killed by drunk drivers in their campaigns against drunk driving…..

  54. 54
    Stefan says:

    Can someone do a post about, I don’t know, the coming Milan men’s fashion show?

    Or young blonde Brazilian twins?

  55. 55
    piratedan says:

    @A Conservative Teacher: tyvm for reducing victims of gun crimes to the status of “props”, I’m sure I’ll be able to make a more impassioned arguement to you if I can indicate how guns are a direct threat to your “property” instead.

    asshat

  56. 56
    harokin says:

    @Stefan: Maybe the twins are at the fashion show!

  57. 57
    Stefan says:

    Maybe the twins are at the fashion show!

    Maybe they’re models!

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I think that we’re saddled with a gun crazy society until some technological breakthrough makes returning fire obsolete as a strategy for keeping yourself alive in a fire fight.

    Say, personal force field generators, or something.

  60. 60
    azlib says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I can’t remember the last time I read about a shooter actually being taken down by a citizen with a gun. The University of Texas shooter was brought down by a guy who went to his care and got his gun. This was approximately 50 years ago. Since then? Anyone?

    It was 1966 and I was in Austin at the time. It was not some random person, but law enforcement that finally killed Whitman.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman

  61. 61

    @Obliterati:

    Cripes.

    I’m sorry you had to go through that, and I hope you’re both ok.

    Respect.

    I can understand why combat vet feel safer carrying a gun. For the period of their lives in which they were in the greatest danger, a period stretching for months or even years, carrying a gun really did make them safer. For many of them, firing a gun at armed bad guys trying to kill them actually saved their lives. It’s not hard at all to understand how they could hold onto that assumption when they come home.

  62. 62

    @celticdragonchick:

    1) Thanks for the example. I can also think of the Fort Hood shooting. But, then, we’ve managed to come up with two, both of which involve professionals (a cop and some military security).

    2)

    As a GLBT person who has been stalked and personally threatened with injury and/or death…

    you’re in a rather different situation, having been personally threatened, than the average shlub. You may have a legitimate reason to carry a gun to protect yourself, sort of like an armored car driver. That isn’t really the argument here, though, which is about how much safer I would allegedly be if half the people at the liquor store were packing when I went in to buy beer.

  63. 63
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Zifnab: One word: evictions.

    ETA: ‘course, if everyone is armed, nuking the property from orbit would be the only way to be sure.

  64. 64
    Sko Hayes says:

    @Kryptik:

    It doesn’t sound like it= he had the gun in a jacket pocket, with his hand on it and the safety off and he said he was prepared to fire.
    He saw another guy with a gun and grabbed his arm, telling him to drop it. They almost shot each other before realizing they were both friendlies.
    Carrying a gun in a jacket pocket with the safety off and your hand on it doesn’t sound like safe gun practices. Of course, it’s been 30 years since I owned a gun, so my memory may be hazy.

  65. 65
    aimai says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Celticdragonchick I know you’ve made this argument before but really that’s an argument for a severe permitting process in which people who can demonstrate they are at risk get liscences and most other people don’t. For instance: battered women, gay people, jewlers, people who routinely carry lots of money for their jobs–not everyone. Its definitely not an argument for mass open or concealed carry.

    aimai

  66. 66

    Celticdragonchick,

    It’s nice to see you again. I swear I’m only going to do this once…but I’m going to do it.

    Thank fucking God Obama didn’t listen to people like you, and instead held out for Congressional repeal of DADT. If he had done it your way, instead of mine, a formal ban against gay people serving in the military would remain federal law for the foreseeable future, and gay people in the military would have only the paper-thin shield of a half-assed stop-loss order to protect them. He didn’t disdain your sorry half-measure, as you assumed and insisted, because of homophobia or naivete. He did so because he was committed to the issue, and because he (like me) understood the political situation much, much better than you. It would have been a major tragedy, a major failure for the gay rights cause, if he had let this moment slip away, as you spent so much time urging him to do.

    I don’t normally do “neener-neener, in your face” dances like this, but you were really fucking rude, really fucking condescending, and really fucking irresponsible with your aspersions about the alleged homophobia of the people actually got this question of strategy right, and you had absolutely no justification for your attitude. None.

    There. I’m done now.

  67. 67
    aimai says:

    @A Conservative Teacher:

    Really, can “evidence” prove either side? In what sense? The evidence is that the actual citizen who was there who was armed was not confident that he could make the call as to who to shoot and, in fact, realized that. Since he himself says that he would have shot an innocent man we can extrapolate that most other citizens in the same boat might have/would have made the same error–only they would have pulled the trigger. When you add lots of people to the scenario you end up with more chaos, not less. That’s obvious. It doesn’t depend on “who is making the argument.” The same evidence–Zamudio’s testimony–leads only to one conclusion. Sorry that reality hurts your feelings.

    aimai

  68. 68
    Sko Hayes says:

    @A Conservative Teacher:

    If you want to debate gun laws, please do so in the future without using dead people as your props in your debate. It’s kind of sick.

    That is simply the stupidest thing I’ve read on this blog in a long time.
    Why would we need gun laws if there were no murders or assassinations? Or accidental deaths?
    Shall we simply pretend they don’t happen, so we don’t offend your delicate sensibilites?

  69. 69
    Jager says:

    When I was a college kid working on construction in the summers, I had a pal who loved to get into bar fights. He was on a good run having won about 6 heavy duty fights over a two month period. He stopped provoking fights or jumping into them when an old, tough welder we worked with gave him a piece of advice, “you’re pretty damn good in a fight but have you ever thought about the fact that sooner or later you’re going to run into somebody who will actually try to kill you with a broken bottle, a knife or a gun”? “When you run into that guy, and you will, are you really ready to kill them”? He wasn’t and stopped fighting. I think that people who carry guns around in public, whatever the reason they carry, need to ask themselves that question, because life isn’t like the movies and they just may provoke a bad situation, attempt to help and get themselves and others killed or injured and in general make a bad situation worse. Shooting a pistol at a range is one thing, drawing it and shooting at another human is something else.

  70. 70

    @A Conservative Teacher:

    If you want to debate gun laws, please do so in the future without using dead people as your props in your debate. It’s kind of sick.

    What a stupid fucking comment.

    Situations involving SHOOTINGS aren’t appropriate subjects of consideration when discussing guns?

    What a stupid fucking comment. I know, if you want to debate auto safety regulations, do so without discussing car crashes.

    What a stupid fucking comment.

  71. 71

    Good accurate shooting requires all the elements that go to hell in such a situation. That is just how it is, adrenalin is your enemy. It is a physical and mental drawback.

    Three years ago I finally had it with NRA’s right wing bullshit that had nothing to do with the 2nd but up until then I was a member and their mag, American Rifleman, ran a section of 10-15 newpaper clips of “The Armed Citizen” which were accounts of being armed stopping or saving someone in regard to a crime. There are plenty of examples despite this horseshit of “it doesn’t happem”. That doesn’t mean anything in regard to this situation in a crowd and I’m not making that case.

  72. 72
    SteveinSC says:

    @Kryptik:

    Zamudio is a responsible gun owner and wearer.

    I heard that crack-pot on television. If I he is a responsible gun owner, we’re truly fucked . He said he was in the store, heard what he knew were shots, came out and was prepared to shoot the killer. Only problem was he couldn’t tell who was the shooter. He said he saw someone with a gun in his hand and was going to shoot him. It is only by pure chance that this Wyatt Earp of the Safeway didn’t gun down the the people subduing the killer. My wife’s cousin and husband both wander around packing. The only good that can come from that is maybe he’ll shoot his own dick off or maybe his foot. If it is possible Arizona is worse than South Carolina with gun-nuts.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @A Conservative Teacher: Aside from that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?

  74. 74
  75. 75
    Blogreeder says:

    @SteveinSC:
    Can’t have a gun debate without a wild west reference. Thanks!

    You don’t even understand what Zamundio said, did you? He was extremely relieved that he didn’t shoot the wrong person. He called it luck. He would have really regretted it if he did. Isn’t that incredulous? He carries a gun YET still deeply cares if he shoots an innocent bystander! Now is that someone who shoots first and asks questions later? uh, Wyatt Earp? No. So your wild west reference is inappropiate here. Try that somewhere else. Oh, wait, this is the perfect place for it. Sorry. John runs quite the cesspool here.

  76. 76
    celticdragonchick says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Celticdragonchick,

    It’s nice to see you again. I swear I’m only going to do this once…but I’m going to do it.

    Thank fucking God Obama didn’t listen to people like you, and instead held out for Congressional repeal of DADT. If he had done it your way, instead of mine, a formal ban against gay people serving in the military would remain federal law for the foreseeable future, and gay people in the military would have only the paper-thin shield of a half-assed stop-loss order to protect them. He didn’t disdain your sorry half-measure, as you assumed and insisted, because of homophobia or naivete. He did so because he was committed to the issue, and because he (like me) understood the political situation much, much better than you. It would have been a major tragedy, a major failure for the gay rights cause, if he had let this moment slip away, as you spent so much time urging him to do.

    I don’t normally do “neener-neener, in your face” dances like this, but you were really fucking rude, really fucking condescending, and really fucking irresponsible with your aspersions about the alleged homophobia of the people actually got this question of strategy right, and you had absolutely no justification for your attitude. None.

    There. I’m done now.

    *************************************

    I don’t recall alleging homophobia from anybody in the Obama admin. Not really my kind of thing to do, since I am not a mind reader. There are a number of glbt peolple who post here and you may be mixing us up. One other person here swore up and down he had told me something about the snow queens from Maine…and it was utterly new info to me. I thought Obama was being merely callous and a bit calculating. I’m glad I was wrong.

    As for being rude, well, maybe so. Some folks rub me the wrong way at times and I give as good as I get. If you want a dispassionate debate on something else, talk to me about geology or history.

  77. 77
    celticdragonchick says:

    @SteveinSC:

    WTF are you smoking?

  78. 78
    celticdragonchick says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    1) Thanks for the example. I can also think of the Fort Hood shooting. But, then, we’ve managed to come up with two, both of which involve professionals (a cop and some military security).

    Many mass shooting events take place at locations where the shooter is guarenteed to have little resistance (lik schools, playgrounds or workplaces. Mass murderers don’t go to shooting ranges to try and murder the local hunters who are sighting in their weapons.
    Also, most people, including most guns owners of all sorts, simply do not carry handguns with them on a daily basis. It simply does not fit into our mental construct of what we do from day to day. Why would it?

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Makewi:

    The good news is that the decades in which guns have been illegal in major US cities saw a virtual end to gun violence. It’s just a shame that those golden days have come to an end.

    Los Angeles’ murder rate is the lowest it’s been since 1967. The FBI says that crime is down all over the country.

    Oh, but I shouldn’t confuse you with actual facts and statistics instead of reports from your fantasy world.

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @A Conservative Teacher:

    If you want to debate gun laws, please do so in the future without using dead people as your props in your debate. It’s kind of sick.

    I hope you remembered to set down your picture of a bloody fetus before you decided to lecture us on the appropriateness of using props.

  81. 81
    mclaren says:

    Flamethrowers. We need everyone armed with flamethrowers. Then they’ll really be able to defend themselves.

    Remember: a flamethrower society is a polite society.

  82. 82
    uila says:

    If you want to know what happens when everybody’s armed, look no further than Baltimore on a Saturday night.

    Long story short… bar fight, escalates into plainclothes officer drawing a gun, escalates into six uniformed officers unloading a hail of bullets on a crowd, wounding 4 (including 3 women) and killing 2 (including the plainclothes officer).

    And these are the professionals.

  83. 83
    Stefan says:

    @Stefan: I love the cut of your jib.

    I have my jibs tailor-made.

  84. 84
    Jebediah says:

    Fucking wingnuts watch too many movies. I think that most of them, the never-served chickenhawks, fantasize about the day they “take down a bad guy,” and in their fantasy it’s always perfectly obvious who that is – and even though he is surrounded by bystanders, Joe Winger’s aim is like a sniper’s… it ain’t reality, and basing any policy/law on pure fantasy is a bad idea – especially gun policy.

    Been said a few times already, but I am never above a bit of “me too”- thanks Obliterati for being so willing to honestly share a harrowing experience. Gun fantasizers need to really think about what you said before they go off half-cocked.

  85. 85

    @Sko Hayes:

    That is simply the stupidest thing I’ve read on this blog in a long time.
    Why would we need gun laws if there were no murders or assassinations? Or accidental deaths?

    I think people like A Conservative Teacher believe that gun control advocates want to get rid of guns so that the citizenry can’t rise up against the tyranny of health care and gay rights, not to actually prevent gun deaths. So to them, we’re not raising the issue of gun control because it’s obviously and logically connected to the tragedy; we’re just taking advantage of people’s emotions.

  86. 86

    We should get rid of gun control laws and people should be allowed to own whatever they can afford. If this were the case many tragedies could have been averted, like 9/11. If passengers had been allowed to pack heat on airplanes then 9/11 never would have happened, the passengers would have just up and shot the terrorists and it all would have been over. And if, by some chance, the armed passengers weren’t able to take out the terrorists before they flew those planes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, the citizens on the ground, many of whom would own Stinger missiles, would have taken the planes out. Plus if we got rid of all of those gun control laws the owners of buildings like the World Trade Center could install PATRIOT missile batteries on the roofs of their buildings.

    I have to say that I’m also sick and tired of our current soⅽⅰaⅼⅰst policy of “single-payer nuclear deterrence”. Just imagine how scared of fucking with the ol US of A the North Koreans or Iranians would be if everyone had their own nuclear weapons? The free market, which is inherently more efficient than the government, would quickly gear up to produce different varieties of nuclear weapons and we could all create our own deterrence policies instead of being strait-jacketed into the current “one-size-fits-all” policy that the soⅽⅰaⅼⅰsts in Washington, D.C. have been shoving down our throats since 1945.

  87. 87
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    I have to say that I’m also sick and tired of our current soⅽⅰaⅼⅰst policy of “single-payer nuclear deterrence”. Just imagine how scared of fucking with the ol US of A the North Koreans or Iranians would be if everyone had their own nuclear weapons?

    That is a plot point in a Verner Vinge libertarian/anarcho capitalist sci fi story that takes place after The Peace War… called The Ungoverned.

    The New Mexican military finds out how much trouble a single Kansas farmer can be when the farmer has elecro-optical SAM’s, anti tank missiles and low yield/high flux nukes.

    Seriously.

  88. 88
    someGayName says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think that was his point? Crime is down everywhere despite the expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban, Heller V DC, McDonald V Chicago, as well as drastically different gun laws throughout the country. Maybe guns don’t cause crime? Maybe gun control laws merely shift most gun violence to other types of violence?

  89. 89
    someGayName says:

    @joe from Lowell: Pulling a Rambo on a homicidal maniac isn’t what is on most gun owners minds when advocating concealed carry. More likely this and this.
    This thread is pretty retarded. Zamudio pretty much pulled a textbook reaction BUT WHAT IF HE DIDN’T OMG THE BLOOODBAATTHHHH!!11

  90. 90
    Draylon Hogg says:

    Your highly trained military still can’t avoid friendly fire or collateral damage incidents so what good would armed malcontents be anyway? Should they ever turn the dogs loose on you and send in the black helicopters then beardie weirdie militia types are going to end up looking a lot like those Iraqis on the WikiLeaks video regardless of what gun they’re carrying.

  91. 91
    Draylon Hogg says:

    @Jebediah

    “Joe Wingers aim is like a sniper.”

    Nail on the head.

    And when that sniper is half a mile away from its target and taking into account the prevailing wind, zeroing sights for
    distance he isn’t using a handgun is he?

    These cock and bull arguments are, as you say, pure fantasy.

    You may as well say one of Rep. Giffords staff should have been armed with a UAV drone.

  92. 92
    Bill ORLY says:

    @Jager: I agree 100% with this situation, and when I took my CCW class, the instructor spend nearly an hour talking about this. It’s important to know now only how to pull the trigger, but to understand what the repercussions on you, your family, and the community at large when you do.

    If people don’t have some concept of this, they have no business carrying a pocketknife, let alone a firearm.

  93. 93
    Berial says:

    joe from lowell another case of a mass shooting ending with a bystander subduing the shooter with his own gun is the Pearl MS school shootings in ’97.

  94. 94

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