Should Gabby Gifford have been packing heat?

Gun nuts in the Arizona State Legislature have introduced what they insensitively and stupidly call the Gifford-Zimmerman act, named after the wounded Congresswoman Gifford and her slain aid, requiring the state to train politicians and their staff as part of the process of arming them.

Read about that stupid idea as well as a very close call by one Joe Zamudio, who was the armed citizen at the scene of the Tucson Massacre who almost shot the guy who was holding the gun just taken away from the Teabagger who had killed and wounded all those people.

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 wonder what would have happened in Tucson if five or ten people were packing heat, which is the ideal NRA solution to everything.

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37 thoughts on “Should Gabby Gifford have been packing heat?

  1. According to the retired grey haired guy who got creased on the back of the head, and was involved in getting the shooter down, the shooter’s gun was about six inches from his hand. Someone picked it up and the grey hired guy told him to drop it, which he did. That was excellent advice. One of the other guys involved in getting the shooter down had a gun but did not draw it, again, a wise decision. So it appears that the few armed folks present acted with intelligence and restraint.

  2. Well, considering the entry and exit wounds on Rep. Giffords, packing heat would have helped her — if the training also included eyes in the back of her head.

  3. How can you call the shooter a Teabagger? That’s simply not true and just about everyone who’s been paying attention knows that it’s not true. Doing that is seriously irresponsible and very disappointing. I’ve enjoyed your blog for many years even though I’m a fiscal conservative, not a Teabagger, and I sometimes strongly disagree with you when you get into economic issues. I have always respected you as someone with integrity. Now I fear that respect was misplaced.

  4. This NYT article quoted Giffords: â??I have a Glock 9 millimeter, and Iâ??m a pretty good shot.â? She was (hopefully is no longer) an opponent of gun controls, although I guess that is (hopefully was) a rather necessary position for anyone wishing to be elected to Congress in Arizona.

  5. I wonder what would have happened in Tucson if five or ten people were packing heat, which is the ideal NRA solution to everything.

    Why, those five to ten people would have all had REALLY BIG DICKS and the shooter would have FALLEN TO HIS KNEES IN SHAME of course.

  6. What they need is to have all the good guys carrying guns to be well trained with them. They should also be wearing some kind of badge, or uniform, so that people can tell just by looking at them that they’re the good guys. Maybe they could make some kind of club, or squad, to respond to these sort of situations. And the the group of good guys with guns should be reachable by some really short and easy to remember phone number, like 911…

  7. I’m also not really sure what you mean to accomplish by labeling the shooter a teabagger. By all accounts, he was a nut who thought the government was using grammar to control our minds. For all you or anyone else knows he’d have been just as happy to gun down Rand Paul, or Newt Gingrinch, or Dick Cheney, if they’d happened to have been available.

  8. OK, to those who are insisting that the shooter is not a teabagger, why don’t you tell us exactly what a teabagger is, then we can see if I’m off base or not. Define it. Precisely. And stop whining.

  9. OK, I’ll take Greg’s challenge. A teabagger is an idiot with a persecution complex and a burning hatred for anybody who does not agree immediately and completely with his perverted view of America, and he expresses this hatred with threats and other violent words.

    Yes, the shooter seems to fit the definition of a teabagger!

  10. I see what Greg is getting at. “Teabagger” is not a political party, it is more like an adjective. But wingnuts (and, ahem, fiscal conservatives and the like) se “tea” and heare “Tea Party.” I’m guessing all Tea Party Members are Teabaggers, but teabagger is a larger category.

  11. “I wonder what would have happened in Tucson if five or ten people were packing heat, which is the ideal NRA solution to everything.”

    An even larger number of wounded and dead.

  12. I wonder what would have happened in Tucson if five or ten people were packing heat…

    Perhaps, one or two of them could have gotten a couple of rounds off and limited the carnage. Since we are speculating, if the shooter had got another clip in his weapon before being disarmed, the guy that “almost shot the guy who was holding the gun” would have probably save some lives.

  13. He’s insane, not stupid. My guess is that after his assination attempt he started shooting randomly into the crowd because he assumed some of them would be armed. As for being a teabagger, his video’s ranted about fake currency which is a conspiracy theory that strongly correlates with the loonitarian fringe.

  14. Greg, the onus is not on me to explain why this nut is or isn’t ANYTHING. YOU made the claim that what he did is politically motivated by, or at least associated with, the values of the ‘teabaggers’. Apart from armchair psychoanalyzing based on his youtube channel and the media frenzy, what support do you have for YOUR position?

    I maintain: there’s nothing I’ve seen about this guy that makes me think he was simply gunning for liberals. Is there any reason to think he wouldn’t have gunned down a conservative politician if that’s who happened to be readily available?

  15. WTF? What the hell happened to Az after I left 2 decades ago? Were they invaded and overtaken by babbling imbeciles?

    Here’s a little fact about handguns: if you’re in a public place with a lot of people, you’ll never spot that guy with a handgun sneaking up on you. You can’t force people to carry guns around either (unless they happen to be in the military and you’re a commanding officer). Then there’s that problem with many armed people simply increasing the threat to themselves by being armed – that’s even the case with cops; some cops shouldn’t have guns on ’em because they’re the sort of people who are likely not to use it even when necessary and there’s no point in putting such people in more danger than necessary.

    The case of Joe Zamudio is the sort of thing I’ve always said is likely if you have multiple armed people on site and they’re not trained to figure out who the bad guy is before firing. Fortunately the good guy wasn’t shot, but I’ll bet a case of beer that most people would rush onto the scene assuming that the first person they saw with a gun must be the bad guy. Hell, that’s certainly what the cops do, and if you’re black they’ll shoot you then shout at you to drop your weapon.

  16. Seriously: I maintain: there’s nothing I’ve seen about this guy that makes me think he was simply gunning for liberals.

    Well, he killed one dead and shot one through the head. Oh, it is possible that I’m wrong … that he would have shot anyone who happened to be in the room, politician or not, or perhaps he would have shot whatever elected official was there. But the evidence we have is that he intended to carry out an assassination (he said so in writing before hand) and his rhetoric is confused, anti-government, conspiratorial, hateful, and violent.

    That is what teabaggers are. This really, really is not hard .

    Perhaps you really should not be avoiding my original question: What do you think a teabagger is?

  17. Jac @9: Yeah, a sort of well-regulated group, like a, a, I don’t know, maybe a well-regulated militia. That’s a neat idea!

    MadScientist@ 21:

    “WTF? What the hell happened to Az after I left 2 decades ago? Were they invaded and overtaken by babbling imbeciles?”

    Yes. By and large, we were. The only real exceptions are in Pima and Coconino counties, and that’s by a hair’s breadth.

  18. Let me back down: if that’s how you’re defining tea bagger, then there’s no doubt the shooter was a tea bagger.

    What I’m arguing against, and perhaps I’m arguing at cross purposes with you, is the association of this guy’s behavior with the Tea Party at large. Because while there are no doubt members of the Tea Party who are “anti-government, conspiratorial, hateful, and violent,” (you’d labeled them tea baggers) it demonizes those who are not to suggest that this guy was one of them. Does that make sense?

  19. it demonizes those who are not to suggest that this guy was one of them. Does that make sense?

    Partly, yes, partly, no. My point is that a half dozen well known statements by Bachmann, Angle’s rhetoric, much of Palins, etc. has led to some perentage, and not a small percentage, of a series of violent evens: Head stomping in Phillie, the attacks on several congressional offices in AZ, the attacks on campaing offices in New Hampshire, effigy hanging and effigy burning, racist imagery at rallies, people showing up with guns visibly strapped to them at rallies, Glenn Beck’s “we surround them” special, the Poplawski killings (three cops) over “obama gun laws”, the Cartwright killing (of two cops) over “Obama gun laws”, increased activity of militias, the Tiller klling, the von Brunn killing, the Brek arrest, the Lafayette County billboard thretening violence (paid for by Republicans, IIRC), the Joseph Stack air plane attack, and on and on and on and on.

    Some of these and a hundred events like them are isolated events, or crazy peoople who would have done this anyway. But by and large, Bachman, Palin, Beck, Angle, others have been pushing and pushing and pushing (to various degrees, and as I’ve said several times, I’m disappointed to not see the spotlight on Bachmann, and I think she’s more intense about this than Palin).

    It is impossible to isolate the Tea Party as a political entity from this wave of violent rhetoric and actual violence. The Tea Party is pushing for it in various ways. If there really are Tea Party ‘members’ who abhor the violent rhetoric, who are they? Where are their voices? Why don’t we know about them, or hear about them? Why are they not openly and loudly denouncing it?

    Yes, it would be unfair to describe the Tea Party as a party of violent rheotric with no internal dissent or disagreement over this in which anti-violent rhetoric members are going in a different direction. If that’s true. It may be, it may not be.

    Thus, my use of the term “teabagger” … and, my suggestion that maybe the Tea Party needs to address these issues. Fish or cut bait.

  20. And yet I wonder what the response would be were I to list some atrocities committed by Islamic extremists and demand that the moderate Muslims come out and denounce them.

  21. Seriously, that issue has come up before. I agree with that. Moderate Muslims that do not denounce the extremists are dicks. Same with moderate Christians who don’t denounce the slayers of reproductive clinic doctors, etc.

    Mostly they do. Well, the moderate Muslims do. I don’t hear very many moderate Christians denouncing other Christians no matter what they do, outside off the Landover Baptists, who are denounced by everyone.

  22. @27 My response would be “How does that fucking matter?” I mean if you were talking-point-cheap enough to ask a stupid question like that, which Im sure you are not. Otherwise you might then come up with the “I wonder what the response would be if I pointed out that Hitler, the epitome of hate-filled rhetoric, killed millions of people, since only a handful of people were killed in AZ rhetoric could not have a played a part.” retort.

  23. 1. “Landover Baptists”
    ? Westboro? (Phelps)

    2. The Randgoon head stomp was in KY, afaik…

    3. Loughner is unlikely to be a tbagger, or not one that attended tbag meets. His political concerns fall closer to many tbagger issues. I can only guess (and he’ll be in the news for a while) … but i think he could have obsessed about any politician.
    The general problem related to Loughner and violent incitement by famous (“respected”) conservatives is that the far rightwing (which is the GOP in 2011) tries too hard to be sure Loughner and “gang” members can kill easily.

  24. Don’t vent your spleen too much there, Lorax. The only point I’ve been trying to make from the beginning (and it’s kind of a moot point based on Greg’s response @26) is that it’s not productive to label Loughner with ANY kind of political affiliation given what we know now. I fully agree that he might have been inflammed by the violent rhetoric currently en vogue in American politics (which is primarily the fault of the right, including the Tea Party), but that’s a far cry from claiming that he did what he did because of his political views (which seem largely unmoored to political reality)

    My Muslim question was meant to point out that it is no more reasonable to point at incidents of violence and to blame them on the entirety of the Tea Party than it does to blame terrorism on all Muslims.

    But by all means, call me stupid because I haven’t pigeonholed this guy based on a few days of sloppy media coverage.

  25. I didnt call you stupid, I did say it was a stupid question though. Maybe you misread my response in your glee to use the witty “vent your spleen too much” phrase you came up with.

    How does one vent a spleen I wonder and does that entail an efflux of T-cells B-cells both?

  26. Fox and Friends missed:

    “The Arizona Daily Star, based on its interview with Zamudio, adds two details to the story. First, upon seeing the man with the gun, Zamudio “grabbed his arm and shoved him into a wall” before realizing he wasn’t the shooter. And second, one reason why Zamudio didn’t pull out his own weapon was that “he didn’t want to be confused as a second gunman.””

    True Zamudio didn’t blast anyone’s brains out. But it is bound to happen in a group of heroes with guns. It happens often in war.

  27. Dear Mrs. Gifford:

    I am very thankful for your great recovery! What happened to you makes us all, determine more then ever, to stand up and do all the right things, at all times, no matter who is against us!!
    God bless you in your recovery!

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