One Lesson from the Incident in Tucson

One thing we have learned and I have always known,  is that an armed populace will not prevent this type of tragedy.  After other incidents such as the Virginia Tech Shootings, we always hear something like this,  “well if the students  were allowed to have guns,  only one or two people would have been shot.”  Well Arizona has about the least restrictive gun laws in the nation.  Just about anyone in the crowd could have been carrying an concealed weapon without a permit.  Yet Jared Loughner was able to empty a clip before being tackled.   No magic gun owner came to the rescue.  Instead he was tackled by unarmed citizens.

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16 Responses to One Lesson from the Incident in Tucson

  1. Lauri says:

    So true, Lord K. These horrendous things can never be totally prevented. It’s so heartbreaking.
    And I am more and more angry that our country has cut treatments or care for mental illness down to pretty much nothing.

    • stupido63 says:

      Arizona has slashed their funding for mental health care. Of course the mental health care crisis started under Reagan when they closed a large number of institutions.

      • Lauri says:

        It’s horrible. There are a lot of people in this country and some are going to need some sort of care. Just another symptom of the lack of caring in this country I think.

  2. brownamazon says:

    Riiiight…because of course everyone who carries a gun is going to be an expert sniper, trained to take down a dangerous killer in a chaotic situation, without accidentally harming innocent bystanders. Since AZ is so gun-friendly, I’m guessing several people there were in fact packing heat, but they either froze and didn’t react in time, or realized they wouldn’t be able to get a clean shot.

  3. brownamazon says:

    Forgot to add that I actually head some gun store owner being interviewed on CBC talking about this very thing–the stupid “more guns could have prevented this” argument. And then he says his Glock sales have gone up 300% since the shooting.

    • Lauri says:

      Oh great. And I suppose the Glock buyers aren’t any better screened than crazy Loughton was. I know there are no decent screening practices in place that could have covered him, even with all his erratic behavior.

      I saw a documentary on how well even trained gun owners were in a crisis situation. It was pretty much “freeze up” or “hit innocent civilians” in the test situations.

  4. AuntieBellum says:

    Of course, passing more stringent gun laws probably wouldn’t have prevented it, either.

    The problem is the underlying mental state of the killer, not the weapon of choice.

    Too many people just start shouting “let’s ban all teh gunz!!1!” and then pat themselves on the back like that fixes everything.

    And then they accuse everyone else of not having any sensible suggestions…

    Sorry to hijack your thread, LordK. :\

    • Lauri says:

      I knew we were going to be hearing from the “ban all the guns” contingent. That won’t work, either.

      But, it sure would be nice if obviously deranged people like the Virginia Tech shooter and this Loughton could be kept away from guns.

      • AuntieBellum says:

        It’s not really even what point of view people hold that gets my goat.

        It’s the fact that they think they’re actually accomplishing something and accusing other people of *not* having any good ideas. Like their idea is sensible???

        Seriously! Do you think the Crips and the Bloods and the other criminal types are going to start knocking themselves out to comply with a ban?

        Come on! Let’s address the real problem, and stop cutting back on treatment options for the mentally ill, and come up with real solutions to what makes these people angry enough to kill in the first place.

      • e2thec says:

        VA is (or at least was) one of the most permissive states re. gun laws.

        There’s a Good Old Boy mentality down there about a lot of things. (It took several decades for legislation mandating blaze orange for hunters to pass – Good Old Boys kept arguing that it “wasn’t sporting.”)

        Back in the late 90s (or was it the very early 00s?), VA’s law on gun purchases was changed so that any given individual was allowed to buy only one gun per week.

        I really wish I was making that up (about the 1 gun per week law), but ….

        People buy guns and then some of them use them to kill other people. As far as I’m concerned, the less handguns and assault weapons out there, the better. (Though I do come from an area where hunting is the norm and weapons used for that seem to figure rarely in crimes.)

        However…. VA’s permissive gun laws have made it – historically – a haven for middlemen who buy assault weapons (etc.) and resell to organized crim – the Bloods, the Crips and many other gangs operating in the US and Canada.

        Something’s gotta give, and I really feel like it’s time for gun sales to be regulated much more stringently.

      • e2thec says:

        One other thought: the Beltway Sniper was active in my general neck of the woods for a while.

        I think most everyone was scared shitless but we all tried not to think about it. However… gas stations (he favored shooting people while they were at the pumps) were deserted. I’ll confess to hunkering down while refilling, which I did only once during his rampage.

        One person terrorized an really large swath of land … Is he deranged?

        Yes, without question.

        Should he have been able to get weapons?

        No way in hell!

        All that to say… I firmly believe that people like him (many of whom were dumped on the streets due to policies set in motion during Bush I’s administration) need to be getting help, and to be living in safe places where they cannot harm themselves or others.

        And that access to guns also needs to be severely curtailed.

        (Lord K, my apologies for the long, ranty posts…)

  5. brownamazon says:

    I also agree that banning all guns is not the answer..but yeah, would be nice if people weren’t just able to walk into a WalMart and buy enough ammo to take down a platoon.

  6. stupido63 says:

    Well did not mean to start a discussion on increasing gun control but just meant to make a remark that we don’t need to reduce the limits we have now.

    That said, the Second Amendment states that we should have the right to bear arms. It does not say what type. Hence a discussion on that is legit. After all, full automatic weapons and hand grenades have been effectively banned from civilian ownership since 1934. But District of Columbia v. Heller basically states handgun ownership is a right covered by the Second Amendment. So the ability to limit gun ownership is somewhere in between.

    So currently, Mr. Loughner was able to buy a 9mm Glock and an expanded capacity clip. Given District of Columbia v. Heller and the Second Amendment, we know that private ownership of a handgun is allowed. Should the Glock with its extended capacity clip be allowed? The question is better put, what are the legitimate uses for a Glock with an extended capacity clip? Because, if there is an legitimate civilian use, then the argument can be made for private ownership. I would imagine that self defense would not be a legitimate use. After all, what situation would require 30 shots without reloading? One might say bear attack but would the S&W 0.50 caliber revolver be better for that? Hunting? Nope, unless you are Sarah Palin (it took her 6 shots to take a caribou), you should be able to hit your target in a couple of shots or you shouldn’t be hunting. The only thing I could think of as an legitimate use for the extended capacity clips is use by people with one hand since changing clips would be difficult.

    As far as buying the ammo, 30 rounds or even 100 is not unreasonable. One can easily run through 30 rounds at a shooting range target shooting. And a serious maniac could hoard. One Walmart did refuse to sell ammo to Jared.

    So, the best way this could have been prevented would have been to have mechanisms in place that would have flagged Jared Loughner as unstable. If a person is kicked out of college due to his perceived mental instability, why was there no follow up? If there was a mechanism in place then he might have receive help and this would have been prevented.

    BTW, I still feel that extended magazine ownership should be looked at (Loughner could have just had two Glocks instead but at least make it expensive to be psycho). Also, just to make everyone feel safer, many black powder weapons are not consider firearms under Federal and most State laws…….

    • e2thec says:

      About black powder weapons not being considered firearms: ???!

      • stupido63 says:

        e2thec, black powder weapons which were made before 1898 or replicas are typically are not controlled under the Gun Control Act of 1968. Hence, you can buy one via mail without back ground check in many jurisdictions. Cabela’s has 113 rifles, 67 pistols and 37 traditional style weapons for your mail ordering pleasure.

  7. Lurking; no friggin’ way am I entering this fray!

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