Rightwing violence fetishists are exploiting the Norwegian terror attacks as a justification for looser gun laws. ‘If only one of those teenagers had a handgun to take on the drugged up zealot with the automatic rifle’. Fact is, the ‘guns save lives’ myth was destroyed by the Tuscon shooting earlier this year.
When Loughner shot first Congresswoman Giffords, then everyone in the area with an automatic pistol with a 30 round mag, a nearby civilian was legally armed. Arizona some of the laxest gun laws in the US. So he should have dropped that guy at the first sign of trouble, eh? Didn’t happen.
Joe Zamudio was out buying cigarettes last Saturday when he heard what sounded like fireworks but quickly realized were gunshots. He reached into his coat pocket for the 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol he carried, clicking the safety off.
He heard yelling around him: “Shooter, shooter, get down!”
Zamudio saw a young man squirming on the ground and an older man standing above him, waving a gun.
Zamudio, 24, had his finger on the trigger and seconds to decide.
He lifted his finger from the trigger and ran toward the struggling men.
As he grabbed the older man’s wrist to wrestle the gun away, bystanders yelled that he had the wrong man — it was the man on the ground who they said had attacked them and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). The gun the older man was holding had been wrestled away from the shooter. Police later identified 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner as the suspect.
“I could have very easily done the wrong thing and hurt a lot more people,” said Zamudio
So, armed guy heard shots. Ran out. Gun ready. This is going to be just like in the movies! Saw shot people everywhere and a scuffle. Drew his weapon. And just about blew away the 74 year old who, unarmed, tackled Loughner, wrestled the gun off him when he went to change mags (a 61 year old, woman, also unarmed, grabbed Loughner’s fresh mag from him). Fact Zamudio had a gun nearly got more innocent people killed. Admitted it himself.
Law enforcement needs guns in extreme cases. But fact is wide ownership of guns – especially handguns and automatic weapons that are designed for killing humans, not hunting – just means more deaths.
Norway will grieve the 76 killed for a long time. But it’s worth noting that’s twice its normal annual murder rate of 40. The US, with 60 times the population has over 300 times the number of homicides – 12,500 – from guns alone.
Guns designed to kill people save lives? What a bunch of bullshit. They’re designed for killing people, not just ‘bad guys’, and that’s what they do.