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The Tucson Massacre and Armed Citizens

I’m sure everyone has heard or read something about the mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona over the weekend. Some reports are calling it an assassination attempt, but the attack wasn’t on just one person, it was on a large group of people — normal, every-day citizens as well as government officials.

Apparently the gunman was stopped when some of those normal, every-day citizens bravely responded by counter-attacking when the gunman had to reload his pistol. They attacked with their bare hands and bodies.

I don’t throw around the word “hero” as easily as some people do, (especially like those in the media do), but a person who chooses to physically jump on a gunman instead of running away qualifies as a hero in my definition. (This is *not* to say that someone who runs from a gunman is in any way a coward — running away from a nutcase with a weapon is a wise and perfectly sensible thing to do.)

Now imagine what could have happened if even one of those citizens was armed. Instead of jumping the crazy shooter after he shot off all the (30!) bullets in his first magazine, maybe someone could have dropped him before he fired more than a handful of bullets.

If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

An armed society is a polite society.

Some people are scared of the idea of weapons in the hands of law-abiding citizens. I’m not so much. I’m much more fearful of weapons in the hands of criminals and lunatics.

My brother has a concealed-carry permit, and he regularly carries a concealed weapon. He’s had the proper, official training, (not to mention he grew up, like me, with many guns in our home), and I know his temperament — he’s not a hothead likely to pull a weapon for any reason other than dire danger. A room with my brother, armed, in it is safer than a room without him. (Excepting a police station full of cops, or a military base full of soldiers/marines/etc.)

Brogrit moving boxes at our mom’s house over the Christmas holiday:

If I lived in a less complicated environment, (that is: without young children), I might also carry a concealed weapon. But my life situation makes carrying a weapon more of an everyday complication weighed against the likelihood of ever needing a weapon right at hand. I do own quite a few firearms, but they aren’t ready for immediate action. Given an hour’s warning, I’d be very ready for a Russian Invasion or the Zombie Apocalypse. (I even have a fully functional sword and shield.)

But, so I’m not completely defenseless against random outlaws and lunatics, I have black-belt training in tae kwon do, (as well as lower-level training in karate and jujutsu), to at least give me an edge in any situation short of facing a gun. I’m not self-delusional enough to think I’m Chuck Norris — I know I’d probably be beat up by a big, strong, determined, enraged, and/or crazy attacker, but I feel I could at least fight long enough that my wife and children, (and anyone else around), could get away before I was destroyed.

A lunatic with a gun is a terrible thing. But a lawful citizen with a gun can be a wonderful thing. I hope I’m never in a crowd with the first, but I’m pretty comfortable in a crowd with the second. In fact, if I am ever in a crowd with the former, I hope the latter is also present.


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8 Responses to The Tucson Massacre and Armed Citizens

  1. Morganton says:

    What kid of gun does your brother carry?

  2. brogrit says:

    it is a kahr cw 9. 9mm

  3. EarlG says:

    One guy firing into a crowded area is enough. Turning it into a gun battle would just mean more people dead. Instead of armed “citizens” there shouldhave been a police officer present during this kind of event.

  4. brogrit says:

    earlg, that statement isnt well thought out at all. so you are saying that its ok for a criminal and a cop to get in a gun fight in a crowd but not anyone else. cops are there after the fact….when seconds count the police are only minutes away….anyone trained in handling and using a firearm for self defense or the defense of others knows better than to fire into a crowd, thats one of the first lessons i ever learned….you are also saying that i dont know how to shoot my weapon. i promise you im a better shot than a lot of cops i know. why you ask, because i train myself regularly. “there shouldve been a cop there during this kind of event”…that is saying that someone knew that a shooting was going to happen….well, thats just impossible to know. anyone that says armed citizens are a bad thing, well, that will just make you a victim, not me, i may be the loser, but im not going to be a victim.

  5. Knowssomegrit says:

    Arizona has some of the least restrictive gun laws in America, maybe Texas is more lax. The posibility of someone in the crowd having a gun were about as high as they were going to get. Your arguement for more people carrying guns saving lives in this situation is only valid if someone near the shooter both had a gun and a clear shot to take him out. With everyone running and screaming, the chances are low. The most likely scenerio would still be what actually happened, people in the crowd tackling the shooter.

  6. brogrit says:

    you are correct knowssomegrit…that is the training i speak of….if there is not a clear shot….dont take it.

  7. friendgrit says:

    so the outcome would have been the same with more people armed?

    Let’s suppose 50% of the 50 or so people at the rally were armed…and 50% were trained marksman like brogrit. Rounding up…13 trained people would have not taken the shot (into a crowd which is the right thing to do…i agree with brogrit) leaving like 12 to start shooting into a crowd of people panicing. I agree with EarlG in that off duty cops should have been hired for an event large enough for there to be possible problems…or at least trained security of some sort. This is pretty standard or should be. In a perfect world everyone would carry a gun, be trained marksman and understand the large responsibility of carrying a weapon. Unfortunately, people are stupid, careless, and irresponsible by a large majority. I’m happy where gun laws are in this country.

  8. Bullgrit says:

    This video contains an interview with one of the people who helped restrain the shooter in Tucson. Warning: The interview is by Sean Hannity on Fox News. (I know some folks are going to immediately discount it because of the interviewer and the outlet, and I know some folks are going to immediately label me because I found it and am presenting it. Such people are fools.)

    I present this video because the young man interviewed did actually have a pistol on his person when this shooting happened. Unfortunately, he arrived on the scene after the gunman ran empty and the others had already jumped him. But his actions, as an armed citizen, are interesting. He was cool and thoughtful in a very chaotic and dangerous situation. He is a good model for the concept of armed citizenry.

    The good information is split up over the 4:45 interview, so watch the whole thing:

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