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January 08, 2013

Dear Mr. Gun Fantasy

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Gabby Giffords and her husband are taking the lead in calling for more gun laws and that has our favorite twitchy with a finger constructing a separate reality (no links because we are not an enabler) much like this one:

Yup. I have a streamlight TLR-2s with a disorienting strobe at like 200 lumens and a laser, and I have a Trijicon amber dot site, to go with 45 APC rounds. Provided I’m not hit before I know what’s happening, I guarantee he’d have felt what it’s like to be shot — likely 12-15 times, depending on which firearm I had with me.

…but a bit less boner-inducing:

“Giffords and Kelly Launch Their Own Anti-Gun Lobby” – ironic, given that it was private citizens who jumped in and prevented Jared Loughner from reloading, then subdued him.  And who knows, maybe had he been hit by a concealed .40 JHP rather than a folding chair, the carnage would have been even less severe.

But even though private citizens likely saved her life, Giffords believes now is the time to turn many of them into potential felons.

No good deed goes unpunished, I guess.

Let’s roll the tape, Johnny:

Zamudio was in a nearby drug store when the shooting began, and he was armed. He ran to the scene and helped subdue the killer. Television interviewers are celebrating his courage, and pro-gun blogs are touting his equipment. “Bystander Says Carrying Gun Prompted Him to Help,” says the headline in the Wall Street Journal.

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.

Zamudio agreed:

I was very lucky. Honestly, it was a matter of seconds. Two, maybe three seconds between when I came through the doorway and when I was laying on top of [the real shooter], holding him down. So, I mean, in that short amount of time I made a lot of really big decisions really fast. … I was really lucky.

[...]

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.”

This is a much more dangerous picture than has generally been reported. Zamudio had released his safety and was poised to fire when he saw what he thought was the killer still holding his weapon. Zamudio had a split second to decide whether to shoot. He was sufficiently convinced of the killer’s identity to shove the man into a wall. But Zamudio didn’t use his gun. That’s how close he came to killing an innocent man. He was, as he acknowledges, “very lucky.”

I imagine the perpetually anxious and high-strung Godlestein’s little fantasy would have played out a bit more like this:

…but with him shouting ‘Outlaw!” as he went out in a haze of testosterone and a blaze of glory.


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