A lot has been said about the Giffords case, both here on TTAG and elsewhere. And like most emotionally-charged cases, when all is said and done, more’s been said, than done. And while a lot of people have speculated on how Arizona’s relatively unrestrictive laws regarding carrying a weapon might have played into this tragedy, nobody’s really come forward to talk about why nobody shot the scumbag, if everybody goes around armed.
But leave it to perennial media grandstander ace reporter media opportunist Geraldo Rivera (nee: Jerry Rivers) to come up with the one story that will interest the TTAGencia, namely that there was someone nearby who was legally carrying a concealed handgun, and he played a role in the takedown of the psycho killer.
As Rivera interviewed Joe Zamudio, one of the men responsible for subduing the crazed loon responsible for the shooting, he “said to Geraldo, “I don’t know if you were aware but I carry a weapon.”
Wow. That’s kind of a conversation changer.
Geraldo asks Joe what happened. The man replies, “I heard gunshots, I ran outside to help. You know, I was carrying a gun and I would have shot him…I, I almost did.”
“Why didn’t you,” Geraldo asked.
“They’d already had a-hold of him, and there was a lot of people around him, and I wasn’t going to cause any more collateral damage or scare anybody any further than they needed to be scared.” Joe replied. “I felt like I could hold him down and wait for police, and it wasn’t my responsibility to end his life.”
Let’s let that one sink in for a second. He had a gun. He was licensed to carry. He made a split-second evaluation of the situation. He made the right choice. No going all Sly-Rocky-Rambo on the guy. No shooting innocent bystanders. No making the situation worse. Just a responsible citizen, trying to help, and doing the right thing. And here’s the kicker. This guy is all of 24 years old. Just two years older than the whackjob that shot 20 or so people and killed 6.
So we have on the one hand, a crazy person who uses a gun to shoot people indiscriminately. On the other, a responsible citizen who not only chooses to carry a gun legally, but had the good sense NOT to use it, when doing so could have made a tragic situation even worse.
Now I’m sure that those on the left with a hard-on for gun control will see this situation as evidence of “if we banned all the guns, nothing like this could happen…after all, what good did this guy carrying a gun do?” But stop and think. Do you really believe anybody would run toward gunfire if they weren’t armed, and thought they could help?
Now, frankly, I’m not sure I would have done the same thing as Zamudio, given his situation. If I was standing there, perhaps. But I don’t believe a CHL and having a gun on me puts me in the same situation as a law enforcement official, who’s job it is to runs TO the scene to stop a crime, or a fireman who runs IN to the burning building to save lives.
But that doesn’t take away from his heroism. It’s a judgement call, and my judgement would be tempered by the proximity of my daughter to the scene, and if I seriously thought I could make things better. I’m not second-guessing Zamudio. I think he did the right thing. And my hat’s off to him for his bravery.
And God Bless him for speaking the truth publicly about his actions, conceal carry, and for being a responsible gun owner.