After Giffords Shooting, Some Absurdly Want Looser Gun Laws

Can you imagine a situation in which a gun massacre results in calls for FEWER restrictions on gun ownership? Apparently, it happens every time.

Among the stories circulating throughout the press following the Giffords shooting was that of Joe Zamudio, a gun-owning citizen who rushed in to aid matters, drew his weapon, and prepared to fire. "I was ready to end his life," Joe Zamudio said, according to The Daily News. "I had my hand on the butt of my gun. If they hadn't grabbed him and he was still moving, I would have shot him."

If there were looser gun laws, gun-advocates claim, there would be more Zamudios.

But as William Saletan over at Slate reminds us, that's not necessarily a good thing. In fact, there's a part of Zamudio's story missing from many accounts: he almost shot the wrong man believing him to be the killer, and he could have easily been shot himself. He himself admitted that he was "lucky" in his split-second judgment. Here's how the scenario might have played out:, according to Saletan:

In the chaos and pressure of the moment, you can shoot the wrong person. Or, by drawing your weapon, you can become the wrong person—a hero mistaken for a second gunman by another would-be hero with a gun. Bang, you're dead. Or worse, bang bang bang bang bang: a firefight among several armed, confused, and innocent people in a crowd.


Still, the realities of the situation--that gun control might have saved lives here--haven't stopped Arizona gun advocates from proposing and drafting a bew law relaxing the already loose gun control statutes in the state, and even naming their proposal in honor of the victims(The Giffords-Zimmerman Act). The irony, perhaps, is lost on those putting forth these suggestions.

Meanwhile, the potential for the President to address gun control in the wake of the tragedy is nonexistent--it remains a "third rail" or losing issue, for Democrats, TPM reports.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at January 11, 2011, 4:37am

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