Judge, jury and executioner


Posted: 2011-01-22 03:51   |  More posts about america guns politics

A friend brought this blogpost from the New York Times to my attention. It deals with the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona, in which nineteen people were shot, six of them fatally; and the resulting reinvigoration of the gun-control debate in America.

An excerpt:

On the day of the shooting, a young man named Joseph Zamudio was leaving a drugstore when he saw the chaos at the Safeway parking lot. Zamudio was armed, carrying his 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol. Heroically, he rushed to the scene, fingering his weapon, ready to fire.

Now, in the view of the more-guns proponents, Zamudio might have been able to prevent any carnage, or maybe even gotten off a shot before someone was killed.

“When everyone is carrying a firearm, nobody is going to be a victim,” said Arizona state representative Jack Harper, after a gunman had claimed 19 victims.

“I wish there had been one more gun in Tucson,” said an Arizona Congressman, Rep. Trent Franks, implying like Harper that if only someone had been armed at the scene, Jared Lee Loughner would not have been able to unload his rapid-fire Glock on innocent people.

In fact, several people were armed. So, what actually happened? As Zamudio said in numerous interviews, he never got a shot off at the gunman, but he nearly harmed the wrong person — one of those trying to control Loughner.

He saw people wrestling, including one man with the gun. “I kind of assumed he was the shooter,” said Zamudio in an interview with MSNBC. Then, “everyone said, ‘no, no — it’s this guy,’” said Zamudio.

To his credit, he ultimately helped subdue Loughner. But suppose, in those few seconds of confusion, he had fired at the wrong man and killed a hero?

Earlier, I had also happened upon another article, this time from the L.A. Times.

An excerpt:

The bizarre chain of events unfolded about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on a busy stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard near the 105 Freeway when a southbound driver struck a pedestrian walking across the street outside the crosswalk. Hawthorne Police Lt. Gary Tomatoni said the driver of a white or gray minivan fled the scene and as the injured pedestrian lay in the street, a second vehicle ran over the man. That driver also failed to stop and provide aid. Several pedestrians who saw the two cars hit the man ran to him to try to help. One of the good Samaritans was running across Crenshaw Boulevard toward the victim when she was hit by another motorist traveling southbound. That motorist stopped to check on the woman, but as he did so, he was attacked by a mob of bystanders.

Remind me, what is it they say about the road to hell?

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