Letters to the Editor

Gun didn’t win

January 17, 2011


To the editor:

The tragic shooting in Arizona was overcome by people, people who tackled the shooter and grabbed the magazine. Still six died.

What might the toll have been, if this happened in a Dodge City with a shoot-out at the old “Arizona Corral”?

The gun did not win this fight. Glory belonged to the “non-gun” people.

Is there a lesson here?


pace 6 years ago

What a crock corky. The heroes of the Tuscon tragedy were the people, who stood up, who helped, who did something. The gun is perhaps your hero, corky but that is just how you look at it. The gun lost. it was the loser, the political assassin is a loser, People who did something for others are important. You rejecting the idea that people were killed by a gun in the incident is close to delusional. If you have something against memorials for the dead or wounded, or the real heroes. too bad. I suggest you tell your family not to hold service for you when you pass. don't salute the flag and honor no one, that is your right. I light candles for people all the time. I appreciate so many who have given so much. I appreciate and acknowledge all the heroes.

llama726 6 years ago

I don't talk about cow poo, or whatever it is you are an expert on. Please stay out of science, unless you can understand it. Thanks.

voevoda 6 years ago

Let's look at this proposition logically. TomShewmon proposes: "speculation for political gain is a very common extremist liberal trait." TomShewmon speculates for political gain in a large number of postings every day. Logical conclusion 1: TomShewmon may very well be an extremist liberal. or, Logical conclusion 2: Individuals who are not extremist liberals also engage in speculation for political gain.

RoeDapple 6 years ago

This is so flawed I don't know where to begin . . . If the "non-gun" people "won", why are there six dead and 12 injured?
Nobody "won" here. This was a tragic loss. For everyone.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"why are there six dead and 12 injured? "

Does somebody really need to answer this question for you? OK, it's because a wackjob with a semi-automatic unloaded at least a couple of clips into them.

RoeDapple 6 years ago

Good bozo, you at least partially got it. Wackjob = correct. One clip, not two. The second clip was taken away while he was being subdued.

RoeDapple 6 years ago

Tom, I heard it both ways but the one I've heard most was his first clip was 31 rounds.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

So, your point must be that the "gun people" won, since so many people got shot.

RoeDapple 6 years ago

nice try clown. reread my original post

Brock Masters 6 years ago

Glory? Really, you see glory in this? I see sadness, heartache and tradegy.

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

Except when we hear the tired argument that once criminals know that citizens are carrying concealed weapons they'll be less likely to commit such acts.

Brock Masters 6 years ago

Yes, there is evidence to suggest that crime rates do go down after a jurisdiction authorizes CCW, but no one has ever suggested that it is a cure-all and stops all violent crime.

Plus, a mentally ill person does not think rationally and thus, most likely does not consider the consequences of his or her actions which negates any deterrent effects of CCW or any penalties.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years ago

Once criminals know that "citizens" are carrying concealed weapons they'll...probably forget in short order...or be too high or desperate to care when the criminal imperative arises. So to me it seems relatively meaningless to argue against "the criminals will fear us" argument, as the argument is, indeed, crazy. Until innocent people are NOT killed by those trying to kill "bad guys", we will have war. But war will never die. "Yes, but NIMB!" you say? Really? We can only pretend to attempt to fix the roots of our problems, those that lead to stress and anger and war. Overpopulation and the failure to address greed creates the anger in our world. Only in, what nearly all would consider, a grossly underpopulated world can societies approaching sanity be maintained. See? No? Well... I still say you can't fix crazy in an crazily overpopulated world. And we will not be well in short order. Survival in a culture of desire trumps all and that includes the desire of those focussed only on desire, and demands that desire is quenched, quelled or dissipated mightily. Perhaps only I am insane in my belief, but all of us crazy people doubt that any type of crazy can be fixed without violence. Fix that or the mainstream will be forced to live in fear from above and below their caste. I am speculating, as is the way of our times. I am free to speculate, as are those who destroy the world as we know it or believe it will become. Fix just one thing and trust may return to some alternate and more or less quiet delusional quest. Yeah... Maybe I'm the only crazy one here. Believe that at your peril or take up arms against our greatest foe...MASSIVE overpopulation and the machinations of its continuance. People are your enemy or comeuppance. I'm just sayin'!~) I truly mean you no harm. I am a pacifist, in practice, but a fool in my heart.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Ground control to Major Don, your circuit's fried, is something wrong?

rtwngr 6 years ago

Not a very convincing LTE, Don. You should wait one month and then try again. Maybe we will have stopped laughing by then.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"but my speculation has been documented and confirmed over and over in this land of the free."

Then why don't supply it?

jafs 6 years ago

The better solution to this problem would have been to prevent it in the first place.

There was sufficient evidence that the shooter was mentally unbalanced and very possibly dangerous that something could and should have been done, in my opinion.

jessanddaron 6 years ago

Tom, your speculation is merely that...speculation. If Zamudio, and 20 others for that matter, opened fire in public more people would be dead than 6. How do you think a multiple person shootout out a grocery store parking lot ends? With alot of people dead and I am "speculating" it would be more than 6. Unless you are a trained marksman with years of experience operating said handgun, the majority of CC holders don't fit this mold, I sure as heck don't want you opening fire in a crowded area.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years ago

We all "speculate" and that's just fine, but are you saying that you'd rather be killed by an insane lunatic than by someone trying to put down the insane lunatic? Obviously, dead is dead and a shame and a horror on either "side". I am wondering if you are saying that you would not risk your life to squelch such evil. "Duck and cover!" comes to mind, if that is the case. Hit the dirt if you have no gun in the fight. Yes? This must be the general way of the world for people that the U.S. "saves" from "tyranny". Why don't you fight THAT salvation? Citizen death (in this country only) due to "friendly fire" are nearly nonexistent! No? No?

Brock Masters 6 years ago

Ah Corky, here is the fallacy in your post. Firearms will not disappear. Enact a law that bans legal ownership of all guns, no ands, ifs, or buts, no exceptions and only law abiding citizens will not own guns. Criminals will still manage to get them and thus, crimes like this will still occur.

It is a fantasy to think that we can keep guns out of the hands of criminals by passing a law (or thousands) making it illegal. We can't keep illegal drugs out of this country, we can't keep illegal immigrants out of this country so how do you think we'd keep guns out of it?

gogoplata 6 years ago

The lesson is that there will always be turds like Don Conrad who try and spin a bad situation to fit their beliefs. I don't see glory belonging to any group of people on this one.

pace 6 years ago

Some newspapers have like, don't like buttons on comments. Like little mini polls of popularity contests. I don't care much for those. I don't like something or not because a certain number of people agree or disagree. Still it might be a guide for those who claim, everyone, all vets, important people, etc agree with the particular stand or opinion someone has. I wish we had an edit option. My fingers aren't made for typing. Thanks to the monitors, it is tough, I will use this as a reminder to mind my manners and to be kinder. I am not against guns, I am for regulation and education standards. I don't like semi automatics in the hands of angry and careless children or used by people ignorant of safe procedure.

pusscanthropus 6 years ago

Good riddance, and good luck with that lawsuit! Tee hee hee!

jayhawklawrence 6 years ago

Real gun guys don't need to spray bullets. They generally need only one and they hit what they are aiming at.

This kid would not have lasted more than 15 seconds around the people I know.

One friend of mine holds about 15 national and international records in hand guns. I imagine it would have taken him about 5 seconds to end this nonsense.

The writer of this letter to the editor is probably a guy that sees a gun as a symbol and he is afraid of the symbol. As I predicted, the Democrats are going to start SHOOTING themselves in the foot on this and alienating the people who might want to support them.

When I say the Democrats are the stupidest politicians on the planet, the evidence is overwhelming.

jafs 6 years ago

  1. The better solution to this would have been to prevent it in the first place - the shooter was clearly mentally unbalanced and likely dangerous.

  2. Your friend, holding so many records, is not reflective of the vast majority of gun owners, I would think.

  3. Why is the scenario in which the guy shoots some people, and then is shot dead, any kind of desireable one? It's still a tragedy.

gphawk89 6 years ago

"Is there a lesson here?"

Yep. It's obvious that we need more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens. No one with a concealed weapon was close enough to quickly / safely take this guy out.

BlackVelvet 6 years ago

Okay, so why not isolate ALL "mentally ill" folks, just in case another violent one is lurking in the shadows? How's that for "preventing" this in the first place?

Seriously, had this "whack-job" driven an automobile into a crows and killed/injured many, would the LTE writer or others, try blaming the auto instead of the "whack-job"?

Hoots 6 years ago

Good thing he didn't drive an SUV into the crowd. That one has been done many times with similar results. That would have been much harder to stop. People with bad intensions always seem to find a way.

jayhawklawrence 6 years ago

Maybe as a society we need more education about how to respond to mental illness and we need to have better options about how to respond to people like this young man who a lot of people recognized as needing professional help.

We need better leadership on a lot of issues in our society if we want to become better. Politicizing everything out the ying yang or throwing piles of money at every problem is not an answer to anything.

All of this involves a more public minded attitude and being more responsible as citizens enjoying freedom in a great country. We need to make it a better country.

Charles L Bloss Jr 6 years ago

Had an armed citizen been present, there could have been no deaths, or injuries, except for the shooter.Thank you, Lynn

beatrice 6 years ago

Not true, on several accounts. Number one, the killer is a citizen. He was certainly armed. Also, he wouldn't have been stopped instantly. In the best case scenario, he would still have gotten off several direct shots before he could have been stopped, even by the best trained armed citizens. Finally, one of the people who held down the shooter until the police arrived was in fact armed. He came out of a nearby store immediately upon hearing the first shots, yet was unable to help stop the shooter until after the shooter had quickly gone through his 30 round magazine and was trying to reload.

davidsmom 6 years ago

Exactly. And can anybody explain why semi-automatic weapons need to be available to anyone besides law enforcement and the military?

gphawk89 6 years ago

Personally, for me it's a lot easier to keep my aim at a pheasant with a semi-auto if I miss with the first shot.

Peacemaker452 6 years ago

Because fully automatic weapons are difficult to obtain due to the National Firearms Act, require a lot more training to use properly and are extremely expensive. So I guess we will have to settle with the next best tool for the job.

labmonkey 6 years ago

Do you even know the difference between semi-automatic, and automatic? Tell you what....I will educate you right here.

A semi-automatic, which you vilify, is a firearm which you shoot one bullet or expend one shell with each pull from the trigger. Many shotguns used for hunting ducks, turkey, quail, and pheasant are semi-automatic.

An automatic firearm fires more than one bullet per pull of the trigger. These are legal to own in 37 states, but you have to submit an application, $200, and your fingerprints to legally own one. You also cannot own one manufactured after 1986 as the pre-1986 guns are grandfathered under the gun control act of 1986...and you have to keep your approved permit with the weapon at all times.

gphawk89 5 years, 12 months ago

Using the "one shot per pull of the trigger" definition, almost all handguns are semi-auto. Even revolvers, although they're not really classified as such. I've never fired a handgun that actually required some kind of cocking procedure between rounds, although I suppose there are a few out there. And yes, plenty of hunting shotguns and rifles are semi-auto.

It's sad that "semi-automatic" equates to "assault rifle" to so many people who don't understand guns. It's just the method used to feed the next round into the chamber, nothing more. Others are pump, lever-action, bolt-action, etc.

pace 6 years ago

I wish that fantasy was true, of course we will never know. Some sure shot, able to determine and act fantastically fast, able to discern in a nanosecond what was happening and to act perfectly. I am a good shot and calm in a crisis and have friends with long history in combat and other service. They laugh at the movies, they and I say it doesn't happen in life like in movies. Maybe you would of shot the gun out of his hand. I wish someone could of. Not a bad dream.

Peacemaker452 6 years ago

Can you provide any statistics that show the previous ban on standard capacity magazines had any verifiable effect on crime?

Or perhaps, can you show that in the seven years since the ban faded, that crime with handguns using standard capacity magazines has increased?

beatrice 6 years ago

Well, in this instance the shooter was able to keep shooting until he ran out of bullets and was stopped when he went to reload. Had he had a standard capacity magazine, he wouldn't have shot as many people. That is verifiable, is it not?

Of course, I think the issue needs to become one of keeping the gun out of the hands of the insane in the first place, no matter how many rounds it can shoot. I don't know if any changes or additions to gun laws is the answer, with exceptions perhaps for more complete background checks.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 12 months ago

Bea, It is hard to say what would have happened in this situation. A smaller magazine may have reduced the number of deaths/injuries or people’s reaction time may have allowed the crazy to reload. Hopefully, we will not have a similar incident to test this theory.

My point is that overall crime statistics do not support the idea that the previous ban on magazines had any effect on lowering crime or that its lapse caused an increase in crime. They say that repeating the same action again and again, expecting a different result is a sign of mental issues. Why would we want to do this as a nation?

It would have been much better if this guy did not have access to the firearm he used. I don’t think we have all of the facts yet, but it looks like there were several missed opportunities to get him on the “prohibited persons” list. No background check can find a charge that is never filed.

beatrice 5 years, 12 months ago

Indeed, I think being a little more forceful on getting people on a prohibited list would be useful, as long as we close all the loopholes, including the secondary market.

Peacemaker452 6 years ago

Starlight, Who are you replying to?

Peacemaker452 5 years, 12 months ago

Gee, so that is how this all works.

Actually, I was asking because your reply was so vague and ambiguous that I could not tell where you were at on the issue and if you even had a point. Knowing what you were replying to might have helped interpret your post.

Thanks for sharing.

gogoplata 6 years ago

Guns were important for winning freedom for Americans. They are just as important for keeping us free. Freedom is not perfect but it is better than anything else. I don't trust anyone who advocates crapping on the 2nd amendment. Freedom matters.

beatrice 6 years ago

Yes, freedom matters. But to use the well-worn "fire" in a crowded theater analogy, there also need to be some regulations on freedoms. We aren't anarchists without rules and limits on what we can and can't do. So instead of thinking of it as "crapping" on the 2nd, consider it as placing rational limits on the 2nd to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people -- otherwise, you won't mind if I carry my bazooka around for personal protection, will you?

gogoplata 5 years, 12 months ago

You can't keep guns out of the hands of crazy people in a free country. We already have laws against your carrying a bazooka. No more gun laws. Gun laws simply don't work. You need to be rational and admit that gun control does not work.

beatrice 5 years, 12 months ago

How often do crazy people shoot up citizens in Australia? Sorry, but gun control -- real gun control and not just band-aid, feel good laws -- actually does work. The question is whether or not we want that much control. It appears we don't.

gogoplata 5 years, 12 months ago

You are right, we don't want gun control. We love freedom. Guns help establish freedom. This isn't Australia. We have a 2nd amendment that guarantees us the right to protect ourselves. Maybe you would like living in a country with less freedom but not me.

jayhawklawrence 6 years ago

Any independent voters still thinking of voting Democrat at the next election are going to swing right if the anti gun zealots get back up on their soap boxes again.

A gun did not cause the Arizona tragedy. A guy named Loughner caused it.

We can try to tone down political debate but if you try to take our guns away from law abiding and mentally stable Americans, you cross the line.

I can deal with the Loughners of the world. I cannot deal with a government that takes away our basic freedoms as Americans and ignores our right to bear arms.

jayhawklawrence 6 years ago

Is there even one Democrat in this state who has the courage to come out in favor of gun rights?

Why is that?

Brock Masters 6 years ago

Let's be fair. We would not have CCW in this state if not for the Democrats that believe in the 2nd amendment and overrode Sebilius's veto of it. There are D's that understand the importance of the 2nd amendment and are willing to support it.

labmonkey 6 years ago

I am as anti-gun-control as anyone and own several guns from a Glock, to hunting rifles and shotguns, to an AK (legally semi-automatic and fun to go out to the country to shoot)... but I will say that if someone with a gun is within ten feet of you, you are better off to charge him with a baseball bat or even your fists than you are to pull out your own gun, properly aim, fire, and hit your intended target.

BlackVelvet 6 years ago

I guess you need more practice then if you're faster with a bat. I can clear the holster and put two in the "five X" in under a second every time. It just takes practice.

labmonkey 6 years ago

Yes... but shooting a target and shooting a person with a gun aimed at you...faster than they can shoot you, are two different things. I still contend that you have a better shot of not getting shot if you charge someone from less than 10 ft than if you try to pull your gun out, aim, shoot and avoid getting shot. Charging them gives them a moving target and you have the advantage of surprise.

beatrice 6 years ago

How about, we just don't give a crazy person a drivers license. Now, how do we go about doing that?

You are correct that we shouldn't base our laws on what crazy people do. However, we should have laws to protect the rest of us from crazy people when possible. It is that balance that is apparently difficult to find.

BlackVelvet 6 years ago

Lock up all crazy persons. Just cause you may not give them a license don't mean they won't drive.

beatrice 6 years ago

True, but giving them the license makes it easier for them to drive, just as giving them easy access to a gun makes it easier for them to shoot people. How do we prevent crazy people from getting their hands on guns without placing limits on others, however, is the big question. Is there a way?

jafs 5 years, 12 months ago


There was ample evidence that this guy was mentally unstable and potentially dangerous.

booyalab 6 years ago

What might the toll have been if it was a crazy Michael Bay action scene with motorcycles jumping over semi trucks, crashing into helicopters and exploding on impact.

The glory did not belong to the crazy exploding helicopter people, it belonged to the no crazy exploding helicopter people.

Is there a lesson here?

Jeremiah Jefferson 6 years ago

You see, thats just the problem with this whole deal in Arizona. Its bad enough that it happened in the first place and no one will ever be able to explain why it happened. The bonehead who pulled the trigger won't even be able to make any sense out of it. Its a crying shame that people are out there using the victims of this crime as propiganda against both the Republican and Democratic party and worse yet against millions of law abiding firearms owners nation wide. Im sick to death of hearing about this Arizona shooting. They weren't the only people in this country that were killed that day or suffered through some kind of tradgedy. Just because someone holds a position of a federal judge or congress women, that doesn't make there lives anymore valuable than the guy working the drive thru at Mc Donalds. Personally, I'm more worried about the soldiers returning home safely from Iraq and Afghanistan than some politician who was most likely crooked to start with. People need to get over it already. That and get off the whole "people shouldn't have guns" kick. Your talking about punishing millions of good people for crimes they didn't commit. I mean seriously, you didn't think the population of this planet would swell to almost 7 billion people and there wouldnt be any fights, disagreements or violent crimes did ya? I got news for you, if they didn't have guns, they would use knives and if they didn't have knives they would use spears and so forth. Life sucks, get a F$%&in helmet.

labmonkey 6 years ago

Hmmmm..... I am beginning to wonder if Corky is Barry Penders.

jessanddaron 6 years ago

JJE, I fully agree dead is dead. My point is that with more people carrying and firing handguns, the amount of possible damage is increased. It is just common sense. 1 handgun and two clips can do "X" amount of damage but 9 handguns all fully loaded and firing at will can cause exponentially more damage. Someone hit it on the head earlier when they said the emphasis should have been on prevention. He should not go unnoticed or undealt with until he commits mass murder...

Flap Doodle 5 years, 12 months ago

But violent crime has gone down as gun ownership has increased.

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