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10 January 2011


Steve Enos

George, I had the same reaction when I heard of the shooting in AZ. I heard about the shooting on the radio as I was returning home from the Sacramento gun show. New handgun ammon rules go into effect in CA soon and the lines at Milwall were very long.

AZ has issue "friendly" CCW laws compared to some other states and I believe AZ has a large number of CCW holders. I know what I would have done had I been at that Safeway shopping center when the shooting started.

George Rebane

Well put Steve, you would have saved lives.

Dave Boles

I thought about this for a while as well. Could it be that the rally was a left leaning rally and the people attending are not apt to carry weapons?

Larry Wirth

George, I don't know if you are aware, but AZ recently abolished the law calling for a permit to carry concealed. Dave (above) has nailed it: most who carry are conservative oriented and would have been unlikely attendees.

George Rebane

Dave/Larry, thanks for that input and important observation. You have put your finger on the most plausible explanation that it could indeed have been the dominant ideology in attendance that sealed the fate of the victims.

Steve Enos

I happen to know a lot of "libs" and folks on the "right" that have firearms and CCW permits.

It's my understanding that no CCW is needed now to carry in AZ. Considering the shootings took place in the afternoon at a busy shopping center one would think a wide range and large number of folks would be at the shopping center regardless of being "right" or "left" vs. the low number of folks in line at the meet and greet event at the shopping center.

Reality is very, very few folks, even in right to carry without CCW states carry.

Mikey McD

Should a good Samaritan be brave enough to thwart, stop or decrease the severity of such a horrible act he/she would be attacked by the law, media and left regardless of whether he/she had a permit.

Greg Goodknight

Mikey has that right, especially in Pima County. That Sheriff makes it clear that he's against the state laws allowing law abiding adults to carry arms.

Mike Sherman

The event was attended by a very small crowed, and most were elderly. It took seconds from start to finish, hardly sufficient time to respond adaquately. Even an off-duty peace officer would most likely have been caught off guard at such an innocent gathering.

Sometimes events change our attitudes. Example....many large churches now have armed attendees because of the history of shooting taking place inside worship services.

You can expect the same result now at public political gatherings. Just remember, even if you have a CWP, if the event is inside a government building, you may still be prohibited from bring any weapon into the building.

Peter Van Zant

Civilized public safety is not based on frontier justice with gun fights mowing down bad guys and other innocents. This is a stupid idea and the worst reason I've heard advanced for less gun control. That glock 9 was emptied and those people down well before anyone could have stopped the shooter with their own gun.

George Rebane

FYI for the more distant readers – Peter Van Zant is a well-known and politically prominent liberal political figure here in Nevada County where he has served on the Board of Supervisors, and in leadership positions in other local civic organizations.

Peter, bookending your argument with “frontier justice” and “gunfights” highlights the chasm between those of your persuasion who innately distrust armed citizens in societies you deem civilized, and those of us who see societies of law abiding free people being peaceably armed as a higher level of civilization than the ones in which you feel comfortable. Unfortunately, this seems to be another unbreachable chasm in our ideologies and understandings of human nature.

Re the ability for a legally armed citizen being present and able to make a difference - as a combat arms trained and qualified shooter having fifty years of experience with handguns, and given the facts about the incident, I believe your hopeless assessment to be in error.

Peter Van Zant

Dear George:

As usual we see the issues through different lens. I don't distrust hunters and recreational gun owners. I distrust nut cases with automatic weapons. And I distrust the ability of average gun owners to provide the professional public safety we all deserve and desire.

However, if I once again enter public politics and feel in danger, I will call on you and your training to be by my side.

And I assume that your characterization of "hopeless assessment" is actually being taken as a responsible position on an important issue facing all of us.

I believe that there is no such thing as an "unbreachable chasm" between serious points of view.

Greg Goodknight

There were no automatic weapons involved in this shooting. Nor, as far as I know, have Vermont, Alaska or Arizona found their permissive concealed carry laws (no license required for adults legally capable of possessing firearms) resulted in wild west shootouts.

Nor have laws in California, among the most restrictive against lawful owning and carrying firearms of all kinds, been effective in lowering rates of firearm crime.

It looks to me like a number of public entities failed in identifying this person as being in need of psychiatric screening and treatment.

RL Crabb

Judging from his mug shot, I'd say this geek had a Lex Luthor complex. Like Hinckley and Chapman, he's looking for fame. Hope he enjoys reading his fan mail in a ten by ten cell.

George Rebane

My assessment on the facts is in line with Greg's.

Re the existence of 'unbreachable chasms' - unfortunately the reality points to not only their existence, but to the detriment of all involved if their existence is denied. R. Fisher and W. Ury of the Harvard Negotiation Project documented their research in 'Getting to Yes' wherein they acknowledged the existence of such chasms and counseled on their early recognition. Their work was publicly heralded by luminaries and dignitaries like Averell Harriman, John Dunlop, John Kenneth Galbraith, John Gardner, Ann Landers, Elliot Richardson, Cyrus Vance, and Paul Warnke who, over their own signatures, lauded Fisher and Ury's work in writing .

RL Crabb

Unbreachable chasm, eh? Well, no thank you. We're a nation of builders, and I've found that during several periods of homelessness that if you burn the bridge, you won't be able to sleep under it.

Michael Anderson

As Reagan said: "Trust, but verify."

The discussion should now move on to what should be done about these alleged "unbreachable chasms." I am willing to suppose they exist, but I'm unwilling to let them get in the way of me breaking bread with my fellow man.

That is, unless he's skulking around in the bushes getting ready to take me out.

But MAD cannot stand alone. It must partner with a passionate willingness to break the stalemate. I have watched unbreachable chasms be breached in my lifetime.

George Rebane

Michael, under the same conditions I too enjoy breaking bread with those who live in a neighboring universe. The identification of positions and exchange of ideas is almost always enlightening, if for no other reason than to abet and sustain established belief systems. It was ever thus.

Re unbreachable chasms – more from you on these would be required before we can assess how unbreachable they really were. The current breach between libertarian capitalism and state mandated collectivism stands since ‘The Tale of Two Cities’, and to most in the world it has widened as each failure of collectivism leaves its shattered monument on the pages of history.

Nevertheless, we should never stop attempting to bridge the breach, for we may well forge the next one. The centuries old question then remains – since life on bridges past has proven unsustainable, which side will deign to cross over and be welcomed by the other side.

Cheryl Cook

In the interview I saw with a young man who was carrying a gun at the time of the shooting , he said tht he had a s plit second to decide to fire and decided against it because m in the chaos, he might have been misitaken for the shooter, Very smart man, Guns are not the answer.
And old man and middle aged woman brought him down.

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