Jared Loughner Shooting – Will we ever learn and outlaw hand guns? Editorial by Jamie Gilcig – January 11, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – Another shooting.   More victims.  Probably a death sentence pending in the bright sun of Arizona.

Jared Lee Loughner, is getting his 15 minutes of fame as Congress Woman Gabrielle Giffords has part of her skull removed and is on life support.   The good news is that she has a chance at survival and is showing signs of recovery.  Six other victims of the shooting in the Safeway store aren’t that lucky.

Another senseless round of suffering, pain and death simply because we allow hand guns to be handed out like candy in some places in this world.

There was nothing that could really have been done in Arizona to protect the victims.    Sure people are now stepping forward and claiming that Jared was not …”well”, but how many people are thought to be “not well” that are harmless and never bother anyone?

Could Jared have hurt as many people as he did with say a knife or baseball bat?  Probably not.   We don’t live in a perfect world.    There are people that fall through the cracks.   There are people wandering around who are imbalanced.    There are people out there who have lost their jobs; had their spouses cheat on them, just plain been done wrong.

Mix those people with hand guns and this is where you end up.  Cleaning up blood stains and writing about it.

Whatever took Jared Lee Loughner from that first picture to his grinning mug shot on the right is something that may never be explained.   The only truth we know is that his victims are his victims because he had a loaded hand gun at the wrong place and the wrong time.

So they’ll probably put Jared down like the mad dog he’s become.  Maybe not, but most likely yes; after all he killed  9 year old Christina Green and five others in the rain of bullets he brought down in that Safeway store on a hot and sunny Arizona afternoon.

And that’s how this story ends until the next Jared goes on a shooting spree.   Will we ever learn?

Best Western Cornwall


  1. Guns don’t kill people… People kill people.. It could have been a car, it could have been a knife or baseball bat as well, or even a baseball.. Overtly removing even say a gun from people, and you are placing the onus on them that they are not responsible enough ever to have one. Not that I stand for guns, just saying, you cannot restrict part of everyday life because of a few bad apples.. even if you take away guns, it’ll still happen.. But I do understand where you’re coming from at the same time, and humanity is self destructive and needs to learn for sure.. perhaps he could or should have been on some program or meds he couldn’t afford, who knows.. he probably didn’t have enough money to get the help he needed.. no one will know.. but people do need to learn from this!

  2. Author

    I don’t think people should have nuclear weapons either Grimalot; or be able to drop houses on each other, or pelt each other with millions of tiny pebbles. Yes, you can never outlaw insanity. There will be people who will resort to drastic extremes to hurt someone else or themselves, but how many people must die before we take weapons of mass destruction away?

  3. A handgun is hardly a weapon of mass destruction, if used for proper purposes. Sport shooting, possibly hunting, otherwise self-defense.. there are a lot of crazies out there.. Here in Canada, someone breaks into your house, otherwise attack you or your family, you self defend, and most likely you are thrown in jail instead.. what’s crazier? someone responsible with a gun? Or you having to become a victim before you can get the help or justice you need?

    As for weapons of mass destruction, nukes, bio/chem bombs, all that jazz, I’m not for it either.. but don’t forget, most of the time, its a nation or belief system that is using it against someone else, even in the case of an extremist, its not usually a solitary person that would acquire that and go and use it against another country or as an act of terrorism/war..

    Imagine, all guns taken away, then we as a nation are overtaken by another nation and we have 0 chance of defending ourselves.. what good is that?

    Again, I agree, that there are a lot of crazies out there, and some may use a gun for nasty purposes, but in some cases, that happens, and regardless of guns taken away, it will never change anything, I in fact strongly believe it will make more people targets in the long run.. At least if there’s the possibility you have a gun to defend yourself with, the attacker will usually at least think twice over before doing something stupid like that, unless of course they don’t care if they get taken out which again, says more for them being whacked then it being the fault of a handgun!

  4. People kill people with guns. All guns should be registered just as we register our cars. The recent debate on the gun registry revealed that the police and most other crime fighting groups supported the registry. Harper didn’t listen and happily supported an American view. We are not Americans and do not want to be Americans. If we do have guns then they should be registered so that we know who owns them. .

  5. Registration of handguns started in the 1930’s, however illegal guns in a criminals hands probably went around that process. I don’t believe the US sets up as many hoops as Canada puts prospective purchasers through, but they did provide a cooling off period between purchase and pick up in Ronald Regan’s era.

    Education is key in spotting individuals with mental health issues and then early reporting of it. Police and social workers are already over worked, so what can we do? Hopefully not jump in quickly with another agency!

  6. Grimalot, I know where you are coming from but I still have to disagree. The simple fact is that it is way too easy for someone to buy a gun in the US. We are not talking about people who buy guns for personal protection we are talking about your average person who can walk into a store and purchase a weapon with minimal checks and balances. I know people complain about the gun laws here in Canada but dammit; it should be hard to get a gun because of the responsibility involved!
    A few years ago, someone I’m close to was involved in a school shooting in the US. This happened a few years after Columbine and Virginia Tech. 3 people were killed. Thankfully, the person I knew survived but when I went to check the news channels for the story I was appalled and am still appalled that the story barely got any mention or airtime. It seems that school shootings happen so frequently now in the US that it hardly warrants as news unless a lot of people are killed. I find that a very glaring comment about a society that makes it easier to own a gun than to get a driver`s license.
    By your logic then Grimalot, we should be arming our high school students to protect them from any crazies that show up to do them harm. That is not a world that I want to live in. We do not need to take all guns away as you suggested sarcastically but we do need to make it that not anyone can just walk in to a gun store and get a gun as easily as buying milk.

  7. It’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it!

  8. Agreed Standup, there should be checks and balances in the whole process, I never said there shouldn’t.. All I am saying is that we can’t just sit there and take away everything from society, whenever someone goes and kills with it.. the whackjob above could have used a car for example, plowed into the safeway, and killed just as many people.. are we then going to take away cars from everyone because of one whackjob?

    I feel for your friend, I feel for the victims in Montreal as well.. I am not saying “everyone” should have guns, I do think there should be a process to get them. But I disagree that guns should be taken away from everyone.

    I also agree with Stan for that point.. better to be prepared then not prepared in the case of an emergency..

    And my views are strictly from a self defense point of view.. its not like I go around everywhere toting a handgun with me because I don’t.. But if someone breaks into my house, and is raping my family or children or something, do you honestly think I want to go at them with a chair or baseball bat? Are people not justified to protect their families here in Canada?

  9. Yes people kill people but it’s the tools they use that make their actions more effective. How many people do you suppose Jared Loughner would have killed if he only had a knife?

    People will still kill people but let’s not make it easy for them. All hand guns should be banned as well as automatic weapons.

  10. Jerry gets it: People kill people with guns, and we are not Americans.

    Americans are a gun-addicted society, always have been. Look at the facts and connect the dots. What is the iconic American movie? The Western, where people kill people with guns. Sara Palin’s people targeted Giffords’ jurisdiction on a map with the cross-hairs of a gun. Loughner targeted Gifford, bought a gun and shot her through the head. Why a gun instead of a knife or a car? Because you get closer to your target with a gun, and it’s easier, quicker, deadlier and more pezzazz than a knife….plus once you’ve shot your target you have a chance, exactly as in a Western, to shoot your way out, which is what Loughner was attempting to do.

    “People kill people with guns.” Jerry gets it. Police associations and crime fighters in Canada get it. Harperites don’t.

  11. “Yes people kill people but it’s the tools they use that make their actions more effective. ”

    If he had invested the cost of the Glock and ammo and high capacity magazines into diesel and fertilizer the number killed and injured would have been far greater. If there were restrictions in place making it so that small ineffective weapons were unavailable it is quite possible that the completely crazy individual known as Jared Loughner would have used a far more powerful and deadly weapon. It is not possible to prohibit diesel fuel or fertilizer or the Internet and it’s access to the simple instructions on how to make hell on earth. Prohibiting pea shooters makes no sense.

  12. Automatic weapons I can agree with.. unless you’re in the military, fighting in a war or something, there should be no need for automatic weapons!

    Again, he could have done the same thing with a truck, etc.. A different scenario, imagine if those people had guns and were able to defend themselves, do you think the situation could have been different as well? Maybe he would have popped one person before he was capped back…

  13. We already have gun control. Buying a gun takes one through a mound of paperwork, checks and the joining of associations. Sometimes the authorities even let prior girlfriends and employers know you have a gun. Legal guns are very difficult to buy. Everyone knows you have one. Disarming a civilian population makes civilians nervous. Maybe it would work if the Ministry of Peace tossed our history books in the same smelter as the guns. Ask this question in a poll: Do you trust the government? Should you? If gun owners trust Harper to send our army overseas – should gun owners not guard the home front? Historically, on a really really bad day, people need more than ballots. The Charter of Rights doesn’t mean anything if you can’t back it up with iron. In addition, guns also prevent crimes if you care to look at those numbers.
    The Swiss model is interesting. Every adult has military training and every home has a gun. The Vermont model is interesting. No permit is required to conceal a gun and there are no muggings or break ins, crooks are scared of old women in Vermont. Ask any General, it’s very difficult to get sane men to shoot to kill. That leaves the insane – at which point you may as well ban sharp pencils and electro-magnetic pulse equipment. We don’t live in a kindergarten. A true conservative model allows people to be responsible for their actions with little third party interference. It is too difficult and expensive to buy a gun and there are too many restrictions. I don’t have a gun. If someone wants to break in to my place or take over my country, my plan is to write a letter to the editor.

  14. There are over 306 million Americans, most have access to guns and most have probably watched a western movie, why do we not see more violence then?
    Because most people are not missing a molecule.

    The Americans also have bumper stickers, to keep the western theme going, if you outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have guns.

  15. See, “News Reader” is right in this case, thats where I’m coming from..

  16. Jamie, normally I agree with your perspective, and find much of what you post insightful, but I have to say this time you’re speaking out of the wrong end.

    You can’t judge a man’s actions by the tools he uses any more than you can judge those tools as good or evil. Do you blame the car for the drunk driver…the computer for the hacker…the skimpy outfit for the rapist? No, and yet you’re blaming the firearm for the actions of the killer. If a person chooses to kill he will find a way, each just as deadly as a gun. He could, simply bodged together a bomb from the ample ‘how-to’s’ available on the net, or even the library. Maybe a steak knife out of the kitchen drawer wouldn’t have taken as many lives, but it would have killed and that’s sufficient. Heck, he could have poisoned their lunchtime latte order and killed quite a few more.

    A few more weapons he could have chosen from; nail gun, chain saw, axe, sledge hammer, baseball bat, bow and arrow, novelty sword, pit bull, etc etc etc.

    Point is, a gun is a tool, and used properly it amounts to nothing more than an appliance.

  17. Author

    Not going to bite Antagonizer. A gun is a weapon. It is not a tool. I’m sure it can be used as a tool, but we all know what a gun is and what it’s for. And yes, I think we have to keep certain things from being commonly used. Automatic weapons should not be sold to the public and for that matter, in my opinion; hand guns should not be either.

    I’ve heard all of the arguments, and the bottom line, at the end of the day, as long as these weapons are allowed out there you will have flares of senseless violence and death in numbers that could be prevented.

  18. True, anatagonizer, except that the US was won by the gun and is controlled by the gun. Look at the overwhelming influence of the NRA.

    The point is, in the Pima County incident Loughner came with gun to target specifically one person, and ended up killing six people he had not targeted, including a nine-year-old girl.

    “Used properly,” you say, begging the whole question.

  19. Here is my take: We all work hard to earn our keep, and it is our right to defend it. The solution: Any adult who takes part in the election process should be allowed to carry a handgun. Not only allowed, but required. Not only a handgun, but also some sort of long blade, say eight inches or so. Not only carry these weapons, but also to wear them on the outside of your pants….Also, any household where two or more adults work for a combined amount of , say, 60 hours per work week will be required to have a handgun mounted in the house, easily accesible to the whole family. Guns are for everyone to enjoy. Self-preservation is a right.

  20. All of the other items mentioned i.e, cars, truck, nail gun, chain saw, axe, sledge hammer, baseball bat, steak knife, diesel fuel, fertilizer etc are all useful items which can be used as deadly weapons if you are determined enough. Your grandmas chocolate cake can kill you by clogging your arteries and cause you to have a heart attack. Would you compare chocolate cake to a Glock?

    The only purpose for a gun is to kill.

  21. Interesting that he used a gun to go and attempt to murder the same Senator that was in Sara Palin’s crosshairs ad.. I think Sara Palin should be charged for attempting to obtain a killer to take out her competition.. Afterall, she wanted wikileaks founder assassinated as well.. now look what her indirect actions have possibly caused.. of course, she pulled the ad immediately after… but just another nutbar, possibly taking something out of context and going to the next extreme..

  22. “I’ve heard all of the arguments, and the bottom line, at the end of the day, as long as these weapons are allowed out there you will have flares of senseless violence and death in numbers that could be prevented.”

    Same rhetoric used to flout common sense and pass pointlessless gun laws. Fact is 26% of Canadians own guns. There are over 7,000,000 rifles and shotguns in Canada. These numbers are on par with the US. So why are gun crimes in this country so dramatically less than our neighbors to the south? BECAUSE OF OUR CULTURE, plain and simple. We are taught a different respect for firearms, in that we see our guns solely as a tool and that we practice/enforce safety at every level of their use.

    We know that allowing a concealed weapon serves only one purpose…we know that handguns are useless to the hunter…and we don’t feel it’s right to shoot someone just because he/she’s on your property. Plain and simple.

    Most of all I do agree with you that automatic weapons have no place in the hands of the general public, hence the reason that Canadian law has classified them at prohibited. Common sense law for a common sense people.

    PJR, I’m saddened at the fact that your basis for supporting gun laws lay in the number of people who died, and not the fact that there were any deaths at all. Would you be looking to ban kitchen knives if he’d only killed 1-2 people, or would that be alright then? “Used properly” a steak knife is just a steak knife, isn’t it?

    BTW before someone attempts to categorize me as a ‘gun nut’ NO, I do not own a firearm, and no I’ve never even shot one, but I do respect firearms for what they are, not what people think they are capable of.

  23. Timothy McVeigh built a bomb with a few tons of fertilizers and fuel oil. Not sure when we can ban those yet.

  24. Ok let me see.
    Two guys are having an argument. They both carry a gun as is their right according to many posts here. The argument gets heated. One guy pulls a gun and the the other guy, seeking to defend himself pulls his gun. They both get shot and killed.
    Now we have the same argument with no guns. The argument gets heated. One guy punches the other guy and then gets punched back.
    Say what you want but guns are used to kill people. NO other reason. I like the second scenario better. Yes you could argue it could escalate and one of the arguers could still die but take the guns out of the equation and death becomes A LOT less likely.

  25. Good grief, antagonizer, where on earth do you get that idea? Prevention
    of one person getting hurt, let alone killed, is reason enough for gun control.

  26. standup; In Canada, you don’t have a right to carry a gun, and judging by the description you describe, definitely not a handgun.
    In Canadian law there are three areas that are controlled under the law; used, stored, and transported. ‘Used’ means for it’s intended purpose as a ‘tool’ and is restricted to areas that are away from populated and urban centers, ‘Stored’ means in a SECURE locker with an appropriate trigger locking device with the ammunition unloaded and ‘Transported’ means in an attended vehicle, with a trigger lock and unloaded. If the gun is unattended, it must be out of sight, and the vehicle securely locked.
    Ironically, the cowboy shootout you describe is as statistically likely to happen as you finding a gun in the bag of your next happy meal. If you read the literature, suicide, is the biggest cause of gun related death and if someone wants to die, gun or not, they’ll find a way.

    PJR your quote; “Loughner came with gun to target specifically one person, and ended up killing six people he had not targeted”

    To me that suggests that you’re problem with guns is the body count. We’re not allowed to carry guns, and with that we’re not allowed to carry concealed knives, or any knife into a ‘public’ forum, so again I ask, if he’d gone into the kitchen drawer, pulled a steak knife, slipped it in his jacked then proceeded to stab to death 1-2 people, would we ban kitchen utensils?

    Yes, guns are designed to kill…for food. That is their intended purpose as a tool, just as knives are designed to cut or axes are designed to chop. (ironically both were designed to kill once) None of which are legal to be carried in a public forum. So where do we start the banning?

  27. My concern is that people are ready to ban guns based on their effectiveness as a killing ‘weapon’ rather than their ability to kill. If we did that, we’d all be handing over our sharp utensils and installing rubber corners on the furniture.

  28. With so much disrespect, disregard, lack of accountability shown toward the voting public by all levels off elected officials, I am surprised that these types of horrid violence doesn’t happen more frequently.
    So sad .

  29. In Arizona it’s ok to carry and conceal a handgun but it’s not ok to carry and conceal a joint. That’s funny.

  30. Solomon & Sheba, you are wrong! In Arizona its OK to strap-on a handgun (like a cowboy) as long as it remains in plain sight. If you conceal the handgun on your person you will be breaking the law unless you have a permit to carry.

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