Arizona's Lax Gun Laws Helped Make Tucson's Jared Lee Loughner Possible

COMMENTARY

They were wanding down visitors at the Arizona state House for the first day of the Legislature, where Governor Jan Brewer dispensed with her State of the State address and focused instead on the massacre in Tucson.

"Tragedy and terror sometimes come from the shadows," the governor read from her teleprompter, "and steal our joy and take away our peace."

Of course, Brewer did not mention that such "tragedy and terror" are made easier when someone as obviously mentally disturbed as Jared Lee Loughner has a semiautomatic handgun with a 31-round clip that he's ready to unload on a crowd.

Loughner now faces five federal counts, including murder and attempted assassination, for an attack that felled federal Judge John Roll, 9-year-old Christina Green, and four others.

He also allegedly put a bullet through the brain of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (who was still struggling to survive as this edition of New Times was published) and wounded 12 more, according to the most recent information from the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

But if Loughner had felt like making the trek to the Legislature with his Glock and his high-capacity magazine legally concealed under his clothing, he could have strolled into the state House or Senate, walked into a committee hearing, or into the one of the galleries and picked off state legislators as if they were mechanical ducks in some carny's shoot-'em-up game.

See, the wanding at the state House that day was a departure from routine and, apparently, a one-off occurrence. There are no metal detectors or screening procedures, like at county, state, and municipal courts. You don't have to empty your pockets or take off your belt.

Even on the Legislature's opening day, wanding was perfunctory, at best. Carrying a digital recorder, a camera, and a keychain inside clothing didn't trip the electronic wand in two scans. No beeps.

Over at the Senate, there were no wands — and, as usual, no one to stop you from wandering all through the Senate building without any type of screening.

Sure, the Capitol grounds were crawling with state troopers in their Smokey hats. And the Capitol Police were present in force.

But on any other day the Legislature is in session, such uniformed cops are not around. Or, at least, they are not very noticeable.

Of note is that even senators and representatives are prohibited from carrying firearms while in the legislative buildings. Though how anyone would know that someone had a concealed weapon on them, sans metal detectors at the doors, is a mystery.

Yet Arizona's number-one gun enthusiast, state Senate President Russell Pearce, has proposed in the past that citizens be allowed to legally carry their weapons into state Capitol buildings.

You know Pearce. He's the guy who pushed for an end to requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and he and his fellow gun fetishists in the Legislature passed a law that allows you to tote your weapon into drinking establishments, except in those where bar owners are smart enough to post signs stating that guns are not allowed.

Pearce even wants to force local police departments to resell weapons they've confiscated from criminals, weapons he has described to the Arizona Republic as "perfectly good weapons."

This, despite the fact that such resells sometimes end up involved in other crimes, or trafficked to Mexico.

Senator Pearce prides himself on being a tough guy, who mows his own lawn with a .40-caliber strapped to his hip, unconcerned about death threats.

Yet, on the Legislature's opening day, after the state Senate ended its brief session, when most senators walked across the courtyard from the Senate to the House to hear the governor speak, Pearce took a subterranean route from the Senate to the House via an underground tunnel, several sources said.

Demonstrators from the groups Citizens for a Better Arizona and East Valley Patriots for American Values were there with signs, ready to protest Pearce. But Pearce didn't show his face.

Did Pearce fear a Loughner-like attack? If so, there's no dearth of irony in that.


In the wake of the killing spree, politicians on both the left and the right lined up to out Loughner as a member of the other side. Liberal media outlets, such as the New York Times, joined the calls to dampen the nation's fiery political give-and-take.

Some pointed to Sarah Palin's map of crosshairs targeting Democrats in Congress. Others went through Loughner's deranged YouTube videos like fortune-tellers examining coffee grounds for clues.

The right, playing a good defense, went on the attack. None other than former deputy Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Alexander, currently accused of numerous ethical violations by the State Bar of Arizona, Tweeted that the 22-year-old high school dropout was an "anarcho-leftist" — whatever that is.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik quickly became a Democratic hero and a Republican target by decrying the "vitriol" in public discourse that affects "unbalanced people," such as Loughner.

"The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," he famously said. "And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

1
 
2
 
3
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
525 comments
Duragg Sffs
Duragg Sffs

Total bull crap! If a nutcase wants a gun they get it. Look at California they have one of the biggest crime rates, but have ridiculous gun laws. And their criminals have just as many guns as ours. Get over this bs.

Rselo0816
Rselo0816

Lemons.... apt name... this article certainly was one...

tr7fan
tr7fan

ya know ya all can go raggin on about high capacity mags. the last time they banned them they sold hi cap mags made before the ban took effect and that last for years and yearsat one point one manufacturer was cranking out over a million a day till the ban took effect me and my daughters guns both came with 17 round mags and they will be legal because they are original equipment.i got 2 of those hi cap mags for another gun i own and i think what made him have trouble reloading is that you have to press the mag release so the mag will slip in the rest of the waythat and the fact a woman grabbed a mag from him and he was tackled. big deal if ya cant sell you hi cap mags to anyone ya bought them for yourself not someone else.personally im not that keen on them there a pain to carry they dont fit well at all in a mag holder because there too long and can fall out real easy that and the fact that theres millions out already that are legal. and a criminal isnt gonna obey a law against them anywaythe blame is on the old sheriff who didnt do something when this wingnut threatened other people., if he had he might have been in an institution. id bet ya a years pay he ends up in one anyway with the history thats come out hes been headed toward crazytown for years there was one girl who said he was faking it but im sure she hasnt quite finished her md being 21 much less become a licensed shrink

Valley
Valley

"Arizona's Lax Gun Laws Helped Make Tucson's Jared Lee Loughner Possible"... Um No, only Jared's parents made Jared possible. That's a ridiculous way to say you don't like the gun laws in Arizona. Besides, even if the gun laws were tighter, Jared Loughner would have found a way around it and gotten the gun anyway, he was a man with an objective, it didn't matter how difficult the task was going to be, he was going to do it. Strict Laws don't stop psychosis.

tr7fan
tr7fan

o pleassssssssssseeeeeeeeeee.if the pima county sheriff had done his job when he investigated other death threats of this wingnut hed have been in the mental hospital or prision or jail.LIVE FREE OR DIE as one states motto says. why should law abiding gun affficiandos be made to pay the price for an over the hill 75 year old sheriffs deputies not doing their job police are being laid off to balance budgets and newspapers are spreading the news all over towntucson pd doesnt even respond to burglaries anymore so whats left ????????

jgsales.com has a great sale on glock 22s fbi tradeins 16 rounds with more clips available for 10 apiece. theres a ffl dealer locator on their site who you can have the gun sent to from jg and theyll handle the transfer for 30-50 bucks. since theyre fbi trade ins about all theyve been used for is target practice so you save about 140.00 over a new one. i dont mean to sound like the prophet of doom but reality is a drag sometimes. one of the guys that tackled loughner was carrying a concealed weapon and you now need no permit to carry concealed in arizona

Luke
Luke

the problem in Tucson is that there werent enough guns. If more people were carrying, that shooter would have been taken down instead of people laying on top of there loved ones hoping for the best. That guy in ny needs to myob in ny. they will use the tucson incident to stop carrying guns. when people need a gun in their home with these home invasions.

Jack Seift
Jack Seift

Let the gun nuts unite. Brian O'Neil's the bioggest dumbass of all. Without his gun, he'd be dickless. Dissonantwinds is also a pussy coward without his beloved hardware. Pussies all!

Dissonantwinds
Dissonantwinds

The title of this article says it all..And I say bullshit...You mean to tell me that you think I can't go into a store in Florida, Texas, Maine, New York and purchase a gun?..You mean you honestly think that because we have the gun laws we have in Arizona this was made possible?...Wrong!..There is something called Freedom to bare arms in the United States. Every state within the union must obey those rules as they were written.As a writer, I would expect some sort of reasonable thinking from you, but the article title says it all, and what it should read is "Author is a fucking idiot"

Hazmat411
Hazmat411

Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and injured 450 people in Oklahoma and he didn't even use a gun. Why are people blaming GUNS for senseless murders and not the actual person committing the act? If you want to BAN guns then you might as well BAN the Ryder Truck Company that Timothy McVeigh used to load his lethal explosives and BAN diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate which you could purchase easier than a firearm at your local hardware store and gas station to make ANFO for the explosives. Shoot, while we are at it...let's BAN Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats because Joe Sauceda Gallegos nonchalantly walked up and BEAT TO DEATH two innocent children just playing at the park here in Phoenix. He didn't need a GUN to exercise his need to prove a point. I guess Major League Baseball is gonna have to use pool noodles to hit homers now. I don't own a gun nor do I plan on buying one anytime soon. The government has flaws just like everyone else, but taking away rights of the HONEST and HARDWORKING AMERICAN doesn't help them PROTECT themselves against these extremist or "misled individuals" living in our country.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

http://mayorsagainstillegalgun...

The above website summarize a study which shows a broad consensus among the public including gun owners to ensure rights of responsible, law-abiding americans and close legal gaps to keep guns out of the wrong hands. The support for many specific gun proposals is overwhelming. 86% of Americans including 81% of gun owners support background checks for all gun sales.

http://mayorsagainstillegalgun...

Please stop the hyperbole and let's make this world a better place to raise our children in.

Ecr9000
Ecr9000

we should makes guns illegal just like they are in Mexico - No one ever gets shot there...It's like a peaceful utopia and wonderfully safe.

Brian ONeil
Brian ONeil

Do they get their journalists from high schools here? I have yet to see one well written, actual piece of something that would qualify as actual journalism. So far everything I see is opinion pieces stated as fact. What audience are they marketing themselves too?

Fizz
Fizz

You guys are such a ridiculously liberal media outlet. I'm sure a mentally ill person who was refused to be able to purchase a gun through the proper means would just say "oh well, I can't buy a gun through a store, I won't buy one then." and that be the end of it. No matter what laws you put in place, if someone wants a gun to do harm they will get it. All the laws will do is keep the law abiding citizens from being able to protect themselves. Look at the cities with strict gun control and then look at their crime rates. (Detroit, Oakland, etc).

Huey Lewis
Huey Lewis

Do you know that your tabloid has gun ads all over it? Even instant access to gun sales via your website on Backpage.com ? You're part of the problem. Idiots.

Urajackass
Urajackass

Honest, hard working Arizonans with guns are not the problem. The problem is the criminals, they are going to be carrying guns no matter what laws are in place. The criminals are the ones that the legal lawabiding citizens have to worry about. When was the the last time if ever you heard of a lawabiding gun carrying legal arizona citizen shooting up a bar, or robbing someone, or just breaking the gun law in general? Never. You jackass.

Phx1952
Phx1952

You keep your hope and change and I will keep my money and my guns! Dumb A$$!

SB
SB

Typical Liberal BS! Look into how many stabbings there are in our country vs. shootings. Are you going to want to limit our kitchens to 10 knives or less? Stop the knee-jerk reactions and look into the REAL issue here. It's like they hire children to write these articles.

Right to bare arms
Right to bare arms

Los Angeles didnt have Arizona Gun Laws when the gun went off in the back pack.

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

Mike, the freakin' NRA disagrees with you. Give it up. Or take it up with your pals at the NRA. You're starting to sound about as lucid as Jared Loughner.

Steves
Steves

I am sorry for the great loss that happened in Tucson recently. However if I had any of my family member's involved in this shooting, my question would be who was responsible ( or accountable ) for providing adequate security for a open political rally. Regardless of how small or peaceful it was SUPPOSE to be. Someone has got to be held accountable for this. I would think permits were required to hold this rally in which someone should have required permits, secuity, and the proper crowd control. If it was me organizing any kind of exhibit I would have to meet all of these requirement's, so why did they not have to?Just a couple question's taht need to be addressed!!!!!!

No
No

More liberal rubbish from a free (so called) newspaper that sets up stands at convenience stores that make their money from selling products such as beer and cigarettes which kill far more people than guns.

Chris In Tempe
Chris In Tempe

Arizona's gun laws are not lax. Arizona's laws regarfing how the mentally ill are handled are lax. Arizona's facilities for dealing with the dangerously mentally ill are in real bad shape.

Stop distracting discussion away from the real issue. This is not about a gun that he did purchase illegally (ATF Form 4473, 11.e., he was prohibited and committed a crime when he bought it).

Stick to the root cause. He was insane, there were not adequate laws, procedures or facilities to address his insanity.

MargieS
MargieS

Didn't you guys get the gun laws YOU wanted.

Gshubbert
Gshubbert

Great piece of fiction where facts are disregarded. Propaganga comes from the left as well as he right and this clap-trap is full of it. People need to work these days at being truely informed. This pseudo journalistic writing is as far left as Sean Hanity is far right. People need to form their own opinions and stop the laziness of jumping on the band wagons of "My side is right and your side is wrong" The real problem lies within the state of mental health treatment in this country.

Mikeboman
Mikeboman

reguardless of the gun laws, he would have been able to get the gun and ammo anyway. I just love when these so called reporters try to shove their liberal point of view down our throats and want us to believe that it is the ONLY WAY we should believe. My prayers go out to the victims and their families, but don't make it all about the gun laws.

Mike
Mike

Part 4: Your use of VPC's "statistics" on gun deaths is further evidence3 of your journalistic laziness. You haven't bothered to check the facts yourself, you merely cut-n-pasted shit off of the VPCs handout. How sad this piece is. How UN convinvcing it is. All this crap you've included, Dudnik, VPC, sb1070, really doesn't help clarify, it only muddies the waters. BTW, if the present system is so bad, WHAT IS YOUR SUGGESTION FOR IMPROVEMENT?

Mike
Mike

part 3: writing like this will get you flunked out of high school writing class.."the issue is... 31-round clip over the counter like it was a bag of Halloween candy." and "practically handing them out on every street corner." Age 3 has more irrelevan drivel, somehow tying sb1070 and R Pearce's use of the tunnel to this "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy."

Mike
Mike

part 2: Then you allow the rabid anti-gun nut Daniel Vice to spew lies. The shooter could've killed 6 people with a 10 round MAGAZINE too. He could've carried lots of the 10's and reloaded spent mags all day, until he got tackled, that is. Also, the AWB (assault weapons ban) didn't really make the high-cap mags and so-called Assault Weapons totall illegal, it just drove the price up.

Mike
Mike

part 1: The story falls short on telling us HOW "Arizona's Lax Gun Laws Helped Make Tucson's Jared Lee Loughner Possible." Lemmons laziness is apparent, when he keeps using the innacurate term "clips." And, what does Dupnik's comment Arizona being a "mecca" for bigotry got to do withg anything?

Maagnummike32
Maagnummike32

One more thing, Laughner does not speak for the rest of the nearly 90 million law-abiding gun owners in the United States, including myself.

Magnummike32
Magnummike32

Typical of the media to blame something other than the person who committed the criminal act. Even with very tough gun laws, Laughner could have used other means to express his anger.

russ
russ

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. " For those of you who are not familiar with this quote it is taken IN CONTEXT from the Declaration of Independence. This is the very reason that the second ammendment was written, and why it is placed so highly in our bill of rights. To guarantee that the people shall ALWAYS have the ability to change the government by force.ALWAYSalways have the power to

Tx_nightstalker
Tx_nightstalker

Wow. The person who wrote this piece is an idiot at best. How about some factual reporting instead of fear-mongering drivel.

Crystal Klinger
Crystal Klinger

Yes, that is true - strict gun laws don't stop criminals from committing their crimes, they only affect the law-abiding citizens who wish to carry guns.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Problem is, you sir are anything BUT honest. You're a liar.

There are no groups wanting to "Ban" guns.

A despicable low-down traitorous liar is what you are - trying to sow confusion and divide the American people with your ignorant fear and false loathing.

Dissonantwinds
Dissonantwinds

I agree..Most articles I've read from this site seem to be written by those who are uneducated in the real world

Rob
Rob

You just don't get it do you?

Guns don't kill.

People and backpacks do!

Carlito
Carlito

Not yet. I'm still waiting on the bill that will allow me to carry concealed on college and university campuses.

Mike
Mike

Right on. Reagans fault. Use to be that dysfunctionals were cared for, treated, rehabilitated, Now, they are our homeless and many have died or turned to crime. I fear the shooter is one of those who needed treatment that wasn't there for him. How many more are out there like him?

Rick
Rick

Exactly. Lets face it, it was not Arizona's laws that caused it, but the feds let yet another with mental history purchase a gun and now every lib wants to blasme Arizona. What a shame.

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

Made this point below already, but it looks like Mike didn't read that far. So here we go again:

This is from a firearms glossary published online by the NRA-ILA (lobbying arm of the NRA):

"CLIPA device for holding a group of cartridges. Semantic wars have been fought over the word, with some insisting it is not a synonym for "detachable magazine." For 80 years, however, it has been so used by manufacturers and the military. There is no argument that it can also mean a separate device for holding and transferring a group of cartridges to a fixed or detachable magazine or as a device inserted with cartridges into the mechanism of a firearm becoming, in effect, part of that mechanism."

http://www.nraila.org/Issues/F...

One point of my article is that just about the only restrictions on gun acquisition and use here in Arizona are federal. Other states have more restrictive gun laws. The stats you deride? The raw data came from the CDC. The CDC counts dead bodies. That's even more extensive than the FBI, as the FBI does not record every death by firearm, just those involving criminal activities.

russ
russ

the anti gun elements of the media and the govt try to use the "1 baby poops it's pants and we all have to wear diapers" philosophy to push their agenda

russ
russ

sorry bout the last line. :)

raven
raven

"The person who wrote this piece is an idiot at best" says the "Tx_nightstalker" lol.

ChkFct7
ChkFct7

@ExpertShot I would politely disagree.  There are fringe elements out there who use the term "sensible gun laws" when they avtually mean "ban all guns."  In fact, in a 1995 broadcast of CBS' 60 Minutes, Feinstein admitted she would love to have instituted an "outright ban" on all guns.

Put that in a YouTube search box.  And quit screeching about something not being true when it actually is true Herr Goebbels

Mike
Mike

Stephen, we know how wrong you are in your citing of the NRA's defn. WWII and Korea vets use clips and magazines as jargon interchangeably. Not so much with us 'nam vets. Most of the guys I hang with, current and recent Military and contractors, know and use the proper term; magazine. Of course you have no practical experince with weapons of any sort, heck, you've probably never even been CLOSE to a firearm, so you did the best you could. Lacking personal experience or first-hand knowledge, you just picked up the first thing that you read on that innernet thing, and called it gospel. Same as with The Brady Bunch. You fell hook, line and sinker for their drivel. Again, due to lack of practical, real, experience.

Sorhirio
Sorhirio

This idiot passed a federal background check to get his gun, which is what the state of Arizona requires. Take it up with the Federal Government for not being able to read minds and know what every a-hole intends to do. A person buying a gun does not kill people btw... a person being stupid enough to use it for his/her own personal agenda does. Blame the murderer and leave polotics out of the issue.

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

Mike, the freakin' NRA disagrees with you. Give it up. Or take it up with your pals at the NRA. You're starting to sound about as lucid as Jared Loughner.

russ
russ

i would love to leave the politics out of this, but unfortunately the politicians and the sheriff MADE IT POLITCAL!

 
Phoenix Concert Tickets
Loading...