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American Handgunner Sep/Oct 2011 Digital Edition - Page 32
massad Ayoob The Tucson ATrociTy: Joe ZAmudio’s sTory situation: Aloserwithaguninitiatesmassmurder…and Lessons: Citizenswhostandupandfightcanstopthe killing…butanti-gunmediamaystillspin theirheroism180degreesfromthetruth. you,withyourconcealedcarrypistol,arenearby. Jan. 8, 2011, Tucson, Ariz. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and some of her staff wereholdingasmallmeet-the-votersrallyinamallwhenapatheticlosernamedJared Loughner opened fire, pumping 9mm bullets into helpless victims 6 to 9 feet away as fast as he could. By the time he was on the ground, restrained, Loughner had downed hisprimarytarget,RepresentativeGiffords,withaseverebraininjury,woundedadozen other people and killed six. Half of the murder victims were septuagenarian retirees: DorothyMorris,76;PhyllisScheck,79andDorwanStoddard,76.Chief(Federalcourt) Judge John Roll also lay dead, as did 30-year-old Giffords staffer, Gabe Zimmerman. Mosttragicwastheyoungestoftheslain,Christina-TaylorGreen,whohadbeenbornon Sept.11,2001. The takedown of the mass murderer was a study in citizens’ courage. As Loughner attempted to reload after emptying his pistol, one of the intended victims in the crowd reportedlysmashedhiminthebackoftheheadwithafoldingmetalchair.RetiredColonelBillBadger,age74,tackledthekillerandbroughthimtotheground.Alreadydown onthesidewalkherself,PatriciaMaisch,61,rippedafreshmagazineoutofLoughner’s hand.RogerSulzgeberseparatedhimfromhisgun,andheandJosephZamudioheldhim down,immobile,untilthefirstrespondingTucsonPDofficerarrivedatthescene. Thisisbeingwrittenearlyinsecondquarter2011,withtheprosecutionofLoughner still in its early stages and much pertinent information not yet released. One not-completely-answered question is, how many law-abiding armed citizens were present? Representative Giffords herself was known to not only own but sometimes carry a Glock 19pistol;ithasnotofficiallybeenmadeknownwhetherornothergunwaswithinher reachwhenshewasshot.JudgeRollwaslicensedtocarryandknowntodosoregularly. Someinsisthewasarmedatthetime,butwasshotbysurprisebeforehecoulddeploy hisweapon;otherssaythat,becausehecametotherallyfromachurchevent,hewas not carrying a gun at the time of the shooting. It has been said another Giffords aide present regularly carried and may have been armed when it happened; at this writing, thathasnotbeenconfirmedordenied,either. Wedoknowoneoftheheroicfirstresponderswasindeedarmed:JoeZamudio,age24. Thefollowingisdrawnfromhisaccountoftheincidentfromhisperspective,sharedwith therestoftheclasswhenhesubsequentlyattendedaMassadAyoobGroupprogramin nearby SierraVista, hosted by decorated combat vet Dan Southard of Gator Farm Tactical.This,lightlyeditedforspaceconsiderations,ishisstory. Zamudio’s experience “ItwasSaturday,”Joebegan.“Ididn’thavetowork,soIwenttohavebreakfastwith mymom.Onthewayback,IwenttoWalgreen’s.Walkinguptothedoor,Isawacrowd Continued on page 81 32 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER2011