Tag Archives: tucson shooting

The Paradigm must shift in the United States on Gun Control

This was an email I received from a friend, after he read my article on gun control entitled, A Blast to the Past. He is: Pro Gun, Pro NRA, Pro Trump.

He said:

You list a few places where criminal acts were committed with guns. What is conspicuously not listed is the countless years and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of gun owners who do not commit crimes. The complicit media also suppress the many times mass murders were prevented by private persons intervening with the guns on their persons. The statistics of occasions and persons who properly use weapons compared with those who do not render the anti gun argument worthless. Inanimate things do not sin or commit crimes. Fallen men do.

Part of this in a summation from David Pakman.

Let’s recognise that we have some informational incongruities.

1. For example. Abortion should be safe vs it should be illegal.

2. The importance of an issue. Gay marriage is an important issue vs it is not important.

3. People are unaware of the issue all together. For example: Oh climate change? I have never heard of that.

We are at level 3. The most dangerous.

The end of my article stated clearly:


Current Gun Laws

Two things seem to fuel gun violence in Arizona. One was the Assault Weapons Ban sunset which occurred in 2004. [22] The expiration of this ban, provided Jared Lee Loughner with legal means to purchase a high capacity 30 round clip for his 9 mm Glock. Secondly, the Arizona legislature is considering allowing concealed weapons on Arizona’s college’s and campuses. [23]

These two items can only foster security and safety issues. What prevents any of these events from occurring again? Guns do NOT kill people. People do. But we need better screening and training, to prevent future tragedies such as these from happening. Perhaps just like in the movies of the Old West, the bad guy will help us out, by wearing a Black Hat.

“I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government.”
— Henry David Thoreau — Civil Disobedience

Yes I agree that guns do not kill people. People kill people.

Laws, as we have seen, do influence the culture. (Positively or negatively). Take marijuana for example. it was once illegal. (Pakman) Now it isn’t. We have seen a plethora of states legalising marijuana. California being the latest.

We have a unique problem that does not exist in other cultures. A gun fetish. dictionary.com defines a fetish as:

any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion:
to make a fetish of high grades.

Eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect or devotion. That inculcates, permeates and uniquely identifies the American Culture and its love affair with guns. That was conspicuously absent from your article.

We need at a minimum, the following changes to laws (my opinion):

  • Access to mental health must be easier. This was a central issue for the cause of the Tucson Shootings. (See my article on Loughner here: Dominoes to Descent). Reporting must be mandatory. No fly = no buy.
  • Universal background checks must become mandatory. We should close the gun show loophole as well.
  • Re-instate the assault weapons ban, by defining what an assault weapon is. The ban’s sunset in 2004, (see previously cited article on Loughner) allowed him to legally purchase the high capacity magazine that he used.


And Wayne LaPierre’s statement: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.

LAME! Where was the good guy with a gun when Loughner killed 6 people? Why is La Pierre’s statement lame? It took Loughner only 15 seconds to fire those fatal and mortally wounding rounds. Not enough time for the good guy with a gun to react, and shoot the bad guy with a gun.

Imagine this scenario for a moment. One bad guy with guns vs 20 good guys with guns. The Swat team shows up. Chaos ensues. Whose the bad guy? Maybe he will help us out and by wearing a black hat. Just like in the movies. If we arm teachers, then death my teacher will become a thing.

Why does John Q. Citizen need an assault style weapon? They are a weapon of war unitasker: their singular purpose is to kill the maximum amount of people in the least amount of time. I don’t know about you, but I have never heard of anyone going hunting (for other than humans) with an AR-15.

Your list was an ad hominem. There were no sources cited. I cited sources. It is one man’s opinion. I have written op-ed pieces without citing sources. Op-ed’s by definition, are an ad hominem.

As a journalist, I MUST cite sources….It is essential and morally reprehensible to NOT do so. If I am unwilling to cite sources and so ordered, rather than compromise, I must be willing to suffer the consequences of my actions; That would mean jail.

Let’s agree to discuss politics offline. For the most part, politics and religion should probably not mix — except when it compromises what the Word clearly states. Abortion for example.

Finally….These are my ad hominems for the night:

Personally, I see Trump as one of God’s instrument of judgment to America. Others hail him as a Saviour. Both of us can’t be right. Ir-regardless, God commands us in 1 Timothy 2, to pray for those in authority over us. It is tough, but my prayer is that God would make known His Salvation in the halls of our government. Can you name a politician who isn’t morally bankrupt? Neither can I.

We are moving towards an economic singularity. The TBTF Banks will fail. The economy will be in shambles, and people will wrongfully blame the President. It is pure Central Banking (The Federal Reserve). IMO, the second greatest evil ever unleashed upon mankind.

The talking heads I follow (non-Keynesian: Peter Schiff and Chris Martenson for example) are rightly convinced thst the burgeoning debt load, rising bond rates, tanking US Dollar, and rising oil prices, will usher in a depression, mostly likely within 18 months. Some are saying this year. I would not be surprised if we see oil priced in another currency, like the Chinese Yuan.

Will Rogers was absolutely spot on when he said: We have the best politicians that money can buy.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Rev 6:9-10 NIV


Dominoes to Descent: A look at the Tucson Shooter, Jared Loughner

Originally Published September 10, 2011

The tragic events of January 8, 2011 are firmly woven into the fabric of Tucson, Arizona. Gone are the days of innocence, that slowed to let young children grow and prosper. Instead many are left wondering what caused the fatal shootings that left 6 dead and 13 injured, including incumbent U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (Democrat) from the 8th Congressional District? Let’s examine the sequence of events that led to this tragedy.

The Warning Signs

It was obvious to many that accused shooter Jared Lee Loughner, is a young man in trouble. He began showing erratic behaviour to his [1] friends and family about 4 years ago. Loughner had turned from a quiet shy kid who played jazz music on his saxophone, into someone that was disconnected from reality, and later whose thoughts became nihilistic and garbled over the course of time. Family and friends were not the only ones to see this disconnect.  When Lounger tried to enlist for military service [2], he was declined because of drug use.

Perhaps the most culpable and capable, failed Jared Lee Lougner. His college. Loughner had disrupted classes at Pima Community College on five separate occasions, from February – September, 2010. After the last incident, Pima CC told Loughner he needed a mental health evaluation in order to return, and proceeded instead, to suspended him. Pima CC did NOT seek mental health assistance for Loughner, simply because he was NOT a threat to himself or to others. Therefore, he was never flagged as a mental health risk.

The first domino is now tipping.

Mental Health Issues

While it was obvious to Pima CC that Loughner had mental health issues, they did not seek any aid for him. They could have invoked Arizona’s Title 36 / Chapter 5 Statue [3], which would have permitted a 3 day involuntary mental health commitment. Parents could have done this. Friends could have done this. But all seemed to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear on Loughner’s deteriorating state of reality.

The Mental Health Care System in Arizona must be scrutinized as well. Facing a looming $1.3 BILLION budget deficit, the State of Arizona, gutted its Mental Health Care System. Thousands [4] in Pima County were dropped. One methodology employed by the State of Arizona, was to require proof of U.S. Citizenship to continue to receive mental health services.

Gone are case management and therapy. NO follow-ups are provided. Group therapy which used to be free, now require a $15 per session co-pay. For people living on Social Security, that is a budget buster. Medication and follow-ups, which were provided by CPSA (Co-operative Partnership of Southern Arizona. CPSA is the umbrella organisation overseeing mental health care in Southern Arizona), are now taken from Medicare for those who are eligible. Medicare is now tasked with paying for Medicare-eligible seniors and the disabled. It’s still free to the patient, but shrinks the prescription drug coverage, and pushes some ever closer to the edge of the Medicare Donut Hole Prescription challenges. Arizona seemingly has un-encumbered itself from providing adequate mental health care coverage. Loughner nor any of his family, friends or associates, sought aid from this crippled and failing mental health care system.

The second domino, has flipped.

Arizona Gun Laws

Arizona has the most lax gun laws [5], in the nation. One is permitted to carry a concealed weapon without a permit virtually anywhere in the state, and without any training. Requiring only a simple background check. Disregarding, the shootings one week after the tragedy, a long planned gun show was held at the Pima County Fair grounds. What was the true agenda? There was no deference shown to those killed, maimed, or distraught from this event.

Was Loughner’s ability to purchase a weapon a failure of the system? Simply stated: No. Since there were no flags in his background, and the gun was legally purchased from a local Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson. How could Loughner afford to purchase a handgun (about $500), since he had no job?

I visited the store where the gun was purchased. Most anyone from Tucson, is acquainted with the store location. I asked personnel at the store if I could take photos inside and was courteously declined.

The store is typical of a sporting goods store. Nothing really stands out. Walking towards the centre of the store, you see large glassed in display cases filled with knives. Very long to very short. ALL in a LOCKED case.

Rounding the corner to left…took my breath away. The scene was surreal. Ahead were about 75 different hand guns, pegged on a wall, 5 or 6 deep. In other words about 400 handguns hanging on a wall, with absolutely no security, except for store personnel. To the left of the handguns, were about 50 different rifles on pedestal stands. Nothing securing them except for the fact, they were bolted in place. Wandering a bit more: box upon box of ammunition (bullets) neatly stacked on the floor, for anyone to grab. Is this what America has become?

The failure was not in the sale of the gun. The failure was in letting the Assault Weapons Ban expire in 2004 [7], and permitting the sale of such weapons. [6] This included the high capacity clip (30 rounds) sold to Loughner with the gun, all legally obtained. Loughner had indeed exercised his 2nd Ammendment rights.

The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. [8]

A well regulated Militia. We already have one. It’s called: The National Guard.

Why does driving a car, require training and insurance? It seems a mystery, that you can purchase a gun easier then cold medication. If you try to buy too much cold medication containing pseudo-ephedrine, you are stopped. Is this the right priority?

The third domino is falling.

Pre-staging and Preparation

Loughner had previously met Congresswoman Giffords [9] at a Congress at your Corner meeting in 2007. He asked Giffords: “What is government if words have no meaning?” Giffords did not respond. Amongst the items seized during a warrant search of the Lougner home, were a letter received from Giffords’ office, thanking him for attending. The words “Die Bitch” were inscribed on the envelope.

An event such as this, requires some forethought and pre-planning. Loughner had to go to 2 Walmarts [10] to buy ammunition for his 9mm Glock. The first store he went to, refused. Evidence on his home computer [11] indicate Loughner had researched topics which included lethal injections and solitary confinement. He took the time to leave a voice mail message: “Hey Bryce, it’s Jared. We had some good times together. Peace out.” [12]

Loughner took a one way cab ride [13] to the Safeway that morning. He entered the Safeway, where he changed a $20 bill, to pay for a $14 cab ride [13]. Why do that? These steps would suggest that Loughner was cognizant of actions. A jury will be tasked to determine if Loughner’s actions were indeed pre-mediated, the act of someone mentally incompetent, or somewhere in-between?

If the gun laws in Arizona are permissive, why did no one come forward that day to stop Jared Lee Loughner? The answer is simple. It was all over in about 15 seconds and one gun clip of 30 rounds [14]. Who knows what would have happened if he was able to reload?

The final domino has toppled.

Wayno Guerrini

Together we Thrive


As Tucson recovers from the chaos and confusion from last Saturday’s mass killings, I can’t help but remember some of the turbulent events in my own past. The Kennedy Assassinations, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, The Oklahoma City Bombings, The 1994 Northridge Earthquake, September 11, 2001. This week the mass killings has brought us together as one, in order to heal from the grievous wounds we have suffered, individually, as well as a community.

As I made my way around town this week, people here are still stunned. Still shocked. Still frail, emotionally. The mood and the tone of Tucson has changed. We’re quiet. We’re sombre. We’re more contemplative. We’re more aware of our surroundings. We’re curious. We’re cautious. But perhaps most striking is the patience and love I have seen in the many faces that make up the Old Pueblo.

Tucson’s leaders, along with President Barack Obama, came together in a striking memorial service last night, to honour the victims of this holocaust:

– U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63.

– Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords’ director of community outreach.

– Dorwin Stoddard, 76, a pastor at Mountain Ave. Church of Christ.

– Dorthy Murray, 76.

– Phyllis Scheck, 79.

– Christina Greene, 9, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary.

And Gabrielle Giffords, US Congresswoman from the 8th Congressional District here in Tucson. She is still in Intensive Care at the University Medical Centre.

We will heal. But healing is a slow, arduous, and often painful process. We ask for your prayers, your wisdom, and your compassion.

Politically Divisive

As with many events in history, this has proven to be very divisive. The conservative factions, are accusing alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, of having ties to extreme left-wing elements. Many of us here in Tucson, don’t understand this. Why do you pick at our scabs and make us bleed anew? We only know the pain and suffering we’ve endured. We don’t see any political connections here. We see a disturbed mentally ill person, in need of help. We don’t understand WHY this has become such a divisive issue, but it has. We don’t need, nor do we want extreme political rhetoric or viewpoints.

Together We Thrive

What we need to heal is time, mercy, compassion, understanding, patience. But most of all love and prayers. Personally, I have NOT felt the love on Facebook, but have experienced instead political rhetoric taken to the extreme.

Where’s the love? Where’s the I’m praying for you guys? Together we WILL Thrive. But it takes the efforts of a nation, who can put away their divisiveness for a moment, to kneel in prayer.

Perhaps Mahatma Ghandi was right:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Wayno Guerrini
January 11, 2011

How long?

© Nick Anderson / Houston Chronicle

© Nick Anderson / Houston Chronicle

Gun control is a lightning rod for divisive politics and rhetoric.

On the eve of the 2nd anniversary of the Tucson shootings on January 8, 2011, one thing is abundantly clear: nothing has changed. This time around: mass slayings in Colorado and Connecticut.

People are still free to exercise their civil liberties and own, hunt, and sport shoot. What is also clear is that guns are still ending up in the hands of wrong people.

The lessons proffered from the Tucson shootings, have steadfastly been rejected. A few months ago in July 2012, a lone gunman killed 12 people, and injured 58, at a theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Just a few weeks before Christmas, 26 people were killed at an elementary school, in Newtown, Connecticut.

The slaughter of the innocent continues.

Those that advocate gun ownership as a civil liberty, balked when their names were published in a local newspaper. Why? It is okay to own a gun, but NOT okay to exercise first amendment rights of Freedom of the Press to print public information. Why?

The assault weapons ban sunset in 2004 allowed the sale, use, and importation of high capacity gun magazine clips. Why? I am of the opinion that if a hunter needs more then 3 shots to kill an animal, I am not sure if a high capacity magazine will help. Or is that these high capacity magazines exist for another reason other then hunting. I wonder?

What is needed is a clear definition of what constitutes an assault weapon. Requiring assault style weapons like the AR-15, to be ONLY at a range, would be a start.

Gun buy backs are another contentious issues. On the 2nd anniversary, Tucson will offer a gun buy back programme. Anyone can turn in a gun, and receive a gift card. Gun control advocates hail this as an attempt to deal with some of the issues. National Rifle Association Members incessantly decry this attempt as somehow removing their civil liberty to gun ownership. Why?

Recently I walked into a local grocery store. In the space of 20 minutes, 3 people carrying guns walked into the same store. I left my shopping cart where it was, and quickly walked out of the store. Why is it necessary to carry a handgun into a grocery store?

Better access to mental health is also a tantamount issue. Why is it easier to purchase a gun, then to access mental health care? Lack of access to mental health was a factor in the Tucson and Colorado shootings. It is unknown at this time, if this is an issue in the Connecticut shootings.

They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” (Rev 6:20/NIV)