Maddow destroys GOP fantasy that more guns equals less violence

Six people were killed and 14 more were injured when a gunman opened fire on an event outside a Tucson Safeway Saturday.

The tragedy could have been even worse had an armed bystander not thought twice before shooting the hero that disarmed Jared Loughner, the alleged shooter.

"I carry a gun so I was -- I felt like I was a little bit more prepared to do some good and than maybe somebody else would have been," Joe Zamudio told MSNBC's Ed Schultz Monday.

"As I came out of the door of the Walgreens, sir, I saw several individuals wrestling with him and I came running. I was already at a full sprint and you know, there's no time to think about anything," he explained.

"I saw another individual holding the firearm. I kind of assumed he was the shooter. So I grabbed his wrist and you know told him to drop it and forced him to drop the gun on the ground. When he did that, everybody says, no, no, it's this guy."

"Did you ever think in drawing your firearm or you made the determination you didn't have to?" Schultz asked.

"Sir, when I came through the door, I had my hand on the butt of my pistol and I clicked the safety off. I was ready to kill him. But I didn't have to do that and I was very blessed that I didn't have to go to that place," Zamudio replied.

"I would have shot the man holding the gun," he added.

"You would have used that firearm," Schultz pressed.

"You're damn right," Zamudio said.

In a Monday interview, Fox News' Steve Doocy noted that if Zamudio had shot his first target it "would have been a big fat mess."

"Horrible, horrible," Zamudio agreed.

"To be clear, everybody who's reacted to this shooting by saying, they wish there had been someone other than the killer with a gun at the scene," MSNBC's Rachel Maddow noted Thursday. "There was someone other than the killer with a gun at the scene. And the person he almost shot was one of the heroes who had just disarmed the killer."

"I understand there are a lot of fantasies about guns and about heroism and about heroism involving guns," Maddow continued. "The fantasy that an armed responsible gun owner is all that would have been needed to have prevented this tragedy, that is disproved by what actually did happen."

"When you talk about the fantasy of there being a responsible gun owner at that shooting on Saturday, it is not a hypothetical, that really happened. And it did not work out..."

A panel of criminology and statistics experts with the National Research Council the National Academies published a study in 2004 that found no reduced crime in states with right-to-carry (RTC) laws.

A 2010 study from Stanford Law School found that "the most consistent, albeit not uniform, finding to emerge from the array of models is that aggravated assault rises when RTC laws are adopted."

"More guns do not equal less crime." Maddow concluded flatly. "The statistical evidence on this, in aggregate, does not support the fantasy."

Yet the fantasy persists and so do accidents caused by "responsible" gun owners.

Just yesterday a 66-year-old man accidentally shot a 71-year-old woman in the rear end when his Derringer fell out of his pocket at a Houston restaurant.

This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Jan. 13, 2010.

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This video is from MSNBC's The Ed Show, broadcast Jan. 10, 2010.

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