Tuscon Hero Joseph Zamudio: Acted without hesitation.

“By now, almost everyone knows who Jared Loughner is. On January 8, in a Tucson-area shopping center, this 22-year-old crazed gunman opened fire on U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the crowd around her. Six people, including a federal judge, were killed; 14 more were injured. Giffords was critically wounded in the head.

Yet, it could have been far, far worse. Four heroic bystanders selflessly sacrificed their own safety by tackling Loughner and subduing him. Without their intervention, it’s anybody’s guess how many more people could have been injured or killed. One of those heroes was Joseph Zamudio. Zamudio, a 24-year-old who works at an art gallery, has a concealed-carry permit. He was in a nearby Walgreens when he heard the pop of gunshots nearby. Zamudio acted immediately and instinctively, and headed outside towards the gunfire. He was armed and ready for anything.

“When I came through the door, I had my hand on the butt of the pistol and I clicked the safety off,” Zamudio said during a television interview. “I was ready to kill him. But I didn’t have to do that.” Zamudio also revealed in interviews that he always carries his gun with him. That’s precisely why he had the confidence to act swiftly and without hesitation.

Despite Zamudio’s heroics, liberal reaction has been entirely predictable. U.S. Representative Peter King of Long Island promptly introduced a bill to ban anyone from carrying a gun near a federal official. (Does he think that would have stopped Jared Loughner?) New York Times columnist Gail Collins fretted in her column that people like Zamudio really can’t be trusted. (She conveniently ignores the fact that in the United States there has never been a shooting of an innocent bystander by a concealed firearm permit holder.) A grocery chain in Iowa has banned firearms from its stores, asking that concealed carry permit owners not bring them in while shopping. (Do you think armed robbers or crazed gunmen will honor that request?)

Every single year, up to 3.6 million crimes are thwarted by the presence of a firearm. Case in point: Vermont. Vermont has virtually no restrictions on gun ownership or carry laws. This is perplexing to liberals, because even without restrictive gun control, the rates of homicide and robbery are a fraction of the national rates. The story is the same in communities across the country – when citizens are free to protect themselves with firearms, crime goes down.”

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