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On January 8, 2011 a mass shooting incident occurred near Tucson, Arizona. There were twenty five casualties - nineteen wounded from gunfire, six of them fatally - during an open meeting that U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was holding with members of her constituency in a Casas Adobes supermarket parking lot. Those killed in the incident include United States District Court for the District of Arizona, Chief Judge John Roll, Gifford’s community outreach director Gabe Zimmerman and a 9-year-old girl, Christina Taylor-Green. News reports identified the target of the attack as Giffords, a Democrat representing Arizona's 8th congressional district. She was shot through the head at point-blank range, and her medical condition was initially described as "critical". This incident has reopened the debate over the gun laws in the United States.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that: 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.” But the shooting in Tucson has focused attention on Arizona's permissive gun laws, which critics say, made it easy for accused shooter Jared Loughner to buy a gun. Arizona allows the purchase of firearms without a permit, and there is no need for registration or licensing of firearms owners. Police say the shooter- Jared Loughner- used a 9mm Glock pistol -- attaching a high-capacity magazine that could fire off 33 bullets without reloading. A typical clip holds only about 15. There was nothing illegal about Loughner’s purchase - neither the gun nor the magazine. And he passed a federal background check. There are suggestions to reduce the amount of ammunition one is allowed to carry, but is that the crux of the issue? Should the possession of guns even be allowed?

Following this incident, many have stepped up to petition for stricter gun control laws. Gabe Zimmerman’s fiancée, Kelly O’Brien has called on Arizona state legislature to reduce the capacity of magazines to only 10 bullets. The Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights states that everyone has a right to bear arms for self-defence. But despite this tragic incident, many have said that gun control laws should not be stricter. Many have even said that if gun control laws were stricter, crime rates will not go down as there are alternative methods to harm other people.


Advocates for the concealed weapon law say that it allows citizens to protect themselves when law enforcement is not available, with many possibly pointing out that law enforcement officers did not arrive until after members of the crowd tackled the gunman. The reason the perpetrator was caught was because of rapid action from the brave souls in the crowd or the civic minded citizens. According to the advocates, “weapons don't kill people, it's the individual that kills.”

Are these gun laws stringent enough to prevent the occurrence of another similar event? If they are, how did this man with this history of mental instability end up with this weapon?