The Giffords tragedy has hit our little capital town hard. Honestly, it has hit me hard. She was one of our own, a congresswoman fighting for the issues she believes in, shot by an effing paranoid crazy with a penchant for the gold standard and making myspace videos about how the government brainwashed people through grammar. He shot 5 people including a 9 year old child in the name of this goddamn nonsense. In the name of effing NOTHING. Jesus, humanity.
Loughner's disgusting, smiling mugshot
However, I did want to highlight one small, shining light in the midst of all this tragedy: the absolute AWESOMENESS of the Arizona Giffords supporters who subdued Loughner. Honestly, the level of badassness these people displayed in dealing with an absolutely out-of-his-mind, gun wielding CRAZY deserves its own post. It deserves a million posts.
First, Bill Badger. God, what a perfect name.
Bill Badger courtesy of WNEP
A 74-year old, retired army colonel who was waiting to meet Giffords when Loughner started shooting. After GETTING EFFING SHOT in the back of the neck, he noticed another Arizonian (also badass) pick up a folding chair, come up behind Loughner and smash it over the gunman’s head. Badger then, BLEEDING, grabbed Loughner’s arm, pinned it behind his back and, with another guy’s help, forced Loughner on the ground, holding him there. A quote from Badger:
“Anytime he would even start to move, I would tighten my grip on his throat, and the other guy would put more pressure on his neck to hold him down,” Badger said. “And he’d holler, ‘Oh, oh, you’re hurting me! Oh, oh,’ – like that. And that guy said, ‘I don’t give a [expletive].” - CBS
Amazing. It’s like a goddamn movie. THEN if that wasn’t badass enough, Patricia Maisch, a 61-year old lady with flowers on her collared shirt, wrestled the magazine of bullets away from Loughner while he was on the ground, preventing him from reloading. She looks like this:
Patricia Maisch via Sydney Morning Herald
I mean, RIDICULOUS. A 61-year old woman at a grocery store stopped a gunman. If SPY was in that situation she would probably be on the ground, eyes closed, paralyzed in fear, like the smallest and weakest of gazelles on the Savannah.
SPY via Paul Souders at World Foto
A lion buffet. Finally, Joe Zamudio, another guy who helped bring Loughner down, was not waiting for Gifford but heard the bullets and RAN OVER. Literally running to danger to then help subdue the gunman.
Look. The level of bravery and determination by these ordinary people is amazing. Such displays seems to come out in the most tragic of situations. Arizona heroes, I salute you. You goddamn deserve it.