Congresswoman Giffords at her swearing in ceremony last Wednesday with new Speaker of the House John Boehner.
It's with extreme sadness that I have to report the shooting death of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. Congresswoman Giffords was at a public event in Tuscon when a young gunman in his late teens/early 20's rushed up to her and began to "indiscriminately" fire into the crowd. Congresswoman Giffords, who was shot point blank in the head, was taken to the hospital where she was shortly pronounced dead. Six other people were killed and several mothers wounded, including several members of Congresswoman Gifford's staff.
At first, this would look to be more of a random shooting than a targeted assassination. Yet it was obvious that Congresswoman Gifford, a 40 year-old Democrat, was the most important person at the event that was taking place outside an ironically-named Safeway supermarket. Bystanders body tackled the alleged shooter as he tried to flee and is now in police custody. For the moment, no motive has been revealed. Congresswoman Giffords, it ought to be added, was one of 20 congressmen and congresswomen "targeted" by Sarah Palin last year in opposition to the health care bill.
I'll stay on top of this as details emerge.
Update: Apparently, Sarah Palin wasn't the only one to literally target Rep. Giffords. Her Republican opponent, Jesse Kelly, held a rally last June 12th in which he urged his supporters to "Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M15 with Jesse Kelly."
Update 2: MSNBC is relaying from U of A that Congresswoman Giffords is out of surgery and is expected to make it and her prognosis is "very optimistic." But Federal Judge Rolls was killed in the attack in which 18 were injured. Dr. Peter Rhee just said "Congreswoman Giffords is not deceased." The one fatality that Rhee's Hospital had admitted is a small child of nine.
Update 3: Name of Gunman: Jared Loughner, 22, according to the Political Carnival. This is from Loughner's Youtube channel:
I think we can conclude this wacko's a right winger.