Scroll to the bottom of the post for update(s)…
Horrible news from Arizona:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a gunman at a public event in Tucson on Saturday. There are conflicting reports about whether she was killed.
The Pima County, Ariz., sheriff’s office told member station KJZZ the 40-year-old Democrat was killed. At least nine other people, including members of her staff, were injured.
Giffords, who was re-elected to a third term in November, was hosting a “Congress on Your Corner” event at a Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.
The suspect fired indiscriminately from about four feet away, Michaels said. A congressional official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the attack was carried out with an automatic weapon.
The suspect ran off and was tackled by a bystander. He was taken into custody. Witnesses described him as in his late teens or early 20s..
Prayers for Rep. Giffords and her family, which includes two children, and of course the other victims and their families.
Early reports said that Giffords and six others were killed, but within a half hour or so those were scaled back a bit — the latest reports say that up to 12 people were severely wounded. The last I read was that Giffords was still alive and in surgery.
Here’s a picture from her swearing in on January 5th:
John Boehner’s statement is here.
A little more information on Giffords from the page about her at Wikipedia:
Gabrielle Giffords (born June 8, 1970) is the U.S. Representative for Arizona’s 8th congressional district. She is a member of the Democratic Party.
She is the only member of the U.S. Congress whose spouse, astronaut Mark E. Kelly, is an active duty member of the U.S. military.
Giffords is known as a strong proponent of solar energy as well as for her work to secure the border with Mexico.
Yes, I’m aware of what the left of center blogs & other media are assuming, even in the absence of any other information. It’s unfortunate that, to a great degree, who will be “blamed” will have little to do with the facts. Hopefully most people will ultimately blame the murderous psycho who pulled the trigger.
The police have named a suspect in the shooting of Gabriel Giffords, Jared Loughner. A person under that name has a YouTube account that includes suggestions of anti-government political views.
“You don’t have to accept the federalist laws,” the video above says; It also insists on the gold and silver standard, talks of revolution, and suggests that the government is imposing “mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.”
His linked MySpace page, no longer available, included statements about the gold standard and about SWAT teams paying for their equipment with illegal currency.
Among his long list of favorite books in his YouTube profile are Mein Kampf, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha.
Loughner also “favorited” just one video on YouTube, which shows the burning of an American flag and is accompanied by an anti-government screed. A sample from that screed:
If there’s no flag in the constitution then the flag in the film is unknown.
There’s no flag in the constitution.
Therefore, the flag in the film is unknown.
Burn every new and old flag that you see.
Burn your flag!
A fan of Marx and Hitler who promoted American flag burning. I’d call that a little more than “anti-government” — he sounds plain anti-American.
Update II: Giffords condition is looking more “optimistic.” But five are confirmed dead, among them a nine year old child.
Drudge has a lot more links and up to the minute info here.
Update III: Sounds like the guy isn’t as much left or right but rather mentally ill.
It’s also being reported in some circles that he had been in the US military. That’s not true. The Army says he tried to join in 2008 but was turned down. They can’t say why due to confidentiality laws.
Update IV: A girl who went to college with Loughner (who doesn’t exactly appear to be a right-winger herself) wrote a Tweet that’s going to get her pounded by those whose script on this is already written in spite of the facts.
Also… seriously, what kind of responsible officer of the law is this assclown of a Sheriff to be making a statement like this before anybody really knows anything about anything?
“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” the sheriff said. “And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”
Wow, he’s finished with the investigation already. That was fast!