Aeizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was senselessly and needlessly shot by a young, anti-government assailant earlier today. The shooting occurred as she was doing her job meeting constituents outside of a Safeway grocery store in northwest Tucson, during her first "Congress on Your Corner" meeting of the year.
22 year old Jared Lee Loughner shot Giffords and some 12 others, killing a small child, 4 others, and US District Judge John Roll, who joined the federal court in 1991, and for part of his tenure, had served as chief judge. He had received prior death threats for his decision to let an illegal immigrant sue a wealthy rancher. Loughner allegedly shot the congresswoman "point blank" in the head and may have come from inside the store to do so. Like most gun-toting, trigger-happy cowards, he attempted to flee after running out of ammunition but was tackled by one of Giffords' staffers and is now in police custody.
Loughner’s YouTube account, which is full of anti-government language, an obsession over currency and language standards, and the usual far-right paranoia, is revealing.
It reads, in part, “in conclusion, reading the second United States Constitution, I can’t trust the current government because of the ratifications: the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar,” he writes in one video posting. “No! I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver! No! I won’t trust in God!”
Every United States Military recruit at MEPS in Phoenix is receiving one mini bible before the tests,” he writes in one video. “Jared Loughner is a United States Military recruit at MEPS in Phoenix. Therefore, Jared Loughner is receiving one mini bible before the tests."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has issued this statement:
“This senseless attack today in Tucson is a national tragedy, and all America mourns those who lost their lives in the very act of public service. I join the entire Congress in condemning this horrifying act of violence, and on behalf of the entire Senate family, Elaine and I extend our deepest expressions of sympathy and heartfelt prayers to Rep. Giffords and the families of those who have been killed or injured. The U.S. Capitol Police are joining local, state and federal officials in this investigation. We appreciate their quick response and stand ready to assist in their efforts."
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) put out this statement:
“I am horrified by the violent attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and many other innocent people by a wicked person who has no sense of justice or compassion. I pray for Gabby and the other victims, and for the repose of the souls of the dead and comfort for their families. I beg our loving Creator to spare the lives of those who are still alive, heal them in body and spirit, and return them to their loved ones. Whoever did this; whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law.”
Rep. Giffords had just won election in a tight 3 way race in November. Her vote totals were:
Democrat Gabrielle Giffords 138,280 48.76%
Republican / Tea Party Jesse Kelly 134,124 47.30%
Libertarian Steven Stoltz 11,174 3.94% +1.48%
Giffords was one of the 20 Democrats who were elected in 2008 and voted for health care reform and were then targeted for defeat by Sarah Palin in a "takebackthe20" campaign that included a map showing each congressional district in cross-hairs -- as in a gunsight. Rather incendiary.
Fox "News" and Sarah Palin have long bandied about terms like putting opponents in the "crosshairs", and today we got the end-result of their hateful, inciteful language. Defeated Nevada Tea Party Senate candidate Sharron Angle quipped that voters may get so upset with Washington that they'll take "second amendment solutions" to redress their grievances.
Well, I hope they are all happy, because today, their wholly immature and utterly irresponsible advice was acted upon - for REAL! I HOLD EACH OF THESE RIGHT-WING NUT CASES PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR TODAY'S SHOOTING!
This isn't just reckless hyperbole designed to get attention anymore. SIX REAL PEOPLE LOST THEIR LIVES NEEDLESSLY, and a number of others will now face the rest of their lives with varying degrees of trauma and physical impairment.
IT IS COMPLETELY DESPICABLE!
THERE IS NO PLACE FOR THIS KIND OF VIOLENCE IN A DEMOCRACY LIKE OURS!THESE PEOPLE HAVE GONE WAY TOO FAR OVER THE EDGE---NICE JOB, FOX, SARAH PALIN, SHARRON ANGLE, AND YOU OTHER RIGHT-WING NUT CASES!
OK, you got your extended Bush tax cuts for the rich, and you have established control over the House of Representatives, and you've been Speaker of the House for 4 days. NOW, WHERE ARE THE JOBS, MR. BOEHNER?