Condolences to the victims of the Tucson shooting rampage

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-08). PHOTO SOURCE:

Our condolences and thoughts are with the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona. In all, six people were killed and 14 were wounded, including Rep. Giffords, in a senseless, horrific act of violence that took place during Rep. Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords’ (AZ-08) Congress in Your Corner event.

The deceased include:

As of Monday morning, Rep. Giffords, who was shot once in the head, remained in critical condition following her surgery. Her husband, Astronaut and US Navy Captain Mark Kelly released this statement:

Like all Americans, we mourn the loss of Gabe Zimmerman, a fine man and beloved member of Gabby’s team, Judge John M. Roll, Christina Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, and Dorwan Stoddard. We must never forget them, and our prayers are with their families. Our hearts go out to everyone injured yesterday; we hope and pray for their quick recovery. We also extend our thanks and appreciation to all of the first responders, medical personnel, law enforcement, and Arizona citizens who acted swiftly yesterday and continue to assist our community through this tragedy. Many stories of heroism are emerging, and they are a source of strength for us during this difficult time. We are forever grateful.

Many of you have offered help. There is little that we can do but pray for those who are struggling. If you are inspired to make a positive gesture, consider two organizations that Gabby has long valued and supported: Tucson’s Community Food Bank and the American Red Cross.”

Community Food Bank
3003 S Country Club Rd # 221
Tucson, AZ 85713-4084
(520) 622-0525

American Red Cross, Southern Arizona Chapter
2916 East Broadway Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 318-6740

On behalf of Gabby and our entire family, I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people of Arizona and this great nation for their unbelievable outpouring of support. Gabby was doing what she loved most – hearing from her constituents – when this tragedy occurred. Serving Southern Arizonans is her passion, and nothing makes her more proud than representing them in Congress.

The suspect, identified as Jared Lee Loughner, has been charged with five federal counts of murder and attempted murder of federal personnel. (Murder of a federal employee can carry the death penalty.) The charges were filed in the same US District Court where Judge Roll once presided.

There is no doubt that in the coming weeks the media glare will be focused on the crime, the suspect, the legal proceedings, the victims, and the political fallout (if any) from the shooting. While we at understand that a tragedy such as this one is not an appropriate subject for news parody or satire, we do think certain issues raised by the Tucson shooting warrant some thought-provoking coverage. Some of those issues include balancing the public’s access to elected officials and security in an open democracy; examining Arizona’s lenient gun laws; what defines hate speech and to what extent should hate speech be protected in a democracy; and many more. We hope to cover the aforementioned issues and share our postings with our readers in the spirit of generating critical and thoughtful discussions.

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