Murder Tragedy in Arizona–Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Shot
by Eric Golub on January 8, 2011 at 8:07 PM
A murderer in Tucson Arizona shot 19 people, and killed 5. One of the people shot in the head was U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. At the time of this writing she is alive.
U.S. Federal Judge John Roll was killed.
Like all of you, I am in a state of shock trying to make sense of the absolutely senseless.
The only thing we need to do right now is send as much love and many prayers to all of the families.
We don’t know why this occurred, and any theorizing without facts would be irresponsible and compound the tragedy.
For those who want to talk on the left about health care and tea parties, and for those on the right wanting to talk about illegal immigration, NOW IS NOT THE TIME.
This post will be updated as facts come in.
We live in a free society, and for all we know Congress could go on permanent lockdown.
The way we act and react could determine our society in the years to come.
Again, just love and pray for the families.
Call your loved ones and remind them again that you love them.
12:50pm (All times PST): The Pima County Sheriff’s office is reporting that the shooter was a 22 year old male named Jared Laughner who had been in trouble with the law before one time for something “very minor.”
1:02pm: Hospital press conference says Congresswoman Giffords is expected to live. However, the one deceased in the tragedy was a small child, about 9 years old.
1:15pm: Fox News: Shepherd Smith confirms that the suspect is Caucasian. He may have written about his frustration with illegal immigrants.
1:17pm: MSNBC: Congresswoman Giffords won her most recent election by less than 1%. It was the last race to be called. She was one of 19 Democrat not to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. She is a former Republican turned Democrat who was seen as pro-gun and pro-business.
1:18pm: Fox News: Brett Baier reports that Congresswoman Giffords defeated a tea party candidate by less than 4,000 votes.
1:27pm: NBC: NFL Playoffs about to start, and the football analysts are all talking football and smiling as the Seahawks face the Saints. Not a single word is being said about the Congresswoman. This is not a judgment, only an observation. Network executives have decisions to make, and the NBC decision is business as usual.
I personally would delay the start of the game a few minutes so the president can speak to everyone.
1:34pm: Fox News: Shepherd Smith: The shooter’s favorite readings are the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. He also wants a return to the gold standard.
1:35pm: NFL kickoff…game starts, no mention of the tragedy.
1:46pm: President Obama speaks to the nation as the football game continues uninterrupted. Mr. Obama says “Gabby Gifford was a friend of mine.” She is still alive, and he meant to say “is.” He spoke for 3 minutes.
(This is not a criticism, just an observation about the pressure of speaking after tragedies such as this.)
1:59pm: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer spoke to the nation. She fought back tears and said, “I am heartbroken.” She ordered the Arizona flags to be flown at half-staff. Governor Brewer took questions. She also used the word “was” a couple times and then corrected herself saying “she was…and is…a great public servant.”
Governor Brewer confirmed that President Obama called her and was gracious, non-partisan, and tht he promised to offer the full cooperation of the Federal Government, and that the FBI will be leading the investigation.
2:20pm: A statement by John Boehner read that “an attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve.”
2:22pm: Haris Faulkner reports that Congresswoman Giffords did have her office smashed a few hours after the health care law was passed. Iwas John Boehner who said “This is not the American way.” No evidence has surfaced that health care has played any role in this tragedy, although other political issues seem to be at play.
2:26pm: The shooter may be an atheist. Again, no evidence suggests that theology or rejection of theology has played a role in the shooting.
2:32pm: It seems yesterday Bill Hemmer of Fox News interviewed Congresswoman Giffords. It was a friendly interview, as Giffords was proposing a 5% reduction in all congressional salaries.
2:40pm: MSNBC as expected poisons the tragedy and exploits it by blaming Sarah Palin. She put out a campaign ad “targeting” members of Congress for defeat including Giffords. I wonder why MSNBC will not admit what Fox News reported, that the shooter was reading the Communist Manifesto. MSNBC is still attributing this shooting to health care. If there really was right-wing hate in this country, MSNBC executives would not be alive to report anything.
(I am not advocating violence, just making a point at how phony and destructive MSNBC is to our society.)
2:44pm: Nancy Pelosi speaks to the nation. Fox News covers the remarks. MSNBC does not. She asks for a moment of silence, and asks a young girl’s chorus to sing. Ms. Pelosi’s remarks were non-partisan.
2:51pm: Congresswoman Giffords was against the Arizona immigration law SB 1070 but also against the White House lawsuit against Arizona. The Daily Kos attacked her for this.
2:52pm: Fox News has reported that Congresswoman Gifford is Jewish. She is the first Jewish Congresswoman in the history of Arizona. As reported earlier, the shooter was reading Mein Kampf. There could be a Jewish angle.
(My personal editorial as a Jewish guy: Just flipping great! Just what we need, another attack on a Jewish person. I hope there is no Jewish angle.)
Something odd on Wikipedia confirms that she is pro-gun, supporting the Supreme Court for striking down the DC gun ban. Yet the NRA rates her D+ and the GOA rates her D-. This seems incongruent.
Wikipedia confirms that she is Jewish, and that she spent time in Houston helping with Hurricane Katrina relief.
3:11pm: NBC: The Seahawks lead the Saints 24-20 at halftime and the network is not saying a single thing about the Arizona tragedy. I love football, but this is unsettling.
(I have 4 tvs in my living room, normally for NFL Sundays. Today one of them is on Fox News, one on MSNBC, and one on NBC for the game. CNN is getting shafted currently.)
3:13pm: NBC is giving a report on pee-wee football in the Tiny Football League. I kid you not.
3:14pm: NBC, Bob Costas interviews Peyton Manning.
3:23pm: NBC, second half kickoff. No mention of AZ tragedy.
3:32pm: Fox News: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement on the death of Judge Roll, stating the “importance of the rule of law” and “the sacrifices involved” with preserving the law. Judge Andrew Napolitano referred to Judge Roll as a “quiet conservative Republican…fairly non-controversial.” Judge Napolitano speculated that Judge Roll was most likely not the target, but that it was unusual for him to be there.
This matters because if Judge Roll was the target, Federal jurisdiction applies and the shooter could face the death penalty. All eyes would be on Eric Holder. If Judge Roll was an accidental victim and not the target, Arizona has jurisdiction.
I apologize for reporting cold clinical facts at this time, but whether the FBO or the Pima County Sheriff’s office is in charge has wide ramifications.
3:37pm–While Fox News has Cindy McCain sharing warm words about Congresswoman Giffords, MSNBC is focusing on the tea party in a clip from last March. Giffords mentions Palin in the clip.
3:42pm–MSNBC–Bob Schieffer continued to harp on Palin. For the record, Palin offered heartfelt condolences.
3:43pm: Fox News–Cindy McCain apologizes for accidentally using “was” instead of “is” regarding the Congresswoman. As previously stated, nerves are frayed and people are in shock. Not helping matters is that earlier reports incorrectly had the Congresswoman as deceased. She is alive.
4pm: MSNBC: Ed Schults interviewed Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Elliot Engel of Arizona and New York respectively. They all bemoaned the demonization of political opponents as enemies for merely disagreeing. They piously spoke of raising the tone and increasing civility. This was the same network that less than an hour earlier was blaming the tea party and Sarah Palin. I don’t need to be told by MSNBC to be civil. They need to tell themselves.
4:39pm: MSNBC: For some reason Al Sharpton was interviewed. He said we should all look inward to see if we contribute to the climate of violence. Al Sharpton called Jews “diamond merchants,” and was directly responsible for stoking the climate of fear that led to blacks murdering Jews in Crown Heights. I don’t need to look inward. Al Sharpton does. This is who MSNBC gets to lecture us.
5pm: It was reported that John Boehner and Eric Cantor are suspending all legislative sessions for the coming week to deal with this tragedy. A suspicious package was found by Ms. Giffords’s office.