Earlier today, Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head outside of a grocery store where she, members of her staff, and many others were holding a constituent event. It is being reported that about 18 people, including Giffords, were shot in the attack, with one of her aides, Federal Judge John Roll, and a small child among the 6 who were killed. The gunman is said to be 22 year old Jared Lee Loughner; he is currently being held by police.
Giffords is in critical condition after undergoing surgery, but doctors have said they are optimistic about her recovery. Last year, Giffords was one of the Congress members who was threatened and had her office vandalized because of her vote in favor of President Obama’s health care reform bill. She was also targeted by former Governor Sarah Palin, who marked Giffords on a US map with gun crosshairs.
After receiving word of the Palin map and witnessing the violent political rhetoric of last year, Giffords stated:
“I think itâ€™s important for all leaders, not just leaders of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party â€¦ community leaders, figures in our community to say, ‘Look, we canâ€™t stand for this.’ For example, weâ€™re on Sarah Palinâ€™s targeted list, but the way she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. And when people do that, theyâ€™ve gotta realize that thereâ€™s consequences to that action.â€
Deepest condolences to the families of those senselessly lost and injured today. Is this really what our country and its politics have come to? Does everyone need security now?