Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D, Az) Shot In Tuscon

A tragedy this afternoon in Tuscon

This is pretty much horrid news:

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot outside a grocery store in Tucson while holding a public event, Arizona Public Media reported Saturday.

The Democrat, who was re-elected to her third term in November, was hosting a “Congress on Your Corner” event at the Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.

At least five other people, including members of her staff, were hurt. Giffords was transported to University Medical Center in Tucson. Her condition was not immediately known.

Giffords was talking to a couple when the suspect ran up firing indiscriminately and then ran off, Michaels said. According to other witnesses, he was tackled by a bystander and taken into custody.

Fox News is reporting that Giffords was shot t point blank range in the head, but reports are sketchy right now. Here’s hoping that she and her staff members will be okay.

Update: There were initial reports that Giffords was dead but the hospital continues to say that she is in surgery and alive:

Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot on Saturday morning while hosting an event outside a Tucson grocery store, according to local news reports.

Giffords spokesperson C.J. Karamargin told The Washington Post Saturday afternoon that Giffords was in surgery at Tucson’s University Medical Center.

Update II: There are reports that at least one person has died, an aide to Congresswoman Giffords. Additionally, there are confirmed reports on Fox News Channel, via the Department of Justice, that a total of 19 people were shot and five are confirmed dead.

Update III: At a just concluded news conference, a doctor said that he is “very optimistic” for Giffords’  recovery. There is one confirmed death, a child.

Update IV: Capitol Police report that a 22 year old male named Jared Lee Laugner of Tuscon is in custody and was the shooter.

FILED UNDER: Congress, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. sloan says:

    No. I hope this is wrong.

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    Very bad news, and it gets worse. According to CNN she was shot in the head.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/01/08/arizona.shooting/?hpt=T2

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    And I now see you had the part about the head shot already. Sorry about the redundancy. Sad day.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    NPR via Talking Point Memos is reporting both Congresswoman Giffords and 6 others have been confirmed dead.

  5. mantis says:

    Giffords is one of the representatives Sarah Palin put in her gun sights before the election.

  6. Trumwill says:

    If there’s one thing this situation demands, it’s partisan pot-shots.

  7. ej says:

    mantis, is there nothing that you wont stoop down to being a partisan hack for? 7 people are dead and you have to be a massive dick.

  8. john personna says:

    I don’t know Trumwill, we were asked to take gunsights on an election map as no big, because no one would take it seriously. Now we’ll be asked to never mention it again, because … some kind of weird tacit agreement I guess.

  9. john personna says:

    (There is a reason politicians should stay well clear of violent iconography. It is that, no, they can’t count on their full audience to be calm or sane. You start with a peaceful message for that reason.)

  10. bains says:

    It is good that you reveal what your priorities are mantis.

  11. john personna says:

    You guys are blaming mantis for telling a truth, right? Because he told that truth at the wrong moment.

    I personally think he could have waited a day or two, to see what sort of nutter this was (maybe an ex-boyfriend) and to give Palin the chance to take the high ground.

    But, it’s not like he made anything up.

  12. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Giffords is one of the representatives Sarah Palin put in her gun sights before the election.”

    WTF. You are an absolute sicko. Blaming a 6 months old election poster for this tragedy. This blog has some far left wings kooks that hang out here I see. I’ve been told many times this blog is middle of the road, but I too often see DailyKOS type stuff around here like this post. That election poster was months ago Dude; If someone was going to take it literally, why wait 6 months; why not act it out at the time. You are absolutely disgusting. I know Doug hates Gov Palin but I hope he doesn’t go there.

  13. john personna says:

    Did mathis blame Palin or the poster? If so then I’d disagree with him too!

    The thing is, I don’t think he did. I think he only reminded you of a now-painful fact.

  14. john personna says:

    Look, it is awful to be reminded of the gun-metaphors in anti-democrat campaigning (we haven’t even gotten to “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!’) but at some point is is also awful to ignore it.

    There is a reason people complained about these things the first time around, before any shots were you know, actually fired.

  15. Trumwill says:

    (Setting aside that I have no use for Palin as an individual or a politician), it’s only a “painful” insofar as there is a link between the two. It’s not clear that there is*. But the most important moment to some, apparently, is to put it out there as quickly as possible. The truth is a defense against libel, but it’s not a defense again being a jerk.

    * – I would be more inclined to see a link if the attempted murder were not nine months later, after the election for which the map was drawn, the next year, and under a new congress. If the guy was inspired by the map, it seems likely that he would have acted some time considerably before now.

    If the killer has a giant poster of Palin in his room or is revealed to be a real fan of hers, I might reconsider. Having generally conservative politics is insufficient, though.

  16. bains says:

    What utter nonsense JP. Of course no one disputes what mantis posted as non-factual. No, the issue, as you tacitly acknowledged, is the timing. What mantis wants is the blame for this horrible event to fall entirely upon Sarah Palin’s Tea Party. Bodies are still warm in the morgue, bodies are still on the operating tables, and all mantis can set forth is how evil Sarah Palin is for doing the same thing that his beloved leftists do. As I said, it is good that s/he reveals what his/her real priorities are. That you offer cover will likely cause the few non-partisans left here to question your motives as well.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    Someone should pass out the smelling salts to cure all the self-righteous indignation being heaped at mantis…of course Sarah Palin isn’t responsible for this tragedy and mantis never claimed she was…but the inconvenient fact remains that an irresponsible, stupid graphic was posted on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page in the past, as well as her comments about “reload”ing…perhaps she will reconsider, in the future, using such unfortunate comments and symbols…

  18. john personna says:

    I think I am in the middle ground, because what I want is simple and peaceful democracy.

    I don’t want the gun-imagery, and I don’t want people explaining to me that people carrying guns to a political rally is perfectly normal.

    I don’t care if this was someone angry about the price of milk. We shouldn’t be having this conversation because the “target” and “reload” imagery should not have been there.

  19. john personna says:

    (BTW, I’m fine with people owning guns.)

  20. An Interested Party says:

    “…and all mantis can set forth is how evil Sarah Palin is for doing the same thing that his beloved leftists do.”

    Really? Who are all these leftists and what, exactly, are the nefarious things that they have done just like Sarah Palin?

  21. john personna says:

    (In fact, I said that I thought the Sarah Palin’s Alaska skeet-shooting episode was fun.)

  22. bains says:

    Federal Judge John Roll is also listed as wounded. JP and mantis, are you so certain that Rep. Gifford was the target? Are you so certain that it had to be a Sarah Palin inspired tea party enthusiast?

    Or is it so important that you create monsters for your fellow travelers to deplore? (that is rhetorical, for once being a liberal, I know the answer. Yes it is!)

    Note please, that I dont have a clue how this tragedy will unfold. Prayers to all personally affected. I just detest how so many want to make political hay out of a horrible incident.

  23. john personna says:

    Bains, you aren’t listening to me.

    I don’t think Sarah Palin wants to hurt anyone. I don’t think sane people listening to her are going to go out and hurt everyone. The danger in any metaphor that skirts violent imagery isn’t with those. It’s with the nutters who aren’t going to understand the real message.

    We want rhetoric that will empower the rational, and calm the irrational.

  24. john personna says:

    BTW, I think Trumwill asks too much when he asks for a 1:1 link between this act and that map.

    The imagery has been getting ripe for a few years now.

  25. bains says:

    We want rhetoric that will empower the rational, and calm the irrational.

    Fine sentiments JP, just pay attention to your own side as well.

  26. john personna says:

    bains, they have these online political compass tests. I score right in the middle.

    I am actually a registered Republican, but consider myself independent. I certainly wouldn’t sign up to be a Democrat.

  27. mantis says:

    What mantis wants is the blame for this horrible event to fall entirely upon Sarah Palin’s Tea Party.

    No I don’t. I never said that. I was just reminding people of some possibly relevant background. Here’s some more:

    Flashback: Giffords Opponent Had M16 Shooting Event, ‘Help Remove Gabrielle Giffords From Office’.

    Also, Federal Judge John Roll had been in protective custody due to threats over an illegal immigration case.

    Does any of this have anything to do with the shooting? I don’t know. I’m curious, though.

  28. mantis says:

    Or is it so important that you create monsters for your fellow travelers to deplore?

    That’s rich.

  29. TG Chicago says:

    Mr. Mataconis, I know you didn’t mean anything by it, but I would respectfully ask that you remove the words “pretty much” from your first sentence. They are not needed, and in fact, skew things inappropriately. Thanks.

  30. anjin-san says:

    > mantis, is there nothing that you wont stoop down to being a partisan hack for? 7 people are dead and you have to be a massive dick.

    I think stepping back an putting a 24 hour hold on heated discussion about the political aspects of this tragedy is a pretty good idea. Palin’s “map” needs to be looked at, but today is probably not the day to do it. It probably has zero to do with this tragedy, but Palin does have influence on people both stable and unstable, and that makes the map a valid subject for discussion. Lets discuss it tomorrow.

  31. mantis says:

    It’s quite clearly a political assassination (and/or an attempted one). You can’t take politics out of it.