Rep. Giffords Feared She Would Be Shot

Notwithstanding the fact that Jared Loughner was clearly living in his own deluded world, it’s worth noting that the woman he targeted had other reasons to be concerned about her safety:

“I was really angry for two to three days. Very, very angry,” [Giffords’ husband Mark] Kelly said. “The first call I received after I arrived at the hospital was President Obama, and I expressed to him … how angry I was.”

“Whom did you blame?” Sawyer asked.

“Initially, I was upset because she’d, you know, received death threats before,” Kelly said, adding that he felt it was “just part of what we’ve been dealing with for the last year.”

He said they had talked “dozens of times” about how “risky” Giffords’ job was.

“She says, you know, ‘Someday I’m really worried that somebody’s going to come up to me at one of these events with a gun,'” Kelly said.

Sawyer asked, “Do you still think the climate in this country had anything to do with it?”

“I don’t. It certainly didn’t cause this,” Kelly said. “It didn’t cause Jared Loughner to, you know, to plan this attack. … I think you have somebody that’s really, really disturbed, possibly schizophrenic.”

Giffords Tucson office was among those Congressional offices vandalized in the wake of the health care fight.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Crime, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Dave says:

    This is why it’s still important to talk about the connection between heated political rhetoric and actual violence. Not because Loughner himself was influenced by the rhetoric (he wasn’t.) But because we shouldn’t have our elected representatives living in (and voting out of) fear for their lives.

  2. john personna says:

    No one has L’s media consumption list. The argue from missing data.

  3. Jack says:

    The problem isn’t the “rhetoric” (although since it isn’t intended to persuade, it’s not “rhetoric” it’s “red meat” to distract the rabid), it’s the THREATS that are the problem.

    Why does anyone bring a firearm to a political rally? To INTIMIDATE anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

    Why does anyone use terms like “Second Amendment solutions” or “if ballots don’t work, we’ll use bullets” or “we didn’t come armed, THIS time” or “don’t retreat, RELOAD” if NOT to intimidate?

    I don’t give a damn about so-called civility. I’d be happy if the rabid right was merely uncivil. The THREATS and BULLYING are the problem. Like every bully, they speak loudly to intimidate, and then when there is a mere whiff of calling to account, they then speak louder, then cry and claim they are the victim.

  4. anjin-san says:

    > Why does anyone bring a firearm to a political rally?

    Or a Starbucks, for that matter. It is either to intimidate, or it is a hell of a male inadequacy overcompensation..