Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot this morning (approx. 10am PST) at an event in Tucson, AZ. The latest news reports have her in critical condition following neurosurgery with doctors optimistic about her recovery.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge John Roll and five other were killed. In addition, 18 others including the Congresswoman were wounded. The suspected gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, is in custody. As others have noted, he sounds like a garden variety nutcase.
The Brady Campaign wasted no time in getting out a press release talking about gun violence and doing something about “the conditions that make it too easy” for things like this to happen.
Tragic, Horrifying Shooting of Congresswoman and Other Americans at Grocery Store in Tucson
Jan 8, 2011
Statement from Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke:
“Our hearts and prayers go out to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her family, and to all of the other victims who were shot and killed at a Tucson grocery store today. Members of our staff have met the Congresswoman and we are deeply saddened and horrified by this tragedy. We find it unacceptable that when Americans and our elected leaders are assembling in public places, their lives are at risk from gun violence.
We also are deeply concerned about the heated political rhetoric that escalates debates and controversies, and sometimes makes it seem as if violence is an acceptable response to honest disagreements.
We, as Americans, can and should do more to restore civility to our political discourse and we can and should do more to address the conditions that make it too easy for dangerous and irresponsible people to disrupt and destroy the lives of innocent Americans, and political leaders who are simply trying to serve their communities and our country.”
This is a time when all should be praying for the recovery of all the wounded and for repose of the souls of those killed. To use such a tragedy to push a party line or make an ideological point is beyond the pale. There is a name for those who would do it.
UPDATE: As Sebastian points out, Helmke is also dancing in the blood of the victims over at HuffPo. Helmke is even more explicit in that post.
UPDATE II: Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY4), never one to miss an opportunity, is reported by Politico ready to introduce new gun control legislation.
One of the fiercest gun-control advocates in Congress, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), pounced on the shooting massacre in Tucson Sunday, promising to introduce legislation as soon as Monday.
The irony is that Gabby Giffords would probably vote against this bill.
Sebastian has more on this as well as attempts by Philadelphia Congressman Bob Brady to clamp down on free speech.