“When there is talk of violence let us up stand up and talk against it. In the face of death let us honor life.” President Bill Clinton’s speech after the Oklahoma bombing.
“In this trial we have been reminded and the world has seen that our fellow Americans are generous and kind resourceful and brave.” President George W. Bush after 911.
“Heroism is here, in the hearts of so many of our citizens all around us waiting to be summoned.” President Barack Obama at Wednesday night Arizona memorial.
By Mary O’KEEFE
In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Tucson on Saturday that killed six people and 13 others who suffered gunshot wounds the country continues to deal with the shock of
this violence and mourn not only for the families of the victims but also for the country.
The shooting occurred on Saturday at a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, Ariz. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D) was holding a “Congress on Your Corner” a town hall-type meeting where she could meet, greet and discuss issues with her constituents.
At about 10 a.m. deputies from Pima County Sheriff’s Department responded to the many 911 calls concerning a man firing into the crowd. Audience members tackled the suspect, later identified as Jared Lee Loughner, 22, of Tucson.
In the end 19 were shot, with six deceased, according to Jason Ogan, Pima County Sheriff spokesman.
Among those shot was Congresswoman Giffords who law enforcement confirmed was the intended target. One of Giffords’s staff members was among the murdered.
“The attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her staff is deeply distressing. Saturday was a sad day for Congress and the country. Gabby is a friend, in addition to being a colleague, and I hope and pray that she and her staff make a full recovery,” said Congressman Adam Schiff.
“The [Cañada Crescenta] Democrat Club joins with all responsible Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike in condemning the violence in Arizona,” said Dana Runge, president of the local Democrat Club.
Giffords is being treated for a gunshot wound to the head by doctors at the Arizona University Medical Center in Tucson. She has had surgeries and was in a medically induced coma to help reduce potential swelling in her brain.
President Barack Obama had been to visit Giffords in her hospital on Wednesday.
“Right after we went to visit, a few minutes … and her colleagues were there. Gabby opened her eyes for the first time,” Obama told those that had gathered for the Arizona Memorial event.
The shooting has rocked the floor of Congress. Sheriff’s have not released any information regarding the motive for the shooting however a picture of the suspect paints a history of disturbing behavior.
Some have wondered if this tragedy would affect how Congress deals with their constituents. Both Schiff and Dreier are very well known in Crescenta Valley and frequently make apperances at local events.
“Congressman [David] Dreier is not going to be changing his schedule,” said Jo Maney, spokeswoman for the congressman.
She added the congressman takes precautions but will not allow this incident to keep him from reaching out to those in his district.
“He remains 100% committed to doing his job, as does his staff. He views this attack on Congresswoman Giffords as an attack on our very system of government,” Maney said.
“No part of society is immune from this kind of random, senseless violence, but we can’t let it interfere with how we do our jobs. To be a representative means being out there in the
public, close to your constituents. It impossible to be an effective representative without exactly the kind of informal community meetings and exchanges that Gabby was engaged in at the time of the shooting – and that must and will continue for all of us. In this tragic hour, we come together as Americans to send our thoughts and prayers to Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, those who were injured, and their families,” Schiff said.
There has been a call prompted by Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik to calm the recent political rhetoric. Giffords had just won re-election in a very vocal and some say mean spirited campaign. Both Schiff and Dreier are known as politicians that rise above the petty attacks of some.
It should be noted that law enforcement has not released any information on Loughner’s motive. But the shooting has some reexamining their campaign strategies.
“I was talking to some others in the club about this and at the end of the day we are all on the same team. We all have to govern together,” Runge said.