Democratic congresswoman shot at point-blank range in Arizona

January 8, 2011

SECOND UPDATE: Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy issued the following statement Saturday afternoon in response to the Arizona shootings:

“The attacks on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, and others are absolutely appalling. This event is horrific and acts of such violence cannot be tolerated in our society. Judy and I will be praying for Gabrielle, her family, her staff, those who were injured and their families.”

Meanwhile, Arizona authorities are searching for “a person of interest” who might have been at the shopping center with alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner.

UPDATE: The shooter of  U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords has been identified as Jared Lee Loughner, 22, of Tucson.

Loughner was tackled by one of Giffords’ aides as he tried to flee the scene after the shooting.

Another one of Giffords’ aides is confirmed to be dead along with four others. The gunman shot 18 people.

A surgeon has been quoted as being “very optimistic” about Giffords’ chance for surviving.

ORIGINAL POST: Multiple media reports confirm that a Democratic congresswoman was shot in the head at point blank range Saturday morning while hosting a meet-the-public event in Tucson. [LA Times]

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), 40, a three-term congresswoman, was airlifted to a local hospital shortly after the shooting at a Safeway market.

“She is currently in surgery. She’s alive,” University Medical Center spokeswoman Darci Slaten said. Slaten added that nine other shooting victims were being treated at the hospital.

Fox News reported that between 12 and 15 people were shot.

Giffords was hosting a “Congress on Your Corner” event — public gatherings to give her constituents a chance to talk directly with her — when attacked from about four feet  away, NPR said.

NPR initially reported that Giffords had died, but quickly retracted that information.

The report said the suspect tried to run away but was tackled by a bystander and was in police custody.

Giffords is married to astronaut Mark Kelly

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

One thing I’ve heard over and over again since Saturday is “How can we prevent this violence from happening again?” I submit to you that we can’t.

Our entire way of life requires that everyone has free speech (freedom of thought), religion, assembly, right to bare arms, free press, plus things like no warrant less searches and seizures, habeus corpus and the list goes on and on.

To stop someone like this kid in Tucson would be all but impossible. Even if someone said the kid was going to shoot the Congresswoman, police couldn’t just toss him in jail. He has to commit some kind of crime and telling someo0ne you want to shoot anyone else is not a crime. Ironically, with the exception of the President and VP, the cops can’t really do anything until after someone acts.

To prevent this kind of violence, first you would have to eliminate free speech and freedom of religion, then the second amendment (guns), the right to assembly and protest against the government, and on and on.

They tried that once in the USSR and it didn’t work without complete and total domination over the populace by the dictatorial regime in charge.

I believe so long as we are a free country things like the massacre in Tucson will continue to happen every few months.

Let’s face it, the U.S. with its insistence on protecting free thinkers is a breeding grounds for extremism and violence. With a population of 350+/- million, there are at least a million certifiable nut cases walking the streets of America today. Literally, ticking time bombs walking the streets of Happy Town USA!

Add in all the people whacked out on various drugs (meth, speed, coke, booze, heroin…) and the number probably climbs to over 3 million.

Shoot, the U.S. pretty much invented two of the world’s scourges — serial killers and mass murderers/spree killers. Assassinations are not new (remember Caesar?) but mass murders, job place shootings, schoolyard shootings etc… are relatively new and we in the U.S. pretty much invented them.

How can we possibly prevent violence like Tucson with these kinds of numbers, outside tearing up the Constitution and submitting to the will of the State? I say we can’t.

We used to take care of people, various halfway houses group homes and institutions, these people had some oversight, people were paid to check in on them every two weeks or so. Then Ronald Reagan cut the Federal money that supported these various programs and facilities, his vice president assured us that the new Psych drugs would replace the institutions and our stuff will come from china, Overnight in some cities one could see the change; homeless crazy people on the streets, who have all died or gone to jail / prison ( thats where we put the mentally ill now, real horrorshow). early Prozac era in America.

So this young man in Tuscon is creeping out his class mates to the point they decide to expel him from school , he is merely sent on his way and told not to come back until he has had a mental evaluation.

NOW YOU TELL ME WHO IS INSANE ( the kid obviously) but what about the school, how crazy is that we no longer can afford to nip this in the bud, schools have always been a crazy filter, but some how all we can do for ourselves is create misery or worry about ourselves. ( never mind the thirty round clip that used to be illegal, thats for aliens now.

never mind the kid who is turning into a raving murder lunatic before your blanking eyes,,, and you send him on his way? we need to get back to the place where we took better care of OURSELVES AS A COMMUNITY

like 1976,,, this whole “city on a hill shtick” has hollowed out our country, debts, interest payments on debts two wars no habeus sekret torture prisons we used to be better than this,

I am so embarrassed I could puke blood. America this event says we suck as a society, we need to take a look inside ourselves and ask do we want to keep going along this path this philosophy of the last thirty

five forty years, to this imaginary city on a hill? I think we can do better the previous political philosophy was better than the one we inherited from RR’s banker friends. let them keep the money they chiseled but we could use some better financial folk looking out for us in the future.

Here’s a case where your idea is right but your reasoning is wrong. Your idea that we need to get adults with mental problems help and housing I agree with. Your second part though of bang the drum and blame the right is off. It was not Reagan. This happened in the ’70’s before Reagan. It was the A.C.L.U. arguing that you could not put a person under mental care against their wishes. Hence it was not long after that, that the homeless population on the streets skyrocketed. Now I know you might want to fall back into your comfort zone and blame the evil right but I can tell you from personnel experiance it is hard to commit someone against their will. I have an aunt in a mental hospital, now, but it was a major achivement trying to get her committed. It was not overnight and took a LONG time to happen. All for the reasons stated above. Let’s get the whole story and not leave out convient pieces.

Paperboy, you “surrender to our violent nature” attitude is cynical and pessimistic and just more excuses for doing nothing but watch the blood of innocent’s run down our gutters. It’s attitudes like that that help perpetuate violence.

I dont listen to Rush Limbaugh, but I tuned in this morning with an open mind.

Here is a quote from him WORD FOR WORD.

“Obama needs this shooting just as Clinton needed the Oklahoma City bombing”

Wow. I dont know what to say or what to think. Why would he say that a politician “needs” these sort of things? How does this help make America a better place?

If he says Obama and Clinton “needs” these sort of tragedies, then how would he break it down that Bush “needed” to start this 10+ year war?

Who the heck “needs” humans (fellow Americans) to die such horrific deaths?

Can a Rush Limbaugh fan really justify this kind of rhetoric? I am shocked. I have heard that Rush promotes hate and a division of the people-but does he really think politicians needs people to die in such horrific acts of violence?

If I was to call and ask him to explain these comments-think he would take my call?

I am really having a hard time following the Rush Limbaugh program. I cant tell if it is comedy or a lightening rod for hatred. Does he believe his own rhetoric or is it a strategy to drive more listeners?

Do people listen to this for entertainment or because they believe?

I’m sorry to say that people actually believe his lies and hate. Otherwise seemingly thinking peopel actually listen to him, regularly! I listed to him and Beck yesterday, incredible. What a couple of idiotic and hateful bums. It is a sad commentary on our nation that they have an audience.

I am not saying one way or the other that I agree with Rush’s position but I can tell you the point he was making that I have heard in the past. This happens positive and neg on both sides. Look at W Bush’s first year. He was stumbling and bumbling around and then when Sept. 11 happened and his numbers skyrocketed to near 80% for a short time. People react. At that same time their was some from Clinton’s group that made mention that if something like this had happened during his presidency that might have bulstered his numbers and help him push though more of his programs.

Or on the flip side how about when Jimmy Carter had the debacle in the desert in ’79 with the Delta Force, in Iran that played a part in his reelection numbers going down? I could go on but I hope you get my point. I don’t think that when this argument is made it is in malice. It was dumb but the point is, watch as Obama goes down for the funeral today (which he should) and like it or not his numbers will go up. Now I am not saying he is using this. I don’t think that but just through the way things will go, I would bet that within the week he will get a small bump from this. It is sad as a society that we only wait till the BIG moments to view a presidentcy one way or the other but you have to admit that is the way it is.

Really, what more needs to be said that Gabby Giffords had not already said:

Listen to the entire video and you will find there is not one thing she says that is not true. Debate all you want, but the truth is all right there coming from the mouth of a woman, in the spirit of Jesus Christ, is suffering for others’ sins in order to raise the consciousness and compassion of our world. May God forever bless her and may her spirit infuse us all.

OK, i did the pain; I listened to Rush and Glen today.Some 6 hours worh. Rush is an angry lunatic, Beck was much gentler and actually preached peace and love-at first. Then he launched into accusations. He mentioned Van Jones as some sort of wild left wing nut (Van is a community activist who has spent his life helping the poor and promoting green energy) a number of times as a great example of hate mongering on the left (lies). Then, later, at 2:36pm he proudly claimed to have not lowered himself to have mentioned the likes of Van Jones and others!

Amazing, are these guys just like the Nazis who perfected lying propaganda or dumb as a bag of rocks? Now, at 2:42 pm Beck is ranting like a madman, trying to heckle the left. This follows his earlier condemnation of this sort of virulent rhetoric. Now at 2:48pm he is frothing at the mouth with venom, what a creep. I gave you the times, you can look up what I relate here through his podcasts. I imagine in his last 10 minutes he will make more gaffes and mistakes.

Anyway, that is my report on what the right wing nut jobs are doing with the current news. All they can do is accuse the dems of capitalizing on this tragedy and tripping all over their loose shoe laces trying to find fault elsewhere.

Don’t forget to tune into the 4 hour show on Congalton today (3 to 7) to discuss these issues.

Out of respect for The Dave Congalton Show and other worthwhile LOCALLY generated programs, I am NOT calling for a boycott of KVEC at this time, despite that stations continual promotion of assorted hate radio talk show programs.

I do think it is shame that KVEC management apparently employs a portion of its airtime to local programming as a way of shielding itself from criticism for the non-local hate radio programs that form the core its business model. I’m sure it pains many of those who are involved in the locally generated programs that KVEC uses their programming in any way to attract listeners to or in other ways lend credibility to the hate programs the station broadcasts day in and day out.

But, it is better that businesses have chance to pull their support of hate radio of their own accord without feeling they have been forced to because of economic sanctions. So, therefore, I do NOT support an overall boycott of KVEC.

But I will continue to hope that creative, energetic people at KVEC will have the courage and ambition to come up with ways to keep the station viable without have to bank on the fear and hate mongering that does so much harm to our local community and our nation.

I’ve been listening to Rush this morning to see what that is about. I was imagining myself as a five year old and feeling insulted by the dysfunctional and irrational points put forth by him. I guess if one doesn’t know any better some of his views would make sense, but it sure would appeal to the lowest forms of


The vitriol was toned down (of course he is laying low, just resorting to sounding like an idiot instead of a violent fool).

Not the next three hours of hate is starting, with Beck. I figure he will deliver more of the same nonsense.

As an adult and I assume you are, you have the ability to change channels anytime you wish…

As I said before there are a great many hate filled sites and media outlets, not to mention elected and non elected public servants who have spouted vitriolic rhetoric over the years and have gotten a pass. Here is a link to Michelle Malkins latest collection of examples.

“The progressive “climate of hate:” An illustrated primer, 2000-2010”

It is very enlightening especially the well recorded hate filled rants against Sarah Palin and her entire family. The photos and videos of the kill Bush segments are also lively, not to mention the many other recorded examples she has collected of hate mongering that continues to get a pass.

My point being look in the mirror next time you point the finger and ask yourself are you acting mature and civilized?


Your link goes to a right wing website, not credible. Though there is a darling picture of Jane Fonda, one of my heroes. Unfortunately we are all too intent on just hurling insults back and forth, there is no communication. I suspect we could actually agree on certain basic principals if given the time and venue.

I listened to the big gas bag for 3 hours today and then Beck for most of his three hours, no wonder the illiterate masses are so screwed up. Those guys are so lame… All they could do was hurl insults at the Dems for showing alarm at the political killings. While making oodles of political hay out of this they accused the dems of making their own hay out of it. It was like listening to two dysfunctional half wits trying to fill up their time slots with anything they can scrape together from the seat of their pants. Lame to the max; anyone who listens to that stuff and actually believes any of it is way too far gone for me to talk to.

My point was, any intelligent adult should be able to judge for ones self what is truth and what is rhetoric, and be able to use their fingers to change the radio dial.

Back on topic: This tragedy is about a sick individual making a horrific attack on others, nothing more nothing less, he acted alone and we are just lucky he was stopped before killing more people . All the political distractions are just that.

Shame on Sheriff Dupnick for starting the blame game to gain political points. He had no facts, he made no arrests, his officers did not stop the perp, all that was done by fellow citizens who are heros and should be the focus of the attention not the sicko perp or the sheriff…

I’m sure KVEC was and is not concerned about a boycott.

I think you are VERY wrong, and to prove it, talk to KVEC management. And if they truly are not concerned, that just shows you how little they care about their local community.

I think I may have been a bit overly generous in complimenting the Dave Congalton show as being “worthwhile.” Not always. I hear he called in professional right wing (NON-LOCAL) propagandist Jeff Bliss to come on his show today, once again posing as some sort of objective political “expert.”

But check Bliss’s resume. He has made his career as a right wing “public relations” guy, paid by large conservative propaganda institutions to spin issues to favor the right wing agenda. Bliss literally has earned a living being a right wing propagandist, and going on Congalton’s show is one way of showing future employers that he is willing to spin anything, even hatred and assassination into a positive right wing spin. That’s exactly the kind of sleazy conservative loyalty that right wing propaganda institutions love and are willing to pay for.

Bliss frequently comes on the Congalton show to practice his schtick and Congalton frequently calls upon Bliss to phone in from who knows where to shill for him, expecting him to dutifully support whatever controversial conservative opinion Congalton has that he has been criticized for. And Bliss, well trained, is more than eager to sing the tune.

So, today I imagine Congalton employed Bliss to defend hate radio talk shows and Congalton’s spin that Rush Limbaugh is simply an innocent “entertainer” and that hate radio is not really hate radio, and that encouraging people to kill politicians is simply a part of our great American tradition going back to the days of our Founding Fathers. (And, considering that more than 10 percent of our Presidents have been shot at or assassinated, I suppose they have a point–a very sick point.)

Do either of those guys even realize how ridiculous they come off as? They imagine they are being all slick while half the audience is gagging at the obvious B.S. that those guys have the nerve to think the audience is falling for.

Why Congalton is so eager to degrade himself and his show I can’t quite fathom. He needn’t sound so desperate and freaked out. He should just chill and let Limbaugh try to defend himself. As it is now, Congalton is truly embarrassing himself. For what? For Rush Limbaugh? Glenn Beck? Sarah Palin? Congalton’s conservative right wing mother? Has KVEC management asked him to stoop to this?

Notice that Jeff Bliss and Sarah Palin appear to be reading their scripts from the same place, using the same lame extremist conservative think tank excuse to defend violence promoting political rhetoric, claiming that it is some part of our proud and independent American political heritage that goes back to our “Founding Fathers”.

Well, maybe that is so, but political assassinations are also part of our American heritage. But that is no reason or excuse to publicly promote that kind of stuff.

Of course these people have the right to promote violence and hatred, but citizens have the right to denounce it also.

Remember it was our Founding Fathers who chose the hopeful title of the “UNITED States of America” when it charted our nation’s future. Too bad so many misguided people seem intent on destroying that legacy, while promoting the same kind of divisive attitudes that spawned the Civil War and left millions of Americans dead.

Some off topic comments removed . ??? email

focus on the story more, other posters less, thank you.

LET ME EMPHASIZE EMAIL. Please complain via Email not in comments, trust me .

It is a sad fact that people like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, etc. are a necessary evil to counteract the socialistic brain washing and indoctrination that is preached daily to our children by school teachers and collage professors in our educational system.


How did our education system get hijacked by so many (not all mind you) people that hate America? When you think about it, that is where the hate speech started; but nobody seems to be pointing that out. Talk radio would have little purpose without the National Socialist movement of the left, liberals in general, and the MSM.


Where did YOU go to school, Choprzrul? I attended many years of public education in the United States and was not once taught to “hate America” and none of my teachers ever seemed to “hate America.”

Personally, I LOVE the United States and that fuels my passion for making comments on this forum.

What happened to YOU in school, Choprzrul, other than apparently slipping up when it came to lessons on critical thinking and logic. I say that because so much of what you post reads as absurdity.

Save our children from collage professors and “pedo-bear” and people who read above 8th grade level.

I kinda think WiseGuy would be in favor of throttling Freedom of Speech with “…cooling off periods and background checks…”. We can’t have people exercising their civil rights without government control. Big Brother needs to be in charge of the message. Alternative viewpoints have no place in The Great Society.

It must really sting to have the shooter be a LEFT wing nut job. Perhaps he was inspired by the president’s words from June of 2008 in Philly: “…“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun…”

Choprzrul, you “kinda think” WRONG. Wiseguy is most certainly NOT “in favor of throttling Freedom of Speech” and he doesn’t appreciate you putting misleading words in his mouth to make up for your lack of a coherent argument.

You would not win that bet hotdog:

Jared Loughner, Alleged Shooter in Gabrielle Giffords Attack, Described by Classmate as “Left-Wing Pothead”

Why the blame game? The last time a nut job pulled off something like this at F. Hood the media was all about not rushing to judgement. Some quotes from back then:

“The important thing is for everyone not to jump to conclusions,” said retired Gen. Wesley Clark on CNN the night of the shootings.

“We cannot jump to conclusions,” said CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell that same evening. “We have to make sure that we do not jump to any conclusions whatsoever.”

“I’m on Pentagon chat room,” said former CIA operative Robert Baer on CNN, also the night of the shooting. “Right now, there’s messages going back and forth, saying do not jump to the conclusion this had anything to do with Islam.”

The next day, President Obama underscored the rapidly-forming conventional wisdom when he told the country, “I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.” In the days that followed, CNN jouralists and guests repeatedly echoed the president’s remarks.

“We can’t jump to conclusions,” Army Gen. George Casey said on CNN November 8.

Mark Halperin urged a “transparent” investigation into the shootings “so the American people don’t jump to conclusions.”

Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra, then the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested that the Ft. Hood attack was terrorism, CNN’s John Roberts was quick to intervene. “Now, President Obama has asked people to be very cautious here and to not jump to conclusions,” Roberts said to Hoekstra. “By saying that you believe this is an act of terror, are you jumping to a conclusion?”

I wonder what the difference is?

One thing you ignore in all this is that those with huge public forums should have more restraint than

those of us ‘out here’. If you put up a website targeting certain congress people it wouldn’t matter much. If a national figure, talk radio hosts or other highly publicized entities spread such nonsense it is a completely different and serious thing.

I don’t remember all that restraint about the Ft Hood shooter, maybe it was about whether or not he acted alone or in concert with terrorists elements, and of course that would take some time to find out.

I am an individual with personal views, without any huge audience. I cannot be effectively criticized for my views since we all have views and my forum in small, only here. I might have lost the bet, but what is telling is no one was willing to take me up on it. Lot of nut job arm chair experts here that drop little bombs and then run off.

The facts are clear on my assertions. Listen in to the Congalton show today to get educated.

Here is the root cause: A June 2008 comment calling for bringing a gun to fight with “…“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun…”

Brought to you by your president. These types of violence against politicians have been happening for 1000’s of years. We can not prevent it. A dedicated nut job is going to find a way. The level of access at that event was such that an ice pick could have been used. I dearly wish the congresswoman would have had a security detail assigned to her and that her staff would have been trained and armed.

Then again, maybe it was talk radio that would incite the Romans to murder their leaders.