We are horrified to learn that Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head at close range today at a public event in Tuscon. There were 19 other victims of the attack, including members of Rep. Giffords’s staff. Five of the victims are reported to have died. Our prayers are with all of them and their families.
The crimes involved in this attack are sickening and heinous. An attack on our elected representatives is an attack on our system of government. Speaker Boehner’s statement says about all that can be said: “I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country.”
UPDATE: Fox News is reporting that Chief United States District Judge John Roll was also a victim of the attack today. NBC and Fox News now confirm that Judge Roll has died. How utterly heartbreaking.
SENATOR MCCAIN has posted a statement that captures my feelings: “I pray for Gabby and the other victims, and for the repose of the souls of the dead and comfort for their families. I beg our loving Creator to spare the lives of those who are still alive, heal them in body and spirit, and return them to their loved ones. Whoever did this; whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law.”
UPDATE (by Paul): Initially, some news outlets reported that Rep. Giffords was dead. But the latest report is that she’s expected to recover. However, a federal judge reportedly was killed in the attack, as was a nine-year-old girl.
Words cannot convey how monstrous this attack is.
MORE (by Paul): The shooter is said to be Jared Loughner. Not surprisingly, he’s written on the internet. Not surprisingly, his writings amount to senseless ranting, sometimes in the form of attempts at syllogisms. Not too surprisingly, Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto are among his favorite books.
In all likelihood, Loughner’s disjointed political musings will become the subject of intense analysis. I expect many on the left to attempt to link his anti-government raving to the Tea Party and/or to the “right” in general. Some on the right will describe him as an anarchist and perhaps point to evidence of his atheism.
The entire exercise is a fool’s errand at best. His writings are those of a nut. They barely merit being read, never mind analyzed.
Of more interest are reports that Loughner may not have acted alone. The belief systems of crackpots don’t matter. The extent to which they are banding together to commit crimes does.
JOHN adds: This Twitter feed by one Caitie Parker, who knew Loughner and says she once played in a band with him, is getting a lot of attention. She describes him as a lefty. This, apparently, is Loughner’s demented YouTube channel.
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