Today, Representative Gabby Giffords, a blue-dog Democrat, was shot outside a grocery store in Arizona. She was holding her first constituent meeting since her re-election in November. Police in Tuscon believe she was the intended target of the gunman, who is suspected of acting with an accomplice. There are 6 confirmed dead, including a federal judge and a 9 year-old girl who was born on 9/11/01. Giffords has been married since 2007 to astronaut Mark Kelly. Kelly is training to be the commander of the next space shuttle mission, slated for April, and her brother-in-law is currently serving aboard the International Space Station.
The suspected shooter has been named as 22-year-old Jared Loughner. Authorities said they believed Loughner had sent out a video saying that he expected Saturday to be his last day. He had written on his MySpace page several “final thoughts” before today’s Meet and Greet.
In spite of being shot in the head, Rep Giffords has come through surgery and is reportedly responding to commands. While still listed in critical condition, Giffords’ Dr. has said he is optimistic about her recovery.
Capitol Hill police sent emails to each Congressional member and their staff asking them to take precautions as needed. The attempted assassination of a federal official may change the long-standing tradition of holding open public meetings – and that would compound today’s tragedy even more.
Tags: Gabby Giffords