Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat from AZ-08, shot in Tucson

(Hope springs eternal. - promoted by Bob Neer)

Around 1:00 pm eastern time, a man rushed up to Gabrielle Giffords at a constituent meet and greet and opened fire, shooting her in the head at point blank range, and also shooting over 12 other people.  NPR is reporting she has died, but CNN says they’ve heard she’s still in surgery.

UPDATE: Rep. Giffords is apparently doing reasonably well, considering her injuries.  Sadly, it appears to be confirmed that a federal judge, John Roll, and a 9 year old girl were killed.  I find it very strange that major media outlets were reporting as “confirmed” that Rep. Giffords had died. -David

DailyKos has several diaries up with ongoing coverage:

Update:  I just heard on CNN that the congresswoman is alive and in surgery.

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69 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. All blessing to her and her family

    A tragedy for Arizona, and for American democracy.  There will be time to wonder why someone felt this was an appropriate way to disagree with a prominent Democrat, but for now the thing to do is hope (and pray, if you'd like) for the health and safety of Rep. Giffords and her staff.

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  2. ''Second Ammendment remedies'' indeed.

    • Those were exactly the first words...

      ... that came to mind when I heard the news from my wife.

      I hope we are all wrong. (But I know we are likely not.)

  3. Sick to my stomach.

    I hope that my (and everybody else's) first instincts are incorrect and that this is not a political killing.

    This weird feeling is identical to what I felt in 1995 when Tim McVeigh blew up the OKC Federal Building.

    I will reserve all the awful thoughts going through my head about what this might be about until we know more.

    Thoughts and prayers for all the victims.

    • Nah, massive mileage out of this one

      This will be in the news longer than Julian (who?) Assange. Watch for the push, the kick off, the "rollout" of guns are icky, "hate" crime legislation.  Sorry if this sounds crude but it is the new American norm these days.

  4. blame Sarah Palin

    You know, a terrible tragedy like this happens and I'm trying to wade through twitter to find some details and all it is is:  Sarah Palin did it.  A teabagger did it.  Here you guys are slightly more subtle but the message is clear:

    From the moment the shooting occurred you were sure that it was a right winger making a political terrorist attack.  From there add the racial angle, add the only-muslims-can-be-terrorists snark, add the anti-gun angle and above all stew in your disdain for people who disagree with your philosophy.

    If I immediately assumed it was a Muslim, would that work for you?  How bout an illegal immigrant?  And yet you don't see any of that - I mean even before some media reported the guy was white - it was just automatic.  Automatic stereotype for political gain.

    Yet when a Muslim shoots a bunch of people on a base in Texas, its practically a cover-up regarding his race, religion and motives.

    I don't get it.  I just don't get how people can think like you guys do.  An elected official is gunned down at a rally along with other innocent people including a child and its right to Palin and the tea party, right to politics, right to how can we gain.

    I'm horrified by the attack, and I'm disgusted by the liberals' reaction to the attack.

    • Shut up.

      Don't be an asshole. It's not the time.

    • Disgusting

      A dozen people get shot, and you and your ilk immediately try to play victim.  Are you in critical surgery at the moment in a hospital?  NO.  So shut it.

      Here's what you do -- you grow up and say "I'm sorry, and lost track of the important part of this story, and that is the lives of the twelve people who were shot in Arizona.  Those people are in my thoughts and prayers, and politics can wait until another day."

      Or, if you can't do that, at least try to pretend that we should all have read that into your pre-emptive attack on progressives such as the Congresswoman who was shot today in Tuscon.

      sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
      • do you feel the same

        about the supporting link in the original post?

        Here are the first 4 comments from the first dkos diary that is linked from THIS POST:

        Well done (16+ / 0-) We must hammer this, and hammer this, and hammer this.

        E pluribus unum.

        by Plubius on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 01:24:53 PM PST I just posted in another diary (5+ / 0-) as to how fast O'Sarah bin Palins list disappeared after the shooting.

        But I knew someone had it.....

        it tastes like burning...

        by eastvan on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 01:31:10 PM PST [ Parent ] The Bitch probably took it down to update it. (0+ / 0-) Sarah Palin has some explaining to do.

        Notice: This Comment © 2010 ROGNM

        by ROGNM on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 01:32:24 PM PST [ Parent ] too late (2+ / 0-) Her presidential bid is history.  

        E pluribus unum.

        by Plubius on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 01:32:41 PM PST [ Parent ]

        God damned hypocrites.  I'm not feeling victimized, I'm trying to tell you the same thing you think you are trying to tell me.

        • Like I said, pathetic.

          We are not Daily Kos.  You want to whine about what they say, go over there and do it.

        • Learn from JohnD

          Don't attack people here for what people are saying elsewhere.  At least pretend to feel some sympathy for Congresswoman Giffords and the other victims of this tragedy, rather than finding it a chance to beat your chest about how sad things are for Sarah Palin right now.

          sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
          • oh well

            I don't know why you can link supporting info and then claim no responsibility for it, but whatever.  Not important enough to keep arguing about.

            I said originally that I was horrified about the attack and I meant it.  I find it atrocious and extremely upsetting.  My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the victims.

            The rest of what you said is garbage.

            • $quot;The rest of what you said is garbage.$quot;

              Right back atcha.  I appreciate your second paragraph.

            • Bless your heart

              You really are quite the thing.  You get all hot and bothered over crap that has been posted at DK (and who doesn't, from time to time, including Democrats?) and then you want to hold everyone at BMG responsible.  I don't hold RMG responsible for the birther BS.  Or the tea party excesses.  I don't blame the death of that young boy at the gun show on RMG.  Oh, and I especially don't hold RMG responsible for that crackpot preacher from Westboro Baptist.    

              So here's a tip.  Take a deep breath, hike up your big boy pants and go over to Daily Kos and give them what for.  You'll likely get a verbal beating for it, but that's kind of what you're spoiling for anyway.  

              • Conservatives are tribal

                So to them anything said by at dKos is said by us and conversely.

                • Hysterically tribal!

                  I saw what DK did to Hillary Clinton in 2008, and it was revolting.  I don't go over there, as do most moderate Dems, because it's populated with very extreme thinkers.  There's no sense wasting my time.  But I do believe that if Demolisher's spoiling for a fight, he should take it over there.  They'll surely give it to him and it will keep him busy all day and night.  

    • You are pathetic.

    • Here's what we do know

      We do know that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was targeted — yes targeted — by Sarah Palin on her website:

      We do know that she, along with at least nine others, was shot at a political event in Tuscon.

      We know that a nine year old child was killed.

      Maybe you need to know more to conclude that Sarah Palin's website was an abomination and that her encouragement of violence has now borne its horrible fruit.

      What we already know is enough for me.

      • Those were surveyor's symbols, not rifle scope crosshairs

        Says Palin's camp:

        They also say that your attempt to call them crosshairs is obscene.

        • $quot;don't retreat, instead- RELOAD!$quot;

          that Palin tweeted is actually surveyor lingo that means love your fellow man, liberal, undocumented immigrant, pro-choice activist, union or public employee, recipient of government services, resident of Massachusetts, non-english speaker.

          Tea Party signs, "we came unarmed this time"  are also related to surveying and any attempt to connect Sarah Palin and the Tea Party to guns and violence is laughable.

          PS Any attempts to see a racist element is also ridiculous.

        • and also

          They're printer's registration marks.

          Regardless of what they are this is a tragedy. I'm not a terribly religious person but I said a prayer for the victims. It can't hurt.

      • For what its worth

        Kos also used the language that she was 'a valid target' and 'not worth a damn' because of her moderation on a few important issues. This is not to say Palin was incredibly stupid and insensitive to use that kind of language and the visual cue of the crosshais, but to say that our side has also engaged in that crude and vitriolic un-nuanced and overly personal brand of politics. Republicans have families and children too, as do moderate Democrats and others you disagree with. I for one was disgusted by the way Bart Stupak and his character was dragged through the mud, the death threats he got, the fact that his wife had to cancel their home phone and use privately listed cellphone numbers since pro-life and pro-choice extremists threatened them night and day, and most people here didn't seem to care. My point is you can argue Stupak or Giffords or any congressman or woman were wrong or right on certain issues, but at the end of the day it takes a tremendous personal toll on many of them to be in office, from the sounds of it Giffords and her husband have barely spent more than two weeks together since she was elected and he joined the astronaut corps, many of the freshmen in both parties are sleeping on cots in their offices while they work to transfer their families to DC. There are some bad and corrupt members on both sides, but I like to believe that most are sincere public servants who make tremendous personal sacrifices to be there. As the President once said, we can disagree without being disagreeable. And hopefully the talking heads and the 24 hour vortex of cable news that swallows up decency and civility will take a big break and a deep breath and we can have some respect and decorum again in our government.  

        • Guilty conscience

          I'm pretty sure that the language used by Kos is still up and available on the web. We know that Sarah Palin closed her site and removed the material in question almost immediately.

          Even Sarah Palin knows her guilt. The difference between Kos and Ms. Palin is obvious to anyone who looks.

          Sarah Palin has the blood of a child on her hands.

          • Hardly...

            ... worth a 0 JohnD.  Disagree, but it's a valid opinion.  If you don't think it's a valid point, then it's arguable (4) or worthless (3) not 'delete comment' (0).

            • Perhaps John can comment ...

              I wonder which part of my comment he would delete, and why.

              Did Ms. Palin close her site and remove the map? Yes.

              Is there some reason, other than guilt, that motivated that removal? Perhaps an attempt at self-preservation.

              Does she have the blood of a child on her hands? I think so. Perhaps John disagrees.

              It looks to me as though John is profoundly uncomfortable with right wing extremists being held accountable for their words and acts. So much so that John would remove comments like mine.

              The "0" is curious, though.

              • Sorry for the ZERO Tom...

                I overreacted to this quote...

                Sarah Palin has the blood of a child on her hands.

                I don't think Palin has the blood of this child or any other person on her hands. She is amember of the opposition and has said some 'strong" words for sure. The use of "targets" has been used by Palin, as well as many others. But you might say Palin used the target on Congresswoman Giffords. Well, so did MarKos over at KOS. In June 2008, he was picking the Democrats which he believed the party should "target" to have primaries against. He listed all the ones running for reelection and bolded the targeted ones. His words...

                And while people like me will focus on the task at hand this year, it won't be long after Election Day that we'll start looking at the 2010 map, looking for those great primary challengers.

                Who to primary? Well, I'd argue that we can narrow the target list by looking at those Democrats who sold out the Constitution last week. I've bolded members of the Blue Dogs for added emphasis.

                Gillibrand, Kirsten (NY-20)

                Not all of these people will get or even deserve primaries, but this vote certainly puts a bulls eye on their district.

                He used the words "target" and "bulls eye on their district" when referring to Giffords (and any other Blue Dog.

                Does Markos have blood on his hands? I don't think so.

                Again, sorry for the ZERO but I felt it was wrong to use the expression as you did and I would feel that way about anyone using it on such an "indirect" and "distant" link. You want to say the Parole Board has the Woburn Police Officer's blood on their hands... with such a strong link between their granting a parole to a murderer and then the guy murders again... I still wouldn't say it.

          • The right wing has been stuffing lots of things down the memory hole

            The Patriot Shop just took down their "Liberal Hunting License" bumperstickers page this afternoon.  I wonder why?  I mean, they've got nothing to be ashamed of, right?

            Hate is never having to say you're sorry.  

            • started under Reagan

              I trace it to The Gipper blathering about "Blame-America-First Liberals." At that time, a car on my street in JP sprouted a "Liberals: an American Cancer" bumper sticker.

              • It started before Reagan

                Spiro Agnew talked about "Pointy-headed intellectuals" and "nittering nabobs of negativism" in the bitter 1972 campaign.

                Let's not forget the angry mobs of "hard hats", encouraged by Mr. Agnew and Mr. Nixon, beating the bejejus out of anybody they didn't like the looks of.

                Let's not forget the Kent State and Jackson State massacres, quickly covered up by the authorities of the day.

                Let's not forget the KKK and its violence.

                Political violence in America has had a pronounced rightward tilt for at least fifty years. Authorities in America have had a pronounced tendency to cover up that violence.

                We prefer to call our terrorists "disturbed" and "isolated". We prefer to pretend that are just solo crazies, so that we can perpetuate the fiction of American "tolerance".

                The right wing propensity for violence has a long history. We've given them permission to crawl out from under their rocks more recently, and they've been encouraged by hate-mongers like Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Beck, Mr. O'Reilly, Ms. Kaufman, Ms. Palin, Ms. Coulter, and all the rest of their sorry ilk.

                It's simply hilarious that these thugs now yell about how they had nothing whatsoever to do with the tragedy in Tucson, while simultaneously scrubbing their scum from the web just as fast as they can.

        • Do you have a cite...

          ... for Stupak getting death threats from lefties?  You sort of need those cites to make a 'both sides' case of Stupak.

    • How dare you.

      From Sarah Palin's website:

      Uploaded with

      We live in a country where extremist right-wingers have been allowed to run wild and it finally caught up with them. Sarah Palin could be the one tempering these forces, but she incites. You could have chosen to be classy and said, "I hope she turns out all right." You could have shut up about it. But, no, you wanted to stake out the claim that there was nothing to see here, folks, just move along. We know better; our country is being torn about by the the tea-jadists and we're not going to take it anymore.

      This is a tragedy of mass proportions and we should all keep the victims of this domestic terrorist attack in our thoughts and prayers, but this event didn't happen in a vacuum -- and shame on anyone who would suggest otherwise.  

    • Not the right time for this point

      I actually get that one should be very reluctant to jump on explanations for events that conform with one's ideology absent factual justification. And it's true, I haven't seen anything that proves the murderer was a conservative. So, yes, yes, we don't know. Point granted.

      On the other hand, I suspect conservatives like you just do not pick up on the eliminationist rhetoric that has become louder and more insistent on the right. That's something a number of liberal groups have kept an eye on and it's alarming. It is at a different level from any sort of eliminationist rhetoric from our side of the spectrum. Just remember the reports from the Secret Service about threats against Obama.

      So it is not at all unexpected for liberals to jump to the conclusion that this was done by someone who took Glenn Beck too seriously. Relative to that, I think your position on the Iraq War bears remembering. You jumped to the conclusion that it was necessary and persisted with it for years.

      So I don't think you live up to your own standards here.

      Are you perhaps disgusted with yourself?

  5. Congresswoman Giffords seems to be doing well so we can all take a breadth.

    But this is a tragedy and I hope we can come together and pray for all the others who were injured or killed.

    This is so wrong and we need to know what happened and who was responsible. Very sad!

  6. Update from trauma surgeon

    Dr. Peter Rhee, head of the trauma unit of University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, has announced that Gabrielle Giffords is out of surgery and that he is "optimistic".

    We also know that a nine year old child was killed. I have five children. I can't begin to express my feelings about a culture where a nine year old is killed while seeing her Representative at a neighborhood shopping mall.

    This is another black day for America.

  7. Why don't we wait?

    For goodness sakes, why don't we wait until we learn more about the shooter and what may have motivated him? Cart's ahead of the horse in this thread. I'm sure information will be coming out soon.

    • Why do we care?

      Do we really care what motivated Tim McVeigh? Mark David Chapman? Lee Harvey Oswald?

      I know all I need to know about those who, like Sarah Palin, encourage terrorism, murder, and violence against those who disagree with them.

      My heart and sympathies go out to the families of those who were murdered this afternoon, and to those victims who have survived.

      I think we've waited long enough.

      • random target vs. political / hate

        Yes, we do care. There's a big difference (perhaps not to the victims and families but in terms of possible deadly extremism) if it was a) an angry, deranged person who wanted to kill lots of people and get headlines and found a public event at which to do it, or b) a extremist hater who targeted this congressperson and her supporters for political reasons.

        • But for the rest of the country

          This crosses a line, though. It makes assassination seem more palatable, more likely, less unusual. It makes the country more dangerous.

          That's true even if the shooter came straight from the loony bin and never watched Fox News ever.

        • No matter what, if semiautomatic

          Weapons were illegal, this would have been much harder. Anytime anyone is shot in the US it's a political act because the prevalence of guns is political.  

        • It's a political act no matter what

          Attempted murder of a public official doing her job is an inherently political act. Discussing the political context is entirely appropriate right now.

      • Never waste ANY crisis, eh?

      • Measured response

        I do not think for a second Palin, for all I dislike and despise about her ideology, is encouraging terrorism, murder, and violence. She said some really stupid things and was insensitive in her partisan rhetoric, but she never directly called for violence. Obviously others like Bachmann and Angle also used inflammatory language, but so have liberals like Kos and Bill Ayers. My point is that our side should strive to be the more politically mature and one that responds to critics and those we disagree with in a tactful and measured way, one that focuses on the issues and leaves the personal lives on the candidates out of it. That should be the goal. Palin is just a symptom of a bigger and broader problem of civility, objectivity, and measured responses being removed from our political discourse. Instead of fighting fire with water, the left has fought it with fire putting up our own demagogues and 24 hour propaganda networks and using extremist language. I think one of the great strengths of Obama vs Bush or Palin was his cool, calm, measured, and nuanced approach to governing, one that has completely failed him in the 24 hour news cycle and one that obviously has failed to rile up the base precisely because he doesn't believe in riling anyone up but prefers negotiation and discussion to inflammatory rhetoric. Hopefully this incident will give leaders on both sides, and especially the various demagogues out there, pause to consider their actions and choose words carefully in the future.  

        • Bill Ayers?

          Myself, I wouldn't characterize Bill Ayers as a liberal, nor would I imply that he is on "our side".  The right certainly tries to lump us together with Ayers, but I believe that Ayers' history of espousing violence, for which he has never apologized, excludes him from the political mainstream.

    • Thank you

      There's plenty of time to investigate motive and consider what caused this to happen.  Why don't need to start pointing figures before the victims are even buried.  Who knows what caused this guy to do it?  We'll find out soon enough.

      The desire to immediately figure out who to attack is one of the worst traits of the mainstream media, and one I'd rather not see adopted here.

      sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  8. Jesus, Mary and Joseph...!

    Can some of us just focus on the element of human tragedy here?  Why is it necessary to put up the force-field and demonize Liberals?  Politics be damned right now...people are dead and hundreds of lives will be changed forever because of a mass-murdering lunatic, and it could have been any one of us...or our kids...  

  9. Our frayed nerves


    It is an indication of the febrile, volatile nature of politics in America that, immediately the news broke, the internet was alive with anger, a dispute between the left and the right --Mark Mardell, BBC North America editor
    • Embarassing

      And this is how other cultures are now viewing our political culture, one that was once an example to the world of how to govern in a mature, democratic fashion and one that was literally and directly molded after by several countries around the world copying the declaration and the constitution, and now it is viewed with a mixture of mockery and horror at how backward it can be. My girlfriend said the single biggest reason her parents left the Philippines, and the single biggest reason she doesn't want to return, is that, in spite of being a nominal democracy, violence permeates through every aspect of life over there and it is almost always politically directed. There are several insurgencies not to mention long standing feuds between rival families that mirror mafia wars instead of political rivalries, particularly when it comes to the body count. I pray to God that this chilling episode does not lead to the militarization of our politics and the use of violence and intimidation. We have had far too much of that in our own history during the Civil War and Reconstruction and the Civil Rights era, let us not repeat it. I had a teacher in Cambridge once respond to a students quip that we should assasinate Bush to stop the war by saying "Cheney is the real guy you need to go after". Comparing Bush to Hitler, calling him a war criminal, are all elements of extreme rhetoric on our side. Equating a pro-life politician with the Taliban is as dishonest and disgusting as calling a pro-choice politician a baby killer. The Rally to Restore Sanity made a great point I thought, that this rhetoric needs to be toned down, and sadly it will take a tragedy like this instead of a unifying event like that to actually bring the point home.

  10. details coming in

    Didn't take long. The shooter has incoherent, anti-government rants on the internet. Hard to tell is he is against liberals or Marxism or socialism or fascism - first reports are a mish-mash. I'm sure it will crystalize into a portrait soon. By the way, it turns out Congresswoman Giffords is Jewish. Not that it necessarily means anything.

  11. Words have meaning

    We don't actually know the motives of the killer, but we know who he is, and we can assume his motives were political.

    There is no doubt that inciting to violence is not reserved solely for conservatives, but there has certainly been an alarming trend over the last two years.

    David Frum noticed the change in language just months into Obama's presidency. (Note the report about a previous gun found at a Giffords event.)

    Media Matters noted the shift in FoxNews rhetoric, as well as the aforementioned Sarah Palin "reload" comment.

    Krugman writes how the right wing media espouses "conspiracy theories and apocalyptic rhetoric."

    Spitting on Congressmen, and slurs, what is the logical conclusion? What did anyone expect the result would be?

    Apparently the Boston Tea Party believes "Your odds are greater of being mauled at the zoo than becoming a victim of right wing violence."


    My prayers go out to Giffords and to the families of those who were killed. This is a senseless and horrible tragedy. We all hope that this doesn't turn out to be what we all suspect it is. It would be so much easier for us all to just move on as if nothing happened, if this is just a crazy nut who lost it. Even in the worst case scenario, he's still a nut who lost it, but why did he lose it?

    We all suspect there's something more. We need to take a serious look at our rhetoric. Yes, I happen to think the right wing rhetoric has become a part of the problem. Conservatives have attempted to equate various Democratic statements to the Conservative rhetoric, but seriously, it's not even in the same area code.  

    • The $quot;Boston Tea Party$quot;...

      ...apparently has no shame and no clue.  You would think this would be the one local tea party group to have a modicum of appreciation for the historical context of their name.  Do they realize that the colonists who boarded the three ships on the night of 12/16/1773 were under strict orders NOT to be violent, not to harm any crew members, not to vandalize the ships, and not to steal or damage any cargo other than the tea?  I'm guessing probably not.

      • Confused

        The revolution was fairly violent though was it not? I agree with your point that the Boston Tea Party should be less dismissive of the valid concerns that right wing violence can breed, and perhaps have bred in this instance, but your idea that the original patriots were non-violent civil disobedient protesters seems muted by the fact that they tarred and feathered the Governor and eventually fought a war that killed, by percentage of population, more Americans than any other fought before or since?

        • I was refering to a very specific event.

          War only started when pretty much all else had been exhausted.  Of course the one course the Americans didn't have was the vote, something else modern tea party wannabees forget when they claim disgust at a form of taxation that fortunately comes WITH representation.

          • My Canadian friends have a different perspective

            They view the American revolutionaries as thugs. They point out that they now enjoy the same (or more) freedoms as Americans, and they did not fight a revolution.

            I generally remind them that they received those freedoms after the Americans won their revolution. Nevertheless, their reminder is worth considering.

            • Well

              In theory they don't have those freedoms. Betty could suspend their government at any time, their Governour General is practically a dictator on paper, their Senate is still appointed and even less democratic than ours, they have a state religion, and they do not have a bill of rights. Trudeau was able to widely suspend civil rights to respond to the Quebec Crisis of 1968. Also provinces are free to leave the dominion whenever they want, so their union is a lot weaker.  

              • Keep up with the times

                In 1982, the Constitution Act gave Canada it's full independence, as well as a Charter of Rights.  Their continued participation in the Commonwealth of Nations and use of a Governor-General is completely voluntary.  So Her Majesty (Please use her proper name or title.) cannot become dictator of Canada.  The Senate doesn't throw out Commons legislation, and only Quebec has the right of secession.

                • Lol fair enough

                  Sounds like 1982 came along time after 1776, not to mention one of their provinces can secede, and on paper the Governor General can dismiss a government and a PM and appoint a new one. I understand their Senate is more useless than ours, but it is still unelected. And attempts to move them in a right direction have largely failed due to anti-American sentiment. Smaller provinces are denied equal representation in Parliament and the Western, French, and Atlantic provinces have constantly complained of Ontarian domination. Just saying theirs is not a perfect system or nearly as good as our imperfect one.  

            • They had no interest in joining us at the time...

              ...despite specific encouragement from the Articles of Confederation.  I would say that American independence ultimately influenced Canada's, ultimately indirectly.

              • I said the same

                But, nevertheless, they did not participate in the violent rebellion against England. They do (like most citizens of the UK) enjoy freedoms similar to ours.

                I'm just saying that there are, in fact, other perspectives on the American revolution than the ones we are taught in our public schools.

                • Indeed

                  This reminds me of a visit I made to Fort Niagara several years back.  The fort is on the Canadian side of the Niagara River and was active during the War of 1812.  Though I knew the history it still struck me on two levels.  First the whole idea that Canada and the US were ever at war, and second the idea that we were the enemy.

  12. Terrible news

    My prayers go to Representative Giffords and the families of those who were killed in this senseless act of violence. One thing for certain in this is that guns suck!

    Sincerely, Wayne Wilson Roslindale

  13. Sheriff seems solid

    Watching live presser with Pima Country Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. He seems like a decent, compassionate and competent guy, and expressed his heartfelt frustration with the rancid tenor of public debate in this country along with specifics of the crime and investigation. Quite a contrast with "Arpaio the Hun" of Maricopa County.

    • The contrast struck me as well

      An elected official calling his own state "a Mecca of intolerance and bigotry" has a lot of frustration and/or willingness to speak truth to power.

      Mind, Arizona only really turned into this pool of hatred when Jan Brewer took over.  Her statement left me cold.

      sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
      • Brewer just got re-elected.

        Someone's voting for her.

        • Certainly

          But I don't remember hearing all this targeting of non-whites before that.  Suddenly there isn't a crazy idea (letting people die to balance a budget, trying to re-write the Constitution through state law) that isn't too discriminatory or scurrilous.  Her re-election, I think, signaled to the crazies of Arizona that they could perceive themselves as in the majority.  Society might not endorse assassination, vandalism, and other means of violence, but too many people within it were sending the signal that they would be tolerated, or at least "understood".

          sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
          • Yes and no

            I think there is definitely a rise in extremist language and violent language associated with the Tea Party and the right wing, particularly the fact that a lot of them are white and less educated and seem to be concerned that the President is somehow less 'American' than they are (hmm wonder how he looks different from the rest of the Presidents?). And the near nullifying effect of the Arizona law along with talk of secession and arming against 'big government' is certainly also a contributing factor. But to argue that a whole state and its political culture is bigoted and produces violence seems a bit extreme as well. Obviously the same district that elected a fairly sensible person like Giffords also ended up re-electing a moron like Brewer. It seems that the best way to avoid this kind of violence in the future is to create a culture of civic respect and tolerance, and we should be the ones to set an example and not to paint with wide brushes or engage in generalizations either.  

  14. Unacceptable

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