Gabrielle Giffords shot, Arizona Congresswoman

       

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How far will politics go?

Gabrielle Giffords Shot

Arizona Congresswoman

When hatred is voiced in political commentaries, we tend to brush it aside as politics or exaggerations. But can it also be dangerous? Rants against moderates and liberals by right-wing commentators and Tea Party favorites may have finally taken its toll. Congress- woman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head on January 8, 2011, with the bullet passing through her brain.

Gabrielle Giffords

Gabrielle Giffords shot

Gabrielle Giffords

Six others died in that hail of gunfire by a lone assailant. They were mourned on January 12 by friends, family and President Obama at a ceremony in Tucson, Arizona, the site of the tragedy. They are:

Christina Green       9 years old

Dorothy Morris        76

Judge John Roll       63

Phyllis Schneck        79

Dorwan Stoddard     76

Gabriel Zimmerman   30

Shooting could tame tough political rhetoric

by Richard Cowan (Reuters) Jan. 9, 2011

Protesters parade an altered photo of President Barack Obama sporting an Adolf Hitler-like mustache. A candidate for the Senate muses about gun "remedies" if election results don't go the right way. Members of Congress are spat on and taunted with racial epithets before casting votes for a healthcare reform bill.

Welcome to politics American-style.

For the past few years, some public officeholders and pundits have warned that the political rhetoric has gotten a little too overheated in a country known for its loose gun laws and history of presidential assassinations.

Now, in the aftermath of Saturday's Arizona shooting rampage that left a congresswoman in critical condition from a gunshot to the head, six people dead and 13 others wounded, some are saying it's time to reset the tone of America's political discourse.

6 Die in Tucson Rampage

by Kim Murphy and Seema Mehta (Los Angeles Times) Jan. 9, 2011

The shooting Saturday morning was so fast that there was barely time for people to scream before they fell, witnesses said. When it was over, six were dead and 12 were wounded, including Giffords, who was shot in the head.

The suspected gunman was identified by police as 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner. Police say the shooter may not have acted alone, and witnesses said he fired at close range with a semi- automatic pistol and was preparing to reload when two onlookers tackled him.

Mystery surrounds suspect

by Scott Craft and Mark Porubcansky (Los Angeles Times) Jan. 9, 2011

Did the suspect in the attack have a clear political agenda? Or is he a mentally unbalanced young man, perhaps spurred to action by what the sheriff called "the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths" in this country "about tearing down the government."

Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik said the suspect, whom law enforcement officials privately identified as Loughner, had "a troubled past" and had come to the attention of the police because of his behavior while a student at Pima County Community College. The sheriff did not specify the nature of that behavior.

"There's reason to believe that this individual may have a mental issue, and people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol," Dupnik said.

Gabrielle Giffords shooting fuels debate over rhetoric

by Susan Page and Fredreka Schouten (USA TODAY) Jan. 9, 2011

Has the nation's harsh political rhetoric become more than just talk to the point of being dangerous?

The attempted assassination of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she spoke with voters outside a grocery store in Tucson fueled a debate Sunday over whether the sharp partisanship and anti-government language that now mark American politics have created a climate that makes violence against public officials more likely.

As a moderate Democrat who barely won re-election in a state torn by disputes over immigration policy, economic angst and growing mistrust in the government, Giffords was familiar with today's increasingly nasty political rhetoric. Her opponent last fall accused her of betraying her district. Meanwhile, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's website posted a map with cross hairs on 20 Democrat-held congressional districts Palin was targeting for takeover by Republicans in the November elections. Giffords' was one of them.

Comments:

My prayers go with this brave woman, the six people who died so needlessly, and their families.

-- Linda R, Los Angeles

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"Blowin' in the Wind"

by Bob Dylan

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album

Bob Dylan -The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album

Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album

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