Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Tragedy Of Rep. Giffords - What Should We Learn?

As I write this blog entry information is pouring in from Tucson, AZ regarding what can only be described as a tragedy at this point.

CNN is reporting that up to 19 people have been killed or injured while meeting with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) at a supermarket in Tucson, AZ. Giffords had tweeted "My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now. Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later," just before the attack.

Staff members, constituents, children and possibly a federal judge were all caught in the deadly crossfire as the gunman began shooting into the crowd that had gathered to peacefully express their needs and wants to the congresswoman. This is a familiar scene in every district in the country as representatives and senators all meet with constituents as often as they can to ensure they are doing their duty to their constituents.

As news is delivered throughout the day, we must remember to cool our engines. Once we know that everyone is safe and what the true results of this crisis are, we must take time to have "lessons learned" and act accordingly. We must reflect on some of the inappropriate rhetoric from political leaders over the last years and take note of the warning signs and vandalism that took place leading up to this attack on Rep. Giffords. We must come together and act as one to ensure that this action stops here and is not repeated elsewhere.

We must keep the families & friends of those suffering in Tucson in our thoughts over this weekend. We will remember the service they gave and the lives they lived. We will remember to bring to bear the full weight of American people and the court of public opinion down upon those who have encouraged this behavior. We will bring to justice those responsible.

During these times of crisis, let's keep those injured or passing on in our thoughts. Let us bring those responsible for this tragedy to justice. Let us bring those who promoted this behavior to bear. In the end, let us remember to always continue a dialogue to prevent further violence.

UPDATE: 6 people shot & killed including a 9-year-old girl.

UPDATE: 13 people were wounded and 6 people perished in the attack including 9-year-old Christina Greene, 30-year-old Gifford aide Gabe Zimmerman, 76-year-old Dorthy Murray, 76-year-old Dorwin Stoddard, 79-year-old Phyllis Scheck and U.S. District Judge John Roll.

UPDATE: Suspect is Jared Lee Loughner, 22, from Tucson, AZ.

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