US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona Shot

Once again the tragedy of gun violence is in the news as US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is shot in the head in Tucson, Arizona as she was talking to people outside a Safeway Store. CBS News just announced that 19 people were wounded in the incident.  6 are dead including a Federal Judge and a child.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona

Quoting from the Telegraph:

Miss Giffords had been named in March as a political campaign target for conservatives in November’s elections by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin for her strong support for the health reforms of President Barack Obama.

Mrs Palin had published a “target map” on her website using images of gun sights to identify 20 House Democrats, including Miss Giffords, for backing the new health care law.

The congresswoman, who is Jewish, is a gun-owner and supporter of the right to bear arms. She was also a strong advocate of abortion rights. She won re-election to her third term in Congress last year, beating off a challenge for a Republican candidate endorsed by the Tea Party.

The Huffington Post:

Giffords was listed in critical condition–the bullet went straight through her brain–but the hospital said her outlook was “optimistic” and that she was responding to commands from doctors. The hospital said a 9-year-old child was among the killed, and a U.S. Marshal said a federal judge was also fatally shot in the attack.

Giffords spokesman C.J. Karamargin said an unspecified number of her staff members were injured in the shooting. Congressional officials said an aide to the Democrat was killed.

Police say the shooter was in custody, and was identified by people familiar with the investigation as Jared Lee Loughner, 22. Pima County Sheriff’s officials said he used a pistol to carry out the shooting spree.

The Huffington Post has continual updates on the developing story.

In our own way let’s keep these latest victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

2011—Let’s strive to improve our communities and work to reduce violent crime, especially gun violence. Our planet has seen enough violence.

G. D. Williams       © 2011

Update: November 8, 2012

Standing strong: Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly leave after speaking at the sentencing of Jared Loughner in court in Tucson, Arizona on Thursday afternoon. The Daily Mail

Jared Lee Loughner, 24, was then ordered to serve seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years in federal prison for the January 2011 shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Giffords, outside a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz.

Loughner pleaded guilty under an agreement that guarantees he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. He avoids a federal death sentence, and local prosecutors said Thursday they would not seek state charges.

One by one, survivors of the attack at a Giffords political event approached the courtroom podium to address Loughner, each turning toward him where he sat stoic and emotionless at a table with his attorneys.

Victims: The six people killed at the Tucson shopping mall included (from top left) Christina Taylor Green, 9, Dorothy Morris, 76, John Roll, 63, Phyllis Schneck, 79, Dorwin Stoddard, 76, and Gabe Zimmerman, 30.