Arizona shooting: Latest developments
A makeshift memorial outside U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' District Office.
January 10th, 2011
08:21 PM ET

Arizona shooting: Latest developments

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Six people were killed and 14 others wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, when a gunman opened fire in front of a Safeway supermarket in Tucson, Arizona, authorities said. The congresswoman had been hosting a meeting with constituents Saturday morning when the attack began.

Here are the latest developments as confirmed by CNN:

[Updated at 8:19 p.m.] President Barack Obama will travel to Tucson on Wednesday, and likely will attend a memorial service and visit with the relatives of the shooting victims, many of whom he already has spoken to by phone, two senior administration officials tell CNN.

[Updated at 4:33 p.m.] Suspect Jared Lee Loughner has made a 15-minute initial appearance in a federal court in Phoenix. A judge asked Loughner whether he understood the charges - attempted assassination of a member of Congress; two counts of murder for the deaths of Judge John Roll and Gabriel Zimmerman; and two counts of attempted murder. Loughner replied that he understood.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 24.

[Updated at 2:23 p.m.] Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, sent an email the night before she was shot at an event in Tucson calling for a more civil tone in politics.

Giffords offered congratulations to Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a Republican, after he was named Director of Harvard University's Institute of Politics on Friday.

"After you get settled, I would love to talk about what we can do to promote centrism and moderation," Giffords wrote in the email, provided to CNN by Grayson. "I am one of only 12 Dems left in a GOP district (the only woman) and think that we need to figure out how to tone our rhetoric and partisanship down."

[Updated at 12:43 p.m.] Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro weighed in on the Arizona mass shooting that killed six and injured 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in a column distributed Monday.

[Updated at 12:15 p.m.] Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remains in critical condition but her condition has stabilized, doctors at Tucson's University Medical Center indicated Monday.

"We're not out of the woods yet" but are optimistic about her prospects of recovery, said Dr. Michael Lemole, chief of neurosurgery.

[Updated at 12:03 p.m.] Two patients from Saturday's shooting have been discharged and only two remain in intensive care, the chief of the department of surgery at Tucson's University Medical Center announced Monday.

Eight patients remain at Tucson's University Medical Center, Chief of Emergency Medicine Peter Rhee announced Monday. Five are in serious condition, two are in good condition, and one is in critical condition, Rhee said.

[Updated at 11:01 a.m.] President Barack Obama led the nation in a moment of silence Monday for victims of the weekend massacre in Tucson, Arizona.

[Updated at 9:47 a.m.] Judge John Roll,  one of the victims in the Arizona shooting, will leave behind a legacy as a man who put excellent attention into every component of his life, his former clerk spoke told CNN's T.J. Holmes.

[Updated at 9:15 a.m.] Dr. Steven Rayle, helped hold the Arizona gunman down and Patricia Maisch, grabbed the magazine cartridge after suspect Jared Lee Loughner allegedly opened fire in a Safeway in Tuscon, Arizona.

"You just react," Maisch told CNN about approaching the gunman. "You just do it."

[Updated at 9:01 a.m.] The University Medical Center in Tucson is expected to give an updated diagnosis on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords condition later Monday morning after she was shot in the head.

Chief of neurosurgery at the hospital, Dr. Michael Lemole, told CNN that Rep. Giffords is 'holding her own' and that no change in her condition is a good thing.

[Updated at 8:49 a.m.] Ben McGahee, Jared Lee Loughner's former teacher at Pima Community College told CNN he believed suspect Jared Lee Loughner was a troubled man and that he was "scared of what he could do.'

[Updated at 8:34 a.m.] While the motivation for Saturday's attack in Tucson, Arizona are still unclear, a concern in Washington and in the nation at large is whether or not the current political rhetoric has gotten out of control.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz warns that while "we cannot allow incidences like this intimidate" we still must remember that "words matter."

[Updated at 8:00 a.m.] Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, whose department is working on the case, said they have evidence showing Jared Lee Loughner "specifically targeted the congresswoman."

[Updated at 7:40 a.m.] Arizona State Representative Steve Farley talked to CNN about Gabrielle Giffords and her family who he described as remaining 'strong' and 'optimistic.'

[Updated 4:50 a.m.] Astronaut Mark Kelly, Giffords' husband, released his first public statement since the weekend shooting rampage outside an Arizona supermarket that left his wife critically injured. He thanked supporters, expressed
condolences to families of other victims and suggested that well-wishers make donations to Tucson's Community Food Bank and the American Red Cross. "Many of you have offered help. There is little that we can do but pray for those who are struggling," he said.

[Updated Monday at 2:12 a.m.] Suspect Jared Lee Loughner is scheduled to make an initial appearance before a federal magistrate in Phoenix, Arizona, Monday at 2 p.m. (4 p.m. ET),  prosecutors said.

[Updated 9:45 p.m.] Suspect Jared Lee Loughner tried to buy ammunition at a Wal-Mart a few weeks back but was turned down because of his behavior, a law enforcement source said. He then successfully bought it at a different Wal-Mart, according to the source.

[Updated 9:16 p.m.] A woman credited with wrestling an ammunition magazine from the suspect says she didn't have time to think about what she was doing. "(The suspect) pulled the magazine out of his pants pocket and it dropped onto the sidewalk. And before he could reach it, I got it," Patricia Maisch said.

[Updated 7:49 p.m.] Suspect Jared Lee Loughner was rejected by the Army for military service after failing a drug test in 2008, according to an administration official.

[Updated 7:43 p.m.] The U.S. Supreme Court says it will observe the moment of silence that President Barack Obama called for at 11 a.m. ET Monday. To accommodate this, the court will convene 10 minutes early, at 9:50 a.m. ET, so that the day's first argument before the court will be completed by 11 a.m.

[Updated 7:36 p.m.] House Democrats and Republicans participated in a rare bipartisan conference call Sunday to discuss the condition of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as well as security concerns for members of Congress.

[Updated 6:33 p.m.] According to a federal agent's affidavit, U.S. District Judge John Roll, who was killed in the shooting, came to the Tucson from Phoenix to discuss the volume of federal cases in Arizona with Giffords.

[Updated 6:28 p.m.] The FBI has confirmed that investigators have found, questioned and cleared a man they had sought as a "person of interest" after the killings. The man was cab driver who dropped suspect Jared Lee Loughner off at the Safeway where Giffords' "Congress on Your Corner" event was being held, a law enforcement official previously said.

[Updated 6:24 p.m.] Veteran federal public defender Judy Clarke, who has experience in several high-profile cases including those of "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski and convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, was appointed to defend suspect Jared Lee Loughner, a federal judicial source said.

[Updated 6:01 p.m.] Calls to 911 following Saturday's shooting - released Sunday by the Pima County Sheriff's Office - paint a patchy picture of the scene.

[Updated 4:56 p.m.] Investigators found papers bearing the words "my assassination" and "Giffords" in a safe in the home of shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner, according to a complaint filed against him in federal court.

[Updated 3:56 p.m.] U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is the only person wounded in Saturday's shooting who is still in critical condition, doctors at University Medical Center in Tucson said. Three are in serious condition, six are in fair condition, and one has been released, they said.

– Officers of the Arizona Anti-Defamation League issued a statement condemning the attack: "During her years in the statehouse, Rep. Giffords served on the ADL Arizona Regional Board. Her affiliation with ADL, which monitors and exposes hate and extremist groups, contributed to her awareness of the nexus between hate ideology and violence. It is a testament to her dedication to her constituents that despite past threats against her, Rep. Giffords has always been so accessible to the people she represents.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and the other victims and their families."

[Updated 3:33 p.m.] Investigators have identified and ruled out the "person of interest" they were seeking in connection with the shooting, a law enforcement official said Sunday.

[Updated 3:30 p.m.] Federal authorities have charged Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old suspect in Saturday's Arizona massacre, with first-degree murder, attempted murder and attempting to kill a member of Congress, according to court documents. Read the charges here.

[Updated at 3:25 p.m.] President Barack Obama called for a moment of silence to be held at 11 a.m. ET Monday and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff.

"I call on Americans to observe a moment of silence to honor the innocent victims of the senseless tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, including those still fighting for their lives," the president said in a news release. "It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart."

[Updated at 2:21 p.m. ET] Law enforcement investigators were speaking with a second person in the Arizona  Safeway shootings case, a law enforcement official told CNN. It is not clear whether this individual is the same person police had sought via the release of a surveillance image from overnight. It is also unknown at this time what connection this individual may have to the investigation.

[Updated at 1:38 p.m. ET] A dark-haired man seen in a picture distributed by authorities apparently "may not have been involved at all, but we still need to verify that," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said Sunday.

[Updated at 1:18 p.m. ET] Precautions are in place to ensure the security of public officials after the shooting of an Arizona congresswoman, although authorities are aware of no specific threat against them, FBI Director Robert Mueller told reporters Sunday.

[Updated at 1:12 p.m. ET] The suspect in the Saturday shootings of 20 people at a Tucson, Arizona, grocery store is in federal custody, FBI Director Robert Mueller told reporters. Formal charges are expected against Jared Lee Loughner Sunday afternoon, he said.

[Updated at 12:13 p.m. ET] U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona is "able to communicate" with people, and the gunshot wound she sustained Saturday did not cross from one hemisphere of the brain to the other, doctors at Tucson's University Medical Center said Sunday.

[Updated at 12:00 p.m. ET] President Obama spoke by phone late Saturday to Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically injured in a mass shooting, a senior White House official said. The official told CNN that Obama "expressed his deep concern and full support" for the family in the wake of the tragedy.

[Updated at 8:49 a.m. ET] House Speaker John Boehner has asked that flags on the House side of the Capitol be flown at half-staff in the wake of the shooting in Arizona, marking the death of Gabe Zimmerman, who was Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' director of community outreach.  "An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve," Boehner said Sunday.  "Such acts of violence have no place in our society. These tragic events remind us that all of us, in our roles in service to our fellow citizens, comes with a risk. This inhuman act should not and will not deter us from our calling to represent our constituents and to fulfill our oaths of office. No act, no matter how heinous, must be allowed to stop us from our duty," Boehner said.

Authorities executed search warrants late Saturday night on a car and a residence where suspect Jared Lee Loughner  lived with his parents, a law enforcement source said.

The law enforcement source said that Loughner's parents appeared to be cooperating with authorities, but the source did not know to what extent.

Loughner, however, was still not cooperating. He had earlier invoked his right against self-incrimination.

The sheriff's office said early Sunday that the correct name of one of the victims who died in the shooting is Dorothy Morris.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department is expected to hold another news conference at 11 a.m. Sunday (1 p.m. ET).

The University Medical Center in Tucson will offer a patient condition update at 10 a.m. Sunday (12 p.m. ET).

As of 3:45 a.m. Sunday, Giffords remained in critical condition, said Darci Slaten, spokeswoman for the medical center. Of the nine other shooting victims taken to that hospital, four others were in critical condition and five were in serious condition.

Early Sunday morning, the sheriff's office released a surveillance camera photo of a male between 40 and 50 years old who is "possibly associated with the suspect." The dark-haired man was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark blue jacket, and was seen at the location where the shooting occurred.

– At 2 p.m. Sunday, a caucus conference call has been scheduled for House Democrats and their spouses to get an update on the shooting, two congressional sources said.

– At 8:30 a.m., Speaker of the House John Boehner will address the media in West Chester, Ohio, about the shooting.

THE INCIDENT

Congresswoman Giffords was taking part in a meet-and-greet with constituents called "Congress on Your Corner" outside a Safeway grocery store in Tucson.

Before the event, she 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."

The attack happened about 10 minutes into the event.

Giffords did not have any security with her, said staffer Mark Kimble. "She wants to be as accessible to the people who elected her as possible," he said.

Dr. Steven Rayle was about 10 feet away from Giffords when the gunman shot the congresswoman. "He continued to fire, sort of rapidly, really at point-blank range," he said, adding that the man was shooting indiscriminately.

The suspect was tackled to the ground by two men while he was trying to reload, another witness said.

The gun, which another bystander had wrestled from the gunman, was empty and cocked open. Federal and state law enforcement sources described it as a 9mm Glock outfitted with an extended magazine.

The shooter had another magazine at the ready, according to Joe Zamudio, who said he was one of the bystanders who pinned the gunman to the ground until police showed up.

Hearing the shooting, Daniel Hernandez, a trained nurse and a Giffords intern, rushed to see what happened and used his medical training to "apply pressure to the wound and keep her active and alert," said Arizona state Rep. Steve Farley. Hernandez was Farley's former campaign manager.

THE INVESTIGATION

Officials have not stated a motive for the shooting. The suspect was not talking and had invoked his right against self-incrimination, said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

At the direction of President Barack Obama, FBI Director Robert Mueller was headed to Arizona to help coordinate the investigation. The FBI is working jointly with local law enforcement. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona said it has about a dozen people working on the investigation.

The suspect was in federal custody early Sunday morning, said Jason Ogan, spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff's Department. As such, the suspect will not face a first appearance in court Sunday, Ogan said.

Authorities released a photo of a male between 40 and 50 years old who is "possibly associated with the suspect." The dark-haired man was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark blue jacket, and was seen at the location where the shooting occurred.

Authorities did not know whether the person they sought actually had any connection with Jared Lee Loughner, a law enforcement source told CNN. Authorities have a piece of evidence that indicates this second individual was in close proximity to the store, the source said, but declined to elaborate.

That source also said authorities were seeking search warrants for a residence and for a vehicle in connection with the suspect in custody.

A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said the Glock used in the shootings was purchased legally, but did not have the details when or where it was bought. The extended magazine used in the shooting was likely purchased separately and at a different time, the source said. The official said such a magazine does not automatically come with a weapons purchase and it would be extremely rare for them to be sold together in one purchase.

THE CONGRESSWOMAN

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 40, was shot in the head and underwent surgery Saturday. Doctors were optimistic of her chances of surviving. "I'm about as optimistic as it can get in this situation," Dr. Peter Rhee of the University Medical Center said Saturday afternoon. He said the next 24 hours will be key for determining the extent of her recovery.

First elected in 2006, Giffords is serving her third term in Congress.

She narrowly beat Tea Party-backed Republican Jesse Kelly in the November midterm elections, garnering 49% to the latter's 47% of the votes.

Known as a "Blue Dog," or moderate, Democrat, Giffords was a key swing vote in last year's health care reform debate. She didn't make up her mind to vote for the legislation until the final days before the ultimate passing vote.

She is married to NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, a Navy captain who is scheduled to fly the April space shuttle mission to the international space station. She is the only U.S. representative with an active duty military spouse, according to her website.

She has no children but is stepmother to Kelly's two children, said Sylvia Lee, president of Pima County Community College in Tucson.

She had received threats in the past, Lee said. A glass panel at her Tucson office was shattered the day after the health care reform vote last year. Staffers suspected someone shot a pellet gun at the glass. At a town hall meeting, a gun fell out of a constituent's pocket. But Giffords' press secretary, C.J. Karamargin, said he was unaware of any recent threats against Giffords.

She generally voted with her party, but voted against the auto bailout bill and was one of 19 Democrats to vote against former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's bid to become the Democrats' minority leader after the midterm elections returned Republicans to power in the House.

She holds a master's degree in regional planning from Cornell University and a B.A. from Scripps College, where she was awarded a William Fulbright Scholarship to study for a year in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Before embarking on a political career, she worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers and served as chief executive officer and president of El Campo Tire, her family's business.

She then served in the Arizona Legislature from 2000 to 2005, where she was the youngest woman elected to the Arizona state Senate.

THE SUSPECTED GUNMAN

The suspect in the shooting is Jared Lee Loughner, a 22-year-old former community college student, according to an Arizona law enforcement source and a U.S. law enforcement source.

He railed against government "mind control" and illiteracy in online missives and had "kind of a troubled past," said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

He also had brushes with the law, the sheriff said without elaborating. "We understand that there have been law enforcement contacts with the individual where he made threats." Court records indicate he had been arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in 2007, but the charge was dismissed.

Loughner dropped out of high school in 2006, after his junior year, said Tamara Crawley, a spokeswoman for the Marana United School District in suburban Tucson.

In 2008, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Army. The Army rejected him, and privacy laws keep the military from disclosing the reason, the service said in a statement to CNN.

He enrolled at Aztec Middle College, a partnership between Tucson schools and Pima Community College that helps high school dropouts transition to community colleges, the community college President Sylvia Lee told CNN.

He took classes at the college from 2005 until October 2010, but withdrew after five contacts with police "for classroom and library disruptions" at two campuses between February and September, the school said.

Loughner was suspended after authorities found a YouTube video in which he called the school "illegal according to the U.S. Constitution, and makes other claims," a college statement said. He quit during an October 4 meeting with his parents and school administrators, and a follow-up letter warned that to return, he had to present a doctor's note stating that "his presence at the College does not present a danger to himself or others."

– On his YouTube page, a list of his favorite books included both Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' "The Communist Manifesto," along with works by George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Ken Kesey, Herman Hesse, Ernest Hemingway, Plato and Aesop's fables.

"Good-bye friends," read a Saturday morning posting on Loughner's MySpace page, just hours before the shooting. "Dear friends ... Please don't be mad at me. The literacy rate is below 5%. I haven't talked to one person who is literate."

A December 30 posting read, "Dear Reader ... I'm searching. Today! With every concern, my shot is now ready for aim. The hunt, a mighty thought of mine."

Online, Loughner complained about the "second Constitution," a term legal scholars sometimes use to describe the post-Civil War amendments that ended slavery, extended the right to vote and required equal protection under the law. Its meaning to Loughner could not be clearly discerned.

In an apparent reference to Giffords' congressional district, he wrote in a December 15 video message on YouTube: "The majority of people, who reside in District-8 are illiterate - hilarious."

In the same message he wrote: "If I define terrorist then a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon. I define terrorist."

THE OTHER VICTIMS

In addition to the 12 people wounded in the shooting, the following six were killed:

John Roll, 63. A native of Pennsylvania, Roll was a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona who had served the legal system for nearly 40 years. He began his career as a bailiff in Pima County Superior Court and rose to be chief judge for the District of Arizona, a position he held since 2006.

He received death threats two years ago after he ruled that a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit filed by illegal immigrants against a rancher in the state could proceed. He had been assigned to hear the ethnic studies ban case out of Tucson that involves a new law banning certain ethnic studies programs in public schools, according to the lead attorney on the case, Richard Martinez. Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts called Roll's death a tragic loss.

Christina Taylor Greene, 9. She was born on September 11, 2001, according to CNN affiliate KVOA. Family members described her as "excited" about the political process, and said the desire to learn more about it had motivated her to go to the Gifford event, the affiliate said. Christina had just been elected to the student council at her school, the Arizona Republic reported. She died at a hospital, and not at the scene like the other five.

Gabe Zimmerman, 30. A Tucson native who was engaged to be married, Zimmerman was the director of community outreach for the congresswoman.

Dorwin Stoddard, 76. Dory, as his family calls him, was a retired construction worker, said Pastor Mike Nowak at Mount Avenue Church of Christ in Tucson. Witnesses told CNN that Stoddard tried to shield his wife, Mavy, was shot in the head and fell on her. The wife was shot three times in her legs; the bullets were removed and she is expected to make a full recovery.

Dorothy Morris, 76

Phyllis Scheck, 79

THE REACTION

Following the shootings, all legislation on the House schedule for the coming week was postponed, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said. The decision was made by leaders of both parties and means the House will not vote next week on the repeal of health care reform.

Although U.S. Capitol Police said there was no evidence of a broader threat involving federal officials, it has advised other members of Congress to take "reasonable and prudent precautions regarding their personal safety and security." The House sergeant at arms also said "it is essential" that lawmakers contact local police to register their home and office addresses.

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said his department had secured the homes and offices of some unnamed federal officials as a "precautionary measure."

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said an incident like this could have a chilling effect on the frequent weekend listening sessions that many members of Congress have with their constituents.

– In Tucson, supporters gathered outside the University Medical Center, keeping vigil as family members waited with wounded loved ones inside. On the other side of the country, dozens of marchers braved subfreezing temperatures and gusty winds to gather on Capitol Hill for a candlelight vigil Saturday night.

QUOTES

President Barack Obama: "We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society."

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer: "I am just heartbroken. Gabby is more than just a colleague, she is my friend. She has always been a noble public servant."

John Roberts, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, on the death of one of the victims, Judge U.S. District Judge John Roll: "Chief Judge Roll's death is a somber reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it."

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "Congresswoman Giffords is a brilliant and courageous member of Congress, bringing to Washington the views of a new generation of national leaders. It is especially tragic that she was attacked as she was meeting with her constituents whom she serves with such dedication and distinction."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio: "An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society."

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona: "I am horrified by the violent attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and many other innocent people by a wicked person who has no sense of justice or compassion.  ... Whoever did this, whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law."

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: "There is no place in our society or discourse for such senseless and unconscionable acts of violence."

THE RHETORIC

Officials have not stated a motive for the shooting.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik used a nationally televised press conference to condemn the tone of political discourse in his state. He charged that public debate is now "vitriolic rhetoric," which has rendered Arizona "the mecca for prejudice and bigotry." Dupnik suggested that such rhetoric can have deadly consequences.

Last March, Giffords raised concerns about inflammatory rhetoric after her office was vandalized, and she cited how her name appeared on a website titled "Take back the 20" as part of a list originally issued by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in March 2010 against vulnerable House Democrats.

The list, which named 20 House members who voted for health care reform, showed crosshairs over the contested Democratic districts.

At the time, Giffords responded to the map by saying on MSNBC that her long-serving colleagues had "never seen anything like it." "The thing is, the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district," Giffords said in March. "When people do that, they've got to realize there's consequences to that action."

A day after Giffords voted in favor of health care reform, a glass panel at her Tucson office was shattered.

At a town hall meeting, a gun fell out of a constituent's pocket.

Giffords' press secretary, C.J. Karamargin, said he was unaware of any recent threats against Giffords.



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Filed under: Abortion • Arizona • Courts • Crime • Gabrielle Giffords • Justice • Security • U.S.
soundoff (747 Responses)
  1. A. R. Davidson

    Just pay attention to the rhetoric on both sides of the political (idealogical) fence being spewed in this room. Sad to say, but in recent memory the only time America works together is when we're hit with a tragedy so overwhelming that we finally, belatedly come to our senses. Even in the face of of many dead and wounded, there are so few words on this page that express sympathy for the families. My prayers and condolences to those who perished, my hope for recovery for those that still live. May God save the rest of you idiots who can't get past politics.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sparky101

      Ahhhh Mr. Davidson, you were doing fine until you decided to call everyone else "idiots." It is exactly that type of invective that serves to divide. So, go say your prayers (most of us "idiots" began praying many hours ago, but perhaps don't wish to be perceived as "tooting our own horn," unlike you.

      January 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. R. Davidson

      Yeah, I know it may have been construed as being judgmental-guilty as charged. It was also tongue-in-cheek, however. So many have used this forum to promote or refute gun control, liberalism or conservatism, dem or repub. Truth is, we're all guilty of something, but the stink of self-righteousness and hypocrisy are just so strong i couldn't resist. Sorry if I offended.

      January 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. R. Davidson

      Sparky, after re-reading your post I think something needs to be clarified: I did not refer to "everyone" as idiots, only those who could not get past politics. My previous replies, however, still apply.

      January 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sparky101

      Mr. Davidson, I don't know why my previous entry, accepting your apology, did not post. Probably operator error. Thanks for your apology. I do understand what you were saying,. and I agree (except for the name-calling). It's easy to get frustrated with people, and that frustration makes it hard to show them respect. I see that you do respect them, and I must apologize for perhaps being a little harsh myself.

      January 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. R. Davidson

      Apologies and good will accepted.

      January 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tony

    MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION:
    If a person shows up to a political rally, carrying a sign that states "I AM UNARMED, THIS TIME", are they A)crazy nut killer in the works or B)tea party enthusiast ?

    January 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • uisignorant

      Still as stupid as the last 10 posts...

      January 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sparky101

      Tony, I think you have a point. Why would anyone go downtown D.C. with a sign announcing they were unarmed?

      January 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ghostcobra14

      Again Black Panther Party!

      January 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. boocat

    I don'r know why everyone is making this political. The kid is a head case with a gun regardless of who he shot.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      It would be true, if not for the recent right wing exitement of armed violence like:

      "I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us 'having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,' and the people - we the people - are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country."
      ~Michele Bachmann

      "I hope that's not where we're going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out."
      ~Sharon Angle

      "Our nation was founded on violence. The option is on the table. I don't think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms."
      ~Tea Party-backed Texas GOP congressional candidate Stephen Broden

      "I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. ... No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out."
      ~Glenn Beck, May 17, 2005

      "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
      ~Ann Coulter

      "Obama's got a health care logo that's right out of Adolf Hitler's playbook ... Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate."
      ~Rush Limbaugh, Aug. 6, 2009

      "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
      ~Pat Robertson

      "We need to execute people like (John Walker Lindh) in order to physically intimidate liberals."
      ~Ann Coulter

      "I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country."
      ~Rep. Virginia Foxx

      "He has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity."
      ~Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), on President Obama

      January 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. R. Davidson

      Tony, did you mean "incitement"?

      January 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      yes I did...sorry

      January 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sparky101

      And Tony, one must wonder why you are so selective in memory that you did not quote your president proclaimng it's better to bring a gun to a fight? There are so many examples that I must assume your post is agenda driven and political.

      January 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ryan Kwait

    During the "Moment of Silence" in Washington, the sound of camera shutters could be constantly heard in the background. You call this a moment of silence???
    At least NASA, has the respect and decency to observe a true "Moment of Silence".

    January 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • uisignorant

      Why would the liberal media remain quiet? They scoff at the idea of God.

      January 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. WhereCreditIsDue

    Chris – exactly

    January 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. palintwit

    We arrive in rusty 1964 motorhomes.
    We bring our bibles and loaded assault weapons.
    We wear ridiculous hats and dangle teabags from our earlobes.
    We carry misspelled racist signs and stomp on the White House lawn.
    We are the 'real' Americans. We are christians.
    We love the baby Jesus more than anybody.
    We believe the earth is flat...ignorance is bliss.
    We are the birthers and baggers.
    We are the Palin lovers. We are proud to be morons.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • windycreek

      I arrive in an Escalade, I left my bible in church, my guns at home, my ancestors were patriots and yes they dumped tea into the harbor, my sign was mis-spelled- intentionally, no-one arrested and we picked up the trash, Don't care were Obama was born–he doesn't love my country therefor isn't american, I don't love Palin, could care less if the pres is black or white repub or dem...I am proud to be an unhyphenated american...and yes you are a TWIT!!

      January 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      ...and "I am with Snake" is your bumper sticker, right? Lol...

      January 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ghostcobra14

      If their signs were spelled properly with all punctuations in the right spots, but still said the same thing, that is, had the same meaning in the end... would it be better? or worse?

      January 10, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      @ghostcobra14...It would indicate that particular teabagger probably ' dun grajeeated da 6th grade.'

      January 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Honcho

      The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category.

      January 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. seth

    I hear alot of people asking how this guy got a gun and i just have to point out the fact that he didnt have anything legally that would prevent him from aquiring a gun but even if he did it still wouldnt keep him from getting one to begin with. people are just going to get them illegally. people are just going to have to come to terms with the fact that the only way to get rid of guns would be for them to never to have been invented. thats not going to happen. the best defence against someone with a gun is to have one yourself. why werent there ARMED security personel protecting miss gifford?

    January 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      ...classmates from high school? How many years ago? Next excuse please, this one is ass-inine.

      January 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. A. R. Davidson

    One other thing: We talk about the political rhetoric of those who promote hate, bigotry, intolerance, etc. and their influence on the marginal. Take a look at a set of political ads from the last election cycle and tell me how many candidates were able to conduct campaigns that did not vilify their opponents. It comes from both sides, people!

    We've become a nation that lives for drama and the less-tasteful side of people (e.g. "reality" TV, which glorifies conflict and flat-out slimy behavior). Get ready for more incidents like this-after all, the mindset has been promoted in our society for years now, and now the mindset is bearing fruit......just not the kind of fruit we want to acknowledge.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      It is just a matter of time, in my opinion. We will see more deranged right wingers "leaving their mark".

      January 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Going John Galt

      @ Tony....are you forgetting the part where the shooter was a registered Democrat whose own classmates described him as a left wing pothead? Your rhetoric about this shooting being the result of a right wing nut gone crazy is as irresponsible as some of the quotes from the right that you lament and just as dangerous. Until you stop your own rhetoric, you are hypocritical and should not be taken seriously.

      January 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      ....classmates from high school? How many years ago? Next excuse please, this one is ass-inine.

      January 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. R. Davidson

      How about the registered democrat part of Galt's post? I don't think registering with a political party is a passive act, so our attempts to put this guy in a neatly-labeled box are looking hazier all the time......

      January 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      yes....and I am still a registered Republican, believe it or not....but I do not re-list ....just because

      January 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • David C

      My brilliant friend, Tony. If you're referring to the friend from high school, this is someone who was from his close inner-circle just three years ago. People don't flip from radical liberal to radical conservative in three years.

      The only "ass-inine" thing about his thread is your jaw-dropping ignorance.

      January 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. WhereCreditIsDue

    Michelle MALKIN? Oh yeah, SHE'S credible

    January 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      I did not know she was into scatology...Is she THAT desperate now?

      January 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joel Weymouth

    Tony is a paranoid nut who has no life- sitting in his parents basement looking at the computer terminal all day. Finding conspiracy in the meals that his mother brings him.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Actually....make it an office at a Fortune 100 headquarters. Not everyone is like you.

      January 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • uisignorant

      @Tony,
      That is what all little boys say while they are sitting in their underwear in mommy's basement.

      January 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • David C

      Another disinformation campaign from Tony. He now claims that he's been hammering away at his computer all day from the office of a Fortune 500 company. The only way I buy that is if he's in the janitorial office after a long day of cleaning toilets.

      January 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • David C

      EXCUSE ME!!! I must correct my mistake. Tony is in his luxury penthouse office for a FORTUNE 100 company. My bad, Tony. Sorry.

      January 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Going John Galt

    @ Tony

    How about this one from Obama in October 2010:

    "If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, "We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us," if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder, and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2."

    “Enemies” is such a pleasant...tolerant word.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Is this all you got? Lol

      January 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Going John Galt

      No, but that IS all you asked for. Address the quote...appropriate or not?

      January 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      So we got "enemies"......vs. enticement to armed revolt.....threats of leaving for Canada vs. threats of physical violence...I am not sure this is helping your cause, 'cuz.

      January 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Going John Galt

      Obama on the campaign trail in June 2008:

      “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl.”

      How about this "cuz" or do you plan on simply ignoring this one also? Just doesn't fit in with what your selling here today, does it?

      January 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Thanks for admitting that the shoe fits! I too, agree!

      January 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Going John Galt

      @ Tony....WHAT?

      January 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      I know. Holler when you catch up with it.

      January 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Going John Galt

      I'm "hollering" because I think you wandered off the trail to take a quick "smoke" break. Anyone else smell leaves burning?

      January 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      I do! The Reicht-Wing in on fire! And you are carrying the water for them.

      January 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sparky101

      Going John Galt "No, but that IS all you asked for. Address the quote...appropriate or not?" Crickets. So, John, do you get the impression you've been trying to talk sensibly to an unarmed individual? He's a troll, and you waste your time trying to share intelligent discourse with him. As he's shown, he does not deserve your patience.

      January 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • HS

      Obama was encouraging them to VOTE, for heaven's sake! Unlike Tea Partiers who have said, repeatedly ... If ballots don't work, then try bullets. Look up what Giffords opponent said in the election, and congressional races in Florida and Utah. Using the word "enemies" is strong but not a call for violence. As I said, Obama was inspiring them to be citizens and V-O-T-E not kill.

      January 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • David C

      @Tony

      "Catching up with you" would equate to either dropping acid or having a full lobotomy.

      January 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sparky101

      HS, and you know for certain your shooter understood that?

      January 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Edward

    THE LANGUAGE of political discourse matters. It is a measure of the acuteness of divisions in society, a mirror to the nature of its politics and it helps shape the climate in which debate occurs. It sets the confines of a discussion and, implicitly, whether intended or not, the limits of the acceptable.
    Ultimately, in the minds of the alienated and disturbed, the dangerous hyperbole and inflammatory rhetoric of populist demagogues may give legitimacy to acts like the outrageous attack on Saturday in Tucson on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The rhetoric that has taken hold in US politics, local Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has rightly observed, “may be free speech, but it’s not without consequences”.
    The question is whether Saturday’s shootings turn out to be a wakeup call to America and mark the beginning of the end of this culture, or simply a sad milestone on the continuing descent into poisonous intolerance.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Thank yoy, a well reasoned post!

      January 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sparky101

      Edward, while what you say "Ultimately, in the minds of the alienated and disturbed, the dangerous hyperbole and inflammatory rhetoric of populist demagogues may give legitimacy to acts like the outrageous attack on Saturday in Tucson.." may or may not be true, do you have any clinical evidence that the Arizona shooter was influenced by dialog from the right (or the left for that matter)?

      January 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fatcat

    you know china, russia,iran,n. korea and all the the US haters are sitting back loving all this. Watching the people of this country self destruct. That includes those who lead or influence this country. all groups of gonmrnment, all parties, special interest groups need to step back and reevaluate how they push their own beliefs onto the people of this country. why you should vote their way, why those people are wrong and we are right. Our current government needs to shed its big brother image and start letting the people make dicisions on what is right or wrong for them. And the most important thing is START LEADING BY EXAMPLE. It is pathetic how they take shots at each other constantly. I hope they learn from this but something tell me it will ba alot of talk and no action because why? They will disagree on what to do and fight about it. And what is sad is they are so far past the point of return there is no changing them. And Tea party people take a look at what your posturing has bred. Theres away to go about it. And as much as i agree with some of the things you bring to the table, you serve it the wrong way.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. WhereCreditIsDue

    Make a deal with you teabaggers...you stop murdering people and we'll stop talkking about trying Bush and Cheney for war crimes

    January 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      I'd still try Bush and Cheney.

      January 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Going John Galt

      Did I miss something? Who did the Tea Party murder?

      January 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • David C

      @WhereCreditIsDue:

      Get a clue, clueless,

      Here are some tweets collected from Twitter regarding WHO the shooter is and his background. This girl has been interviewed by Good Morning America and other media outlets. Her story is legit. So here are some direct quotes from Caitie Parker on Twitter who went to high school, college and was in a rock band with Jared Loughner:

      - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

      "I went to high school, college, & was in a band with the gunman. This tragedy has just turned to horrific."

      "As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy."

      "He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in '07, asked her a question & he told me she was "stupid & unintelligent'"

      "he was a pot head & into rock like Hendrix,The Doors, Anti-Flag. I haven't seen him in person since '07 in a sign language class"

      "we listened to political punk in high school & agreed with their leftist opinions for the most part Anti-Flag was our band."

      "well for the Bush/Kerry election we all wore "1 term president" buttons. That election was HUGE to us."

      "I'm merely stating how I remembered an old friend as he was when I saw him last, 3 years ago. I've make that clear."

      "The guy I knew 3 years ago isn't the evil he became today."

      "I haven't seen him in 3 years, but the guy I knew was a polar opposite of the evil he became today."

      "I never said anything about him being a Tea Partier, check your facts."

      - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

      I would find it hard to believe that such a committed and radical Leftist would swing 180 degrees to become a Tea Partier and/or a Sarah Palin follower in only 3 years. As an aside, Jared Loughner is an admitted atheist and lists The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf among his favorite books. Not exactly Tea Party material.

      January 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jimmy

    This is what arizona Republican breed, with hatred for human life in immigrants and politican foes

    January 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Like their sheriff saif, it is mecca of hatred and bigotry. Go Jan Brewer!

      January 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • David C

      Bullcrap!

      January 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
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