Murder Tragedy in Arizona–Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Shot

A murderer in Tucson Arizona shot 19 people, and killed 5. One of the people shot in the head was U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. At the time of this writing she is alive.

U.S. Federal Judge John Roll was killed.

Like all of you, I am in a state of shock trying to make sense of the absolutely senseless.

The only thing we need to do right now is send as much love and many prayers to all of the families.

We don’t know why this occurred, and any theorizing without facts would be irresponsible and compound the tragedy.

For those who want to talk on the left about health care and tea parties, and for those on the right wanting to talk about illegal immigration, NOW IS NOT THE TIME.

This post will be updated as facts come in.

We live in a free society, and for all we know Congress could go on permanent lockdown.

The way we act and react could determine our society in the years to come.

Again, just love and pray for the families.

Call your loved ones and remind them again that you love them.


12:50pm (All times PST): The Pima County Sheriff’s office is reporting that the shooter was a 22 year old male named Jared Laughner who had been in trouble with the law before one time for something “very minor.”

1:02pm: Hospital press conference says Congresswoman Giffords is expected to live. However, the one deceased in the tragedy was a small child, about 9 years old.

1:15pm: Fox News: Shepherd Smith confirms that the suspect is Caucasian. He may have written about his frustration with illegal immigrants.

1:17pm: MSNBC: Congresswoman Giffords won her most recent election by less than 1%. It was the last race to be called. She was one of 19 Democrat not to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. She is a former Republican turned Democrat who was seen as pro-gun and pro-business.

1:18pm: Fox News: Brett Baier reports that Congresswoman Giffords defeated a tea party candidate by less than 4,000 votes.

1:27pm: NBC: NFL Playoffs about to start, and the football analysts are all talking football and smiling as the Seahawks face the Saints. Not a single word is being said about the Congresswoman. This is not a judgment, only an observation. Network executives have decisions to make, and the NBC decision is business as usual.

I personally would delay the start of the game a few minutes so the president can speak to everyone.

1:34pm: Fox News: Shepherd Smith: The shooter’s favorite readings are the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. He also wants a return to the gold standard.

1:35pm: NFL kickoff…game starts, no mention of the tragedy.

1:46pm: President Obama speaks to the nation as the football game continues uninterrupted. Mr. Obama says “Gabby Gifford was a friend of mine.” She is still alive, and he meant to say “is.” He spoke for 3 minutes.

(This is not a criticism, just an observation about the pressure of speaking after tragedies such as this.)

1:59pm: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer spoke to the nation. She fought back tears and said, “I am heartbroken.” She ordered the Arizona flags to be flown at half-staff. Governor Brewer took questions. She also used the word “was” a couple times and then corrected herself saying “she was…and is…a great public servant.”

Governor Brewer confirmed that President Obama called her and was gracious, non-partisan, and tht he promised to offer the full cooperation of the Federal Government, and that the FBI will be leading the investigation.

2:20pm: A statement by John Boehner read that “an attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve.”

2:22pm: Haris Faulkner reports that Congresswoman Giffords did have her office smashed a few hours after the health care law was passed. Iwas John Boehner who said “This is not the American way.” No evidence has surfaced that health care has played any role in this tragedy, although other political issues seem to be at play.

2:26pm: The shooter may be an atheist. Again, no evidence suggests that theology or rejection of theology has played a role in the shooting.

2:32pm: It seems yesterday Bill Hemmer of Fox News interviewed Congresswoman Giffords. It was a friendly interview, as Giffords was proposing a 5% reduction in all congressional salaries.

2:40pm: MSNBC as expected poisons the tragedy and exploits it by blaming Sarah Palin. She put out a campaign ad “targeting” members of Congress for defeat including Giffords. I wonder why MSNBC will not admit what Fox News reported, that the shooter was reading the Communist Manifesto. MSNBC is still attributing this shooting to health care. If there really was right-wing hate in this country, MSNBC executives would not be alive to report anything.

(I am not advocating violence, just making a point at how phony and destructive MSNBC is to our society.)

2:44pm: Nancy Pelosi speaks to the nation. Fox News covers the remarks. MSNBC does not. She asks for a moment of silence, and asks a young girl’s chorus to sing. Ms. Pelosi’s remarks were non-partisan.

2:51pm: Congresswoman Giffords was against the Arizona immigration law SB 1070 but also against the White House lawsuit against Arizona. The Daily Kos attacked her for this.

2:52pm: Fox News has reported that Congresswoman Gifford is Jewish. She is the first Jewish Congresswoman in the history of Arizona. As reported earlier, the shooter was reading Mein Kampf. There could be a Jewish angle.

(My personal editorial as a Jewish guy: Just flipping great! Just what we need, another attack on a Jewish person. I hope there is no Jewish angle.)

Something odd on Wikipedia confirms that she is pro-gun, supporting the Supreme Court for striking down the DC gun ban. Yet the NRA rates her D+ and the GOA rates her D-. This seems incongruent.

Wikipedia confirms that she is Jewish, and that she spent time in Houston helping with Hurricane Katrina relief.

3:11pm: NBC: The Seahawks lead the Saints 24-20 at halftime and the network is not saying a single thing about the Arizona tragedy. I love football, but this is unsettling.

(I have 4 tvs in my living room, normally for NFL Sundays. Today one of them is on Fox News, one on MSNBC, and one on NBC for the game. CNN is getting shafted currently.)

3:13pm: NBC is giving a report on pee-wee football in the Tiny Football League. I kid you not.

3:14pm: NBC, Bob Costas interviews Peyton Manning.

3:23pm: NBC, second half kickoff. No mention of AZ tragedy.

3:32pm: Fox News: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement on the death of Judge Roll, stating the “importance of the rule of law” and “the sacrifices involved” with preserving the law. Judge Andrew Napolitano referred to Judge Roll as a “quiet conservative Republican…fairly non-controversial.” Judge Napolitano speculated that Judge Roll was most likely not the target, but that it was unusual for him to be there.

This matters because if Judge Roll was the target, Federal jurisdiction applies and the shooter could face the death penalty. All eyes would be on Eric Holder. If Judge Roll was an accidental victim and not the target, Arizona has jurisdiction.

I apologize for reporting cold clinical facts at this time, but whether the FBO or the Pima County Sheriff’s office is in charge has wide ramifications.

3:37pm–While Fox News has Cindy McCain sharing warm words about Congresswoman Giffords, MSNBC is focusing on the tea party in a clip from last March. Giffords mentions Palin in the clip.

3:42pm–MSNBC–Bob Schieffer continued to harp on Palin. For the record, Palin offered heartfelt condolences.

3:43pm: Fox News–Cindy McCain apologizes for accidentally using “was” instead of “is” regarding the Congresswoman. As previously stated, nerves are frayed and people are in shock. Not helping matters is that earlier reports incorrectly had the Congresswoman as deceased. She is alive.

4pm: MSNBC: Ed Schults interviewed Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Elliot Engel of Arizona and New York respectively. They all bemoaned the demonization of political opponents as enemies for merely disagreeing. They piously spoke of raising the tone and increasing civility. This was the same network that less than an hour earlier was blaming the tea party and Sarah Palin.  I don’t need to be told by MSNBC to be civil. They need to tell themselves.

4:39pm: MSNBC: For some reason Al Sharpton was interviewed. He said we should all look inward to see if we contribute to the climate of violence. Al Sharpton called Jews “diamond merchants,” and was directly responsible for stoking the climate of fear that led to blacks murdering Jews in Crown Heights. I don’t need to look inward. Al Sharpton does. This is who MSNBC gets to lecture us.

5pm: It was reported that John Boehner and Eric Cantor are suspending all legislative sessions for the coming week to deal with this tragedy. A suspicious package was found by Ms. Giffords’s office.

5:02pm: NBC: The Seahawks shocked the Saints 41-36. The Jets were at the Colts, and there was no mention of the tragedy.

5:14pm: The Pima County Sheriff said that “Arizona is becoming the Mecca for hatred, prejudice, and bigotry.” Radio and tv were blamed as well. For some reason Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto were still being overlooked.

It is perfectly reasonable to be horrified and empathetic for the victims while simultaneously angered at the phony calls for unity that run directly concurrent with blaming conservatives in thinly veiled and occasiona covert references.

5:20pm: A second suspect is actively being pursued. Judge Roll was just there to say hello. He was not the target. Congresswoman Giffords was.

5:32pm: The Pima County Sheriff again blamed the “vitriol” of certain Americans in radio and tv for the tragedy. I doubt he considered MSNBC the problem. I mean it’s not like they are exploiting the tragedy for political gain. Oh wait, yes they did.

5:46pm: Despite there being zero evidence that this was in any way connected to talk radio, Keith Olbermann and his guest continued suggesting that we all need to calm down. Olbermann then brought up Sarah Palin. He then disclosed that he donated money to Congresswoman Giffords in the most recent election. There was no discussion if any leftist publications such as the Communist Manifesto played a role.

5:54pm: Olbermann rapidly read the shooter’s reading list, skimming quickly before returning to Sarah Palin as a concern.

5:56pm: The “expert” guest pointed out that the shooter was reading Ayn Rand, which was the most serious clue. The Communist Manifesto was ignored. The “Radical Right” was mentioned. The left was not. This is MSNBC people.

5:59pm: The “expert,” Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, blamed the disturbed kid who flew a plane into a building in Italy several years ago as a product of the Radical Right, although there was zero link. Olbermann mentioned threats against Democrats in Congress but not Republicans such as Eric Cantor.

6:16pm: MSNBC: Olbermann mentions to Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post about the 1970s murders of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk. Olbermann mentioned that Milk was gay but left out that the murderer was a leftist. Robinson brought up Sarah Palin.

6:18pm: Robinson said that in today’s society that “incontrovertibly violence comes from the right.” No, it comes from the left, the same way it has always come. Robinson said that Bill Ayers was once relevant. He still is.

For those wondering why I am watching such garbage as MSNBC, it is because hate speech must be monitored. MSNBC is hate speech, and I watch so you don’t have to.

Keith Olbermann and Eugene Robinson talked about better angels. We should all look in the mirror. There were no mirrors around at MSNBC headquarters. We should all reflect, unless employed by MSNBC.

6:26pm: Robinson posits that maybe the Judge was the target. That was ruled out earlier by the Sheriff. People should not be allowed on tv until they have their facts together. That is how people erroneously get declared deceased. Olbermann said that MSNBC would continue to discuss the political factors even though no evidence existed that there were any. This is MSNBC.

6:46pm: Olbermann declared that “the violent rhetoric must end.” Let’s see how many minutes it takes for Olbermann to violate that pledge. Also, let’s see if a shred of evidence that the “rhetoric” had anything to do with the tragedy. The shooter isn’t talking. I understand Olbermann needs to fill up air time, but his accusations contribute to very poisonous climate he pretends to want to reduce.

6:49pm: “We need to put the guns down. We need to put the gun metaphors away.” No Mr. Olbermann. We need to protect the Second Amendment because without it, there is no First Amendment. I am even willing to defend your right to speak, even as you try to eliminate mine.

6:51pm: Olbermann kept fawning over the remarks by the Pima County Sheriff. They were powerful, but that does not make them meaningful or relevant. Olbermann criticized Palin and said she must be repudiated. For those keeping track, Olbermann needed 5 minutes to break his word. Olbermann then attacked Colonel Allen West, Sharron Angle, and tea party members. He then compared Glenn Beck to the shooter and blamed Bill O’Reilly as well. Olbermann could not think of a single person on the left.

He referred to leftist violence as “inadvertant” and “mild.” He apologized for a comment about Hillary Clinton, not for the years of hate speech against Republicans. He said that if “even somebody like him” could use violent rhetoric, then the “truly deranged” must be stopped. Olbermann is the truly deranged, as he began babbling about pro-slavery supporters.

Olbermann said the bad people should be shunned. I agree. May Olbermann’s ratings continue to plummet. He apologized for anything he “inadvertantly” said to promote violence, but let’s see how quickly he breaks that promise.

Anyway, Keith Olbermann being on tv tells me there is no more news to report at this time.

8:05pm: NBC: One last update: The Jets stunned the Colts 17-16 on the final play as NBC goes the whole day without mentioning the tragedy. Both football games were phenomenal. NBC’s coverage was still awful.

Anyway, tonight is my birthday party and tomorrow my actual birthday. I genuinely care about the victims, but have no interest in liberal sanctimony from hateful leftist commentators transferring their own viciousness onto those they hate.

May God bless the victims in heaven and their families on Earth.


5 Responses to “Murder Tragedy in Arizona–Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Shot”

  1. “NOW” obviously is the time. You’ve been re-reporting the political implications all night.

    And I didn’t know it was so telling of someone that they be well-read enough to have studied standards like the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. Those are requisite reading for anyone interested in modern history.

    That said, this was obviously a very disturbed person, and I too agree that NBC’s black-out of he story during this big playoff game is appalling. Millions of Americans are watching this game and I only discovered this story by reading this excellent blog during a commercial (I didn’t get home from work all day until about 8 pm). Millions of Americans probably still have no idea what has happened.

    Keep on reporting, Eric! This is a very important story!

    Oh yeah… it’s 9:22 here – 6:22 by you…


  2. Wait a minute, you can’t say that violence comes from the Left any more than Robinson should have said it coems from the Right. Both assertions are stupid. Violence comes from insanity, and/or stupidity, and/or anger. Period.


  3. 9:38 EST. Fox is doing the same thing, only from the rightwong point of view.


  4. Micky 2 says:

    Bullsht Jersey.
    You implication of FOX is the partisan bickering were trying to avoid at this point.
    NPR was first with the story to which FOX was the second of all media to report this tragedy.
    In no way during thier presentations for the last 24 hours have the asserted any bias whatsoever.
    But if you want to see the a holes who are truly responsible for the bickering you say you detest take a look at the Kos.
    Little boy blue, their owner/editor in chief only one hour after the shooting posted a column blaming the Palin camp.

    Unfortunately he forgot to take down a previous post (Jan 6th)by one of his staff claiming that his congresswoman was “DEAD” to him

  5. Micky 2 says:

    Interesting those jackasses at the Daily Kos have scrubbed this Jan 6th post.

    But yet they have no problem blaming Palin.

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