A gunman opened fire today at a public forum presided over by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at a Safeway grocery store in Tucson Arizona. Conflicting reports originally indicated that Giffords had died, but the hospital currently reports that she is alive. It is also reported that several people were shot and that there are known casualities. The reputed gunman, a white male in his 20’s is in custody. Giffords, a Democrat, made news last year when she was the focus of right-wing anger over her votes on Health Care Reform and support of gay rights measures. From The Advocate:
Giffords, a Democrat, was first elected to the House in 2006. She scored a 92% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard during the 111th session of Congress. She voted to repeal “don’t ask, dont’ tell,” and was a cosponsor on several gay rights bills, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which passed in 2009.
According to theNew York Times, Giffords’ office was vandalized in March hours after the House approved major the health care reform vote. After the vote, she was one of the 20 Democrats targeted for defeat by Sarah Palin’s takebackthe20 campaign. According to the Washington Post, the campaign’s website included a map showing gun-like cross hairs over each targeted Congressmember’s district. Takebackthe20.com has been taken down as of Saturday afternoon.
We’ll keep you posted as this horrifying story develops.
UPDATE: For streaming news, for those of you without cable tv, go to CNN.