|Cong. Giffords in 2007 (wikipedia)|
Western Mass Politics and Insight is deeply troubled to report that Arizona Democratic Congressman Gabrielle Giffords has been shot. The two term Democrat has just begun her third term. Reports remain unclear as to motive, but she was shot along with as many as 11 others at a grocery store in Tucson. She was holding a "Congress on your Corner" event. Six others are reported dead, including a federal judge and young girl. WMassP&I appologizes for the long delay in correcting earlier reports that the congresswoman had been murdered.
One Arizona columnist described the tragedy as "inevitable" given the toxic atmosphere in Arizona politics at this time. Arizona, this past year passed a bill that effectively made being an illegal immigrant a crime. While the Congresswoman did not support the law she called it a "wake up call" to the federal government.
Representative Giffords is 40, married and has step-children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, staffers, and friends at this time. Only one member of Congress has ever been killed in the line of duty. Leo Ryan was murdered by the Jonestown cult in South America in 1978.