A statement from Speaker Boehner conveys the common sentiment:
“I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. 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. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country."I will add that, as the facts began to filter in, I was both horrified and filled with anger. This is not about politics. This is about attacks on the people we have elected to represent us. To justify or give credence to the attack and/or murder of our elected representatives for any reason is unacceptable, and for those of you who may want to make light of it and use it to score political cheap shots in my comment section, be prepared to be deleted.
And I have no mercy for the bastard that did this, no matter the reason. If we're lucky, it will be a delusional madman who needs to be medicated and locked away in a padded room for decades. Or maybe someone who had a personal grudge against the Giffords family for something non-political.
However, it's likely this pile of human debris (who hopefully was injured by the people who jumped him and stopped his murderous rampage) pulled this shit to make some stupid political statement. So I took a look at Rep. Giffords, as I had not heard of her before today. The following are facts, without any political commentary on them.
She is a Democrat, on her third term serving Arizona.
She introduced a bill this week to cut the pay of Congress by 5%.
For the reading of the Constitution earlier this week, she read the First Amendment.
In her inaugural speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Giffords advocated a comprehensive immigration reform package, including modern technology to secure the border, more border patrol agents, tough employer sanctions for businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and a guest-worker program. In her first month in office, Giffords voted in favor of increased federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, raising the minimum wage, endorsing the 9/11 Commission recommendations, new rules for the House of Representatives targeting ethical issues, and the repeal of $14 billion of subsidies to big oil companies, in favor of renewable energy subsidies and the founding of the Strategic Renewable Energy Reserve.Also, as she was a victim of a shooting, I checked into her positions on gun rights. Again, from Wikipedia:
Giffords supports gun rights. She opposed the Washington DC gun ban, signing an Amicus curiae brief with the US Supreme Court to support its overturn.  She has a D+ rating from the NRA and a D- from the GOA.Suffice it to say, I would probably find myself disagreeing with her politically more than I would agree. But, as I said, this is not about politics.
Now, to clarify . If the gunman wanted to make a statement, he made the wrong one. If he wanted to kill her because she was a liberal nut, he just showed she was sane and reasonable and he was the murderous wingnut. If it was something over the size of government, he only highlighted the extremes and the stupidity of the opposition. If it was over gun rights, he gave the anti-gun people ammunition to ban them. This is the root of my anger. Because if he was a "conservative" (his politics being his excuse and not his justification), he has just hurt the very course he purports to believe in. And he attacks what is good in this country (a congressman meeting with her constituents) in an act of mindless savagery.
We are better than this.