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Archive for the ‘Gabrielle Giffords Shooting’ Category

Gabrielle Giffords Brain Injury: Doctors Work To Help Giffords’ Brain Rewire Itself

AP/The Huffington Post First Posted: 02/14/11 02:26 AM Updated: 02/14/11 10:30 AM

NEW YORK — Compared to a sleek new laptop, that three-pound mass of fatty tissue called the brain may not look like much. But when it’s injured, it adapts and rewires its circuits in new ways.

That’s the kind of flexibility that doctors and rehabilitation specialists hope to encourage in Gabrielle Giffords, the brain-injured Arizona congresswoman.

Details about her recovery have been thin. But members of her staff say she recently began speaking for the first time since the Jan. 8 attack by a gunman in Tucson. Brain injury patients who regain speech typically begin to do that about four to six weeks after the injury, experts say.

Last week, the Congresswoman asked for toast while while having breakfast, her chief of staff told the “CBS Evening News.” That was within a month of being shot in the head. The Houston Chronicle noted that doctors at TIRR Memorial Hermann have used the phrase “lightning speed” to describe her recovery thus far.

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As unpleasant as it is to inject political history into a discussion surrounding the tragedy that is becoming known as the Tea Party Massacre (the term itself is, of course, a political injection,) I think that is is something that we should do. Something we MUST do.

As you might have guessed by the graphic, I lay a great deal of the blame at the feet of none other than Saint Ronnie. Saint Ronnie, by beginning his campaign in Philadalphia, Mississippi, blew a silent dog whistle that many people on the fringes of our society listened, and responded, to. The “militia” movement of today began in earnest in the Saint Ronnie era, and almost all of those people were either loosely, or tightly, bound around the notion of “White Pride.” The Aryan Nations, The Order, and hundreds of little imitators suddenly felt a whole lot better about themselves, and what they stood for, because of the guy in the White House, who famously used to talk about the “strapping young buck” buying his steak with food stamps. The “Welfare Queen,” which is a racist figment of the right wing imagination, was born in the era of Saint Ronnie. While there is no evidence that Jared Loughner was ever a member of one or another of these groups, they are as numerous as cacti in Arizona, and Loughner definitely knew, and repeated, a lot of their jargon.

Anyways…. let’s continue…

The juxtaposition of events that occurred in the Saint Ronnie era, in my opinion, led us right to where we are today.

-Saint Ronnie convinced people that they should have it all-roads, schools, police, fire departments-but that they should PAY for NONE of it. Two lingering results have come from the Gipper’s dishonesty regarding taxes and services; (1.) is that no politician who wishes to prevail can dare to even BEGIN to talk about raising revenues, and (2.) our borrowing has finally constrained us to the point where we cannot even begin to address the deterioration in our educational system, or our highways, or our schools. If EVER we needed to have an honest discussion about what we want, and what we are willing to pay for, the time has come. It is time to put this right wing demonization of GUBMINT and taxes to bed once and for all, and I’ll give you just one example of why.

Arizona, loaded down with “Tea Party” type Republicans, is starved to death for revenue. As a direct result of being starved to death for revenue, spending for mental health services has dropped dramatically (a trend that also began in the Saint Ronnie era, when state mental health systems broke down from lack of funding and thousands of mentally ill people were dumped on the streets.) As a result of that drop in spending, these days you have to do something pretty dramatic to get the attention of mental health authorities in Arizona.

You know what I mean-something like Jared Loughner did.

-The second thing that Saint Ronnie popularized was this notion that any American ought to be able to buy whatever gun he or she fancied. As a result, for 30 years now fringe, lunatic elements in our society have been able to get their hands on ever-stronger and more effective firepower. Any politician who dares to talk about controlling the lethality of weapons in this country can expect to be drowned in a sea of NRA money, in spite of the fact that gun violence-towards individuals, and Police Officers, and Government officials-is disturbingly high, and in the case of Police and other officials, definitely on the rise. The idiots who insist that the Second Amendment to the Constitution gives us all the right to pack heat that can turn a guy into hamburger always ignore the words “A WELL REGULATED MILITIA.” The Founders, who put that Amendment in, were dealing with a country that faced hostile frontiers on all sides of it-and had smooth-bore hog rifles that were cumbersome to reload, and dangerous for a distance of about 50 feet. As far as the malarkey about “they wanted us armed ‘cuz they wanted to keep the GUBMINT scared,” history has shown us that from the days of the Whiskey Rebellion on, the Federal Government has not hesitated to use lethal force to enforce its mandates any time it judged the situation to warrant it. Far too many American lives have been either lost or horribly altered from what is obviously a perverted reading of the intent of the Second Amendment, and it is high time that we got together and decided on a reasonable system of regulation of firepower.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick to death of a bunch of deaf-eared right-wing fossils preventing me from even having a DEBATE on what is to be done. If they don’t want to talk about it, then they need to get out of the way. Their twisted paranoia has caused this country enough misery, death, and decline. It’s time for the reasonable and the rational to be heard.

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Sarah Palin. (Photo: sskennel)

Poor, Poor Sarah

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Truth Out
by: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

So let me get this straight.

Twenty people were gunned down at a supermarket in Arizona on Saturday. Six were killed, including a nine-year-old girl. Fourteen others were wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was the main target of the attack, and who was shot through the head. She is currently lying in a hospital bed with half of her skull removed because brain swelling from her bullet wound could kill her.

Twenty people shot.

Six killed.

Fourteen wounded.

And guess what?

It appears Sarah Palin is the principal victim of the shooting.

No, really.

Don’t believe me? Watch the video she posted to her Facebook page. There she sits, in front of a fireplace and beside an American flag like some cruel joke on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, wreathing herself in pity because people are coming to the conclusion that politicians like her – the ones who have spent the last two years talking about guns and civil war and reloading and such – should bear some of the blame for what happened in Arizona.

How on Earth could anyone come to such an irresponsible and reprehensible conclusion?

Hm

In a message posted on her Facebook page Sunday afternoon, Sarah Palin reiterated her call for supporters to “reload” in the battle against health care reform, a term that provoked controversy last week after critics accused her of inciting violence against members of Congress. Presenting her message as an exhortation to college basketball teams competing in March Madness, Palin stood her ground in using firearm imagery against the administration.

The crossfire is intense, so penetrate through enemy territory by bombing through the press, and use your strong weapons – your Big Guns – to drive to the hole. Shoot with accuracy; aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win,” Palin wrote. In the headline of her update, she mockingly predicted that the message would be “subject to new politically correct language police censorship.”

(Emphasis added)

That was supposed to be about basketball, and as usual, all sorts of mean people jumped up and down on her for once again vomiting gun-violence rhetoric into the political debate. Yup, she was the victim then, and is now the victim once again.

Poor, poor Sarah.

Before you start spluttering and staggering in an attempt to comprehend the sheer galactic magnitude of this new round of idiocy – “Who the what the where the when the why the how the what?!” was my initial response – stop a second and remember that this is how people like Sarah Palin operate. This is how they get others to follow them. They make themselves out to be victims, and convince their followers that they, too, are victims.

Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage, O’Reilly and the rest of the right-wing media machine have turned professional victimhood into a license to print money, and people like Sarah Palin are all too happy to jump on that bandwagon. You’re losing your country, your rights, your guns, your family, your religion, the sanctity of your marriage, the supremacy of your heterosexuality, my God, you’re losing Christmas, for the love of God! You’re losing everything (…psssst…they’re talking to White Christians when they say this stuff, by the way, which just cracks me all the way up…), and if you don’t “take up arms” to stop it, well, it will just make the Baby Jesus weep bitter, bitter tears.

Speaking of “taking up arms,” here is Palin’s explanation for such rhetoric: “When we say ‘take up our arms,’ we are talking about our vote.”

Of course. How could we have missed such an obvious reference? Silly us.

Poor, poor Sarah.

MORE HERE

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After Giffords Shooting, Several AZ Republicans Resign Amid Fears of Tea Party Violence

By Lauren Kelley | Sourced from AlterNet

Posted at January 12, 2011, 9:26 am

What the Arizona Republic calls a “nasty little battle” has broken out among Republican members of Arizona’s Legislative District 20 in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. Several Republicans have resigned, citing fears that local Tea Party supporters will harm them or their families for not being conservative enough.

Now-former Chairman Anthony Miller was among those to resign. A former campaign worker for Sen. John McCain, Miller sent an email to state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen just hours after Saturday’s shooting, saying, “Today my wife of 20 yrs ask (sic) me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman…I will make a full statement on Monday.”

Miller said he faced “constant verbal attacks” from the Tea Party after being elected to his second term last month. Many of those attacks centered around Miller’s involvement with McCain’s bid last year against Tea Party darling J.D. Hayworth.

 

 

The first and only African-American to hold the party’s precinct chairmanship, Miller said he has been called “McCain’s boy,” and during the campaign saw a critic form his hand in the shape of a gun and point it at him.

“I wasn’t going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday,” Miller said. “I love the Republican Party but I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone.”

 

 

After Miller’s announcement, three other District 20 Republicans quit: newly-elected secretary Sophia Johnson, first vice chairman Roger Dickinson and former district spokesman Jeff Kolb, who said in an email, “This singular focus on ‘getting’ Anthony [Miller] was one of the main reasons I chose to resign.”

SOURCE

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Terrifying: Gun Sales Surge in Arizona After Shooting

The weapon that let Jared Loughner fire 31 shots is flying off the shelves of Arizona gun stores.

January 11, 2011  |  
 
Saturday’s horrific shooting in Tucson has predictably prompted criticism of the lax gun laws that allowed a guy with documented mental problems to buy a semiautomatic weapon. So, naturally the state’s gun lovers are frantically arming themselves to the teeth, in case stricter gun control (like not letting the mentally ill own assault weapons) is imposed.

Bloomberg reporter Michael Riley talked to an Arizona gun store owner who reported that gun sales surged after Saturday’s shooting. The most popular item? The model of Glock that allowed Jared Loughner to spray 31 bullets into the crowd before being disarmed. FBI data shows gun sales in Arizona jumped 60 percent on January 10 compared to that day last year, and 5 percent nationally.

MORE HERE
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Glock Pistol Sales Up After Arizona Shootings

Huffington Post- Jason Linkins

First Posted: 01/11/11 03:33 PM  Updated: 01/12/11 09:47 AM

Hey, everyone. Not to unnerve you, but apparently, days after a madman went on a murdery rampage with a Glock in Arizona, Arizonans are heading to gun stores in droves to purchase the very same weapon used by Jared Lee Loughner. It’s as good an example as anything to demonstrate that there really is no such thing as bad publicity, only an implacable, gnawing cynicism that permeates our existence and sends us, sobbing, into a fetal position.

Michael Riley from Bloomberg News documents how we at last have stimulated some aggregate demand in something!

After a Glock-wielding gunman killed six people at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8, Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops, told his manager to get ready for a stampede of new customers.Wolff was right. Instead of hurting sales, the massacre had the $499 semi-automatic pistols — popular with police, sport shooters and gangsters — flying out the doors of his Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix.

“We’re at double our volume over what we usually do,” Wolff said two days after the shooting spree that also left 14 wounded, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition.

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Brave Woman Who Grabbed Clip from Shooter Blames Right-Wing Media and Rhetoric … In Fox News Interview

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

In an interview on Fox, the brave woman who helped stop Loughner calls out right-wing media for creating an environment that encourages violent impulses.
 
January 10, 2011  |
Patricia Maisch, 61, was the brave woman who kept alleged shooter Jared Loughner from unloading a second clip into a Tuscon crowd on Saturday. Wounded herself from a bullet, she saw him attempting to equip his gun with another magazine, grabbed him and knelt on his ankle, delaying the reload and potentially saving many more lives. 

So when Fox News interviewed her on Sunday, they clearly wanted to know if her strength could translate to psychic healing as Americans grappled with the tragedy. “We’ve all noted the calmness with which all of you, who helped save the day, conducted yourself,” said Fox anchor Shepard Smith. “I just want to know now, a day later… if there’s anything you can think of… that you might be able to turn into a positive. Is there anything that you can leave us with that will make us all feel better?”

“I think Sheriff Dupnik said it best that the extreme right reporters in radio and TV have added to this problem,” she responded. “And I’m just hoping that’ll change because of this.” She then specifically calls out Republicans for characterizing the health care bill as “job-killing.” “I think they’ve just gone over the top,” she added. “I think that the extreme right has gone too far.”

It probably wasn’t the response Smith was looking for, but the irony of her comment on Fox — which employs Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and many others accused of inflammatory rhetoric — was not lost. Watch:

SOURCE

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Sarah Palin Aide Rebecca Mansour: Our Crosshairs Map Had Nothing To Do With Violence Or Guns

Amanda Terkel- Huff Post
Posted: 01- 9-11 12:00 PM
WASHINGTON — Shortly after news broke that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) had been shot at a congressional event in her district, observers began noting that she had, during the campaign, literally been Sarah Palin’s target. But a Palin aide is now explaining that it was all a misunderstanding: the infamous image was never meant to evoke guns or violence.

Palin’s “Take Back the 20” campaign (the website has been taken down since the shooting) called on Americans to vote out of office Democrats from conservative districts who had voted for health care reform.

On March 23, she posted an announcement about the campaign on her Facebook page, which was accompanied by an image of her targeted districts. The districts all had crosshairs over them, which are usually associated with gun sights.

But SarahPAC staffer Rebecca Mansour, who has been tweeting in defense of her boss since the tragedy took place, is stating that the crosshairs were never intended to be gun sights.

We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights,” she said in an interview with talk radio host Tammy Bruce Saturday. “It was simply crosshairs like you’d see on maps.” Bruce suggested that they could, in fact, be seen as “surveyor’s symbols.” Mansour added that “it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent” and called any attempts to politicize the Arizona tragedy “repulsive.”

The suggestion that the symbols were related to guns seemed to come, however, from Palin herself. On March 23, Palin tweeted to her supporters a note about the aforementioned Facebook message, writing, “Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: ‘Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!’ Pls see my Facebook page.” And as Politico’s Jonathan Martin points out, in November Palin boasted about defeating 18 of the 20 members on her “bullseye” list.

Of the 20 districts targeted by Palin, Giffords and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.V.) were the only two candidates to win over her PAC’s chosen Republicans.

MORE HERE

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