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Posts Tagged ‘Gabrielle Giffords’

Gabrielle Giffords Attending Space Shuttle Launch Stirs Excitement

AP/The Huffington Post Posted: 04/29/11 09:30 AM ET

When Rep. Gabrielle Giffords watches her astronaut husband get launched into space on Friday, two of her staff members who also survived the Tucson mass shooting will be there, too, thinking about how far they’ve all come in less than four months.

Ron Barber and Pam Simon traveled to Florida from Tucson on Thursday with family and other staff members of Giffords to watch the space shuttle launch. They both spoke with The Associated Press shortly after landing.

“This just really makes you think about the human spirit, and our determination to go into space as a nation I think parallels Gabby’s determination to get well,” said Simon, a community outreach coordinator for Giffords who survived after a bullet hit her in the chest and exited her hip.

“It is incredibly meaningful,” said Simon, 63. “Knowing that Gabby is here and watching her husband go to space and that she wanted to be here so bad, and he wanted her to be here – for me, what a journey from being flat on the pavement the day of the shooting to be here to celebrate. It gives me a lot of hope.”

Simon said watching Mark Kelly’s last shuttle lift-off in 2008 was emotional and she expects it to be even more so this time around.

“I had a huge lump in my throat last time, and I expect alligator-(sized) tears this time,” she said.

Barber, who is Giffords’ district director, was shot in the face and thigh during the shooting. He will attend the launch even though he’s been having nightmares about the day of the shooting and experiencing extreme pain in his leg.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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In Arizona, Survivor Of Virginia Tech Massacre Talks Gun Control: ‘The Time For Thoughts And Prayers Is Over’

HuffPost- Lucia Graves

Posted: 03/ 1/11 06:44 PM

Almost two months after the shootings in Tucson, Ariz., Colin Goddard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre, is speaking to Arizona students about recovering from tragedy, as well as legislation that could help prevent gun violence on higher education campuses and elsewhere.

“What defines a community, what defines a group of people, isn’t the things that happen to them outside of their control — it’s how they choose to recognize and remember the people who were lost and injured that day and take steps to make it less likely to happen to someone else,” Goddard, 25, told HuffPost.

On April 16, 2007, the Virginia Tech shootings left 32 dead and 17 injured. Out of a class of 17, Goddard was one of seven students to survive. After graduating, he went to work on a documentary film about the massacre, “Living for 32”, and is promoting the documentary while serving as an assistant director of legislative affairs for the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.

“The time for thoughts and prayers is over,” Goddard said. “Now it’s time to actually do something that would stop a future Jared Loughner,” the alleged Tucson shooter.

Such calls have not gone unheeded. Last week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced legislation, supported by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that would require all gunbuyers to undergo a background check and increase penalties for states that fail to comply with the rule. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has already introduced legislation to make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) has announced a measure to limit the sale of high-capacity clips like the one used in the Arizona shootings.

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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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Obama Arizona Memorial Speech: FULL TEXT

AP/The Huffington Post

First Posted: 01/12/11 08:46 PM Updated: 01/12/11 09:10 PM

As released by the White House, below are President Obama’s prepared remarks for his speech at the Arizona memorial:

To the families of those we’ve lost; to all who called them friends; to the students of this university, the public servants gathered tonight, and the people of Tucson and Arizona: I have come here tonight as an American who, like all Americans, kneels to pray with you today, and will stand by you tomorrow.

There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts. But know this: the hopes of a nation are here tonight. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief. And we add our faith to yours that Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy pull through. 

As Scripture tells us:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

On Saturday morning, Gabby, her staff, and many of her constituents gathered outside a supermarket to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and free speech. They were fulfilling a central tenet of the democracy envisioned by our founders – representatives of the people answering to their constituents, so as to carry their concerns to our nation’s capital. Gabby called it “Congress on Your Corner” – just an updated version of government of and by and for the people.

That is the quintessentially American scene that was shattered by a gunman’s bullets. And the six people who lost their lives on Saturday – they too represented what is best in America.

(more…)

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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.

MORE HERE

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