Yesterday was my father’s 68th birthday. I was busy with issues and activities related to this event. However, January 9, 2011 was also the occasion of a tragedy which occurred at a “Congress On Your Corner” event hosted by Gabrielle Giffords, the only member of Congress married to an active duty member of the United States military. This shooting spree yesterday in Tucson killed a child recently elected to student council and who was there to see how government works as well as a federal judge and several other peope. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of them and to those who are suffering the loss of treasured friends and family members.
Congresswoman Giffords has been a young and exciting kind of Democrat serving the people of Southern Arizona. It was in this innovative and open spirit that her office has held these “Congress on Your Corner” events. Rapid response by a number of people has resulted in some survivals, the aprehending of the shooter and other good outcomes in this horrible incident. However, I have little unique information to occasion my commenting on this and leaving out some names and mentioning others. “Congress on Your Corner” allows residents of Arizona’s 8th Congressional District to meet their congresswoman one-on-one and discuss with her any issue, concern or problem involving the federal government. I have been and am in contact with the Space community and so I am aware of Congresswoman Gifford as one who knows something about this field. I am reproducing her astronaut husband’s statement from her website:
Statement from U.S. Navy Captain Mark Kelly
“On behalf of Gabby and our entire family, I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people of Arizona and this great nation for their unbelievable outpouring of support. Gabby was doing what she loved most – hearing from her constituents – when this tragedy occurred. Serving Southern Arizonans is her passion, and nothing makes her more proud than representing them in Congress.
“Like all Americans, we mourn the loss of Gabe Zimmerman, a fine man and beloved member of Gabby’s team, Judge John M. Roll, Christina Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, and Dorwan Stoddard. We must never forget them, and our prayers are with their families. Our hearts go out to everyone injured yesterday; we hope and pray for their quick recovery. We also extend our thanks and appreciation to all of the first responders, medical personnel, law enforcement, and Arizona citizens who acted swiftly yesterday and continue to assist our community through this tragedy. Many stories of heroism are emerging, and they are a source of strength for us during this difficult time. We are forever grateful.
“Many of you have offered help. There is little that we can do but pray for those who are struggling. If you are inspired to make a positive gesture, consider two organizations that Gabby has long valued and supported: Tucson’s Community Food Bank and the American Red Cross.”
Community Food Bank
3003 S Country Club Rd # 221
Tucson, AZ 85713-4084
American Red Cross, Southern Arizona Chapter
2916 East Broadway Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85716
I do not know if I will comment directly on this event again in one of my major posts. However, I do believe that I have needed to do this little thing. I think there are issues of gun control, armed security ot political gatherings, space policy, marriage and child welfare as well as political climate. However, my instinct here is not to politicize this event too much. It is horrible but less political than the Fort Hood shooting. This was not on government property, by a government employee, and with many other governance issues. We have profoundly ignored the Fort Hood shooting as a political issue and so here we must triply ignore the politics to be balanced. But this is of course in the big picture another sign of stress in our politics.
In all of this I wish the Congresswoman a swift recovery.