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While details are trickling in, what we do know is that earlier today, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and ll others were shot by one or more assailants at a town hall-style meeting in the parking lot of a Safeway supermarket, in Tuscon, Arizona. So far, reports indicate that five of the injured have died. The condition of Rep. Giffords is unknown, but each of the surviving victims is in critical condition, and are undergoing surgery. Three of the dead were Congressional aides. One of the victims is an Arizona state judge.

Giffords recently won re-election to a third term, in a very tight race against a candidate backed by the Tea Party. She has described herself as a “former Republican and Blue Dog Democrat,” but was on the receiving end of criticism for her support for the Obama Administration’s Health Care plan. The day after the vote, her office was vandalized.

A shooter is in custody, although early reports indicate that law enforcement officials are seeking an additional suspect.

Reports from news wire sources indicate the suspect in custody began shouting loudly at the rally, spraying the crowd with bullets from an “automatic weapon.” TTAG readers are aware that early reports are often inaccurate, and the mainstream media has difficulty in telling the difference between “auto” and “semi-auto” weapons. If the shootings were (as some reports indicate) were at close range, it’s far more likely that the suspect used a handgun.

UPDATE: 3:20PM CST – Among the fatalities at the rally were the Arizona state Judge and a nine-year-old girl. Rep. Giffords has emerged from surgery and is “following verbal commands” and is in the recovery room. Her prognosis is guarded but optimistic. She was shot in the head in what the surgeon called a “through and through” trajectory, at “point blank range.”

UPDATE: 3:45PM CST – Eye-witnesses say that they heard 15 to 20 shots fired. Giffords serves on the Science and Technology committee and is married to Astronaut Mark Kelly, who is scheduled to fly on a mission to the International Space Station via NASA’s space shuttle. The judge who died was a Federal judge, and not a state judge. I’m not an expert on the law, but I suspect, the fact that two Federal officials were shot will give the FBI jurisdiction over this case.

UPDATE 5:49 EST – [RF] – is reporting that Rep. Giffords faced threats of violence before the shooting. “Just a few hours after legislators – including Giffords – voted to approve Obama’s controversial health care bill in March 2009, the front door of Giffords’ office in Tuscon was smashed in by vandals. Last August, Giffords aides called the police after a man dropped a gun at a similar town hall style event at a Safeway . . . She was among at least 10 congressional Democrats who expressed concern about their personal security in the face of anonymous threats after voting in support of the health bill.”

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  1. She is now out of surgery and responding. One dead at hospital is a little girl by reports.
    Shooter had a facebook myspace and youtube accounts and posted parting thoughts that ramble and sound as if he was planning suicide by cop. Expect anti gun folks to push this as an example why gun control must be expanded. However, the one bright spot in this whole sorded mess is that bystanders tackled the gunman and held him for police.

  2. This is a textbook example of why gun control should be abolished. You can not stop crazies from killing by laws, only by bullets.

      • Funny how the anti-gun loons always blame an inanimate object instead of the criminal. The loons abhor personal responsibility in all its forms–the don’t blame criminals for their action, refuse to take responsibility for themselves and attempt to degrade those that do take responsibility for the safety of their families

  3. Rabbi is 100 PERCENT CORRECT as usual. Sad part is that jadeloon the gun hater is going to have a field day with this tragedy.

  4. Jadeloon doesn’t have a clue. Gun control means hitting your target. I don’t care how many laws are passed and even a total gun ban WON’T stop criminals from from gaining access to GUNS. It’s impossible to stop someone with machine shop skills from making black market guns. This just happened in COMMIE CHINA last week, and the have the strictest gun ban and lack of GUN control laws in the WORLD. If you think we have a problem stopping drugs from crossing our borders, try banning guns and they will flood into our country by the hundreds of thousands and the ATF won’t be able to stop them. We all see have effective our DRUG LAWS are and how well the stop these drugs from crossing our borders. The same will happen with guns and jadeloon and all her gun hating friends will just have to deal with it.

    • “If you think we have a problem stopping drugs from crossing our borders, try banning guns and they will flood into our country by the hundreds of thousands and the ATF won’t be able to stop them. We all see have effective our DRUG LAWS are and how well the stop these drugs from crossing our borders.”

      You just figured it for me Joe! They don’t want the drugs stopped. They want guns banned so the drugs can flow and they can get wasted in front of the capitol with banners and rallies shouting, ‘Peace! Not war, Dude! Down with the man! Wooo!’

      – Buuurr (painting with MikeB’s brush)

  5. Abc news reports that Giffords was a Blue Dog Democrat and a gun-rights supporter, who had recently been targeted by vandals. She had also received mail threats which had also targeted Pelosi, Obama, Kyle and McCain. I pray for Rep. Giffords’and the other victims’ recovery, and for the families of the deceased.

  6. A Congressman and a judge are shot. Other federal officials are targeted with half-assed incendiary package-bombs. What the hell is going on here?

  7. “@eddiepepitone: Disgusting right-wing gun nuts fueled by unlimited access to guns and right-wing hate speech.”

    Shows just how clueless the opposition can be.

  8. I’m sure that increasing gun control would lower crime just like it did in Chicago, DC and NYC.

    Can the anti’s name a single city where increasing gun control decreased crime? Anywhere, in any state?

    Lots of proof of increasing gun control increases crime. (See above)

    Ever notice that the anti gun groups like the disgraced Brady Bunch NEVER reference their so-called facts?

    Ever notice that the pro gun groups ALWAYS reference their facts?

    Hmmmm…Who should I believe……

  9. People kill people! Sometimes they use guns or bats or knives or cars or they just beat them to death. The Rabbi is on target AGAIN as usual, people need to take responsiblilty for their own actions. The Rabbi forgot to mention how safe compton CA is with all the bloods and crips etc. and lets not forget good ole OAKLAND

  10. Could TTACer explain the comment “useful idiots”? Comes across as an endorsement of what the shooter(s) did today…

    • Google the expression “useful idiot”

      Though in this case the shooter is apparently just crazy, as opposed to a tool of a political entity.

  11. My condolences to those families that lost loved ones in this event. This is a tragic day for those families and a sad day for the United States.

    The NRA and their supporters would have everyone believe that more guns in the hands of the citizens will reduce crime and homicides. Given the number of guns in the United States, it should be the safest country in the world. Yet, the homicide rate in the US is more than double the rate of Canada, a country with similar demographics and income levels. The rates are 0.042802 per 1,000 people in the US and 0.0149063 per 1,000 people in Canada.

    Source is

    Hopefully this tragic incident will result in a serious debate about gun control (which appears to be out of control). Sadly, I doubt that will happen.

    • We agree, gun control is out of control. 21000 gun laws in this country is 20998 too many. What is it about history confuses you? Gun control has been tried. Google violent crime rates in NYC, Chicago, DC. The states with the lowest crime has the least gun control.

    • Jared Loughner is NOT a citizen.

      A mentally unstable individual, addicted/impaired by illegal drugs, is NOT a citizen.

      Citizens are able to reason without impairment to decide the best course of action for their country. Citizens are able to comprehend instructions as well as make the best informed decisions. Hence the “well-regulated militia” which the Heller Court affirmed meant “well-trained,” and competent.

      We are not going around handing guns to everyone willy-nilly. Your ASS has to get up off that chair, get on over to a gun store, pass a background check, and NOT LIE on that form either to get one.

      You have to reduce incentives on straw purchases. Sure, background checks would be nice, (see Snowflakes in Hell). What about economic incentives?

      • Excellent point. Those crazed youtube videos have “diminished capacity” written all over them.

  12. this health care bill was flawed but not the evil mess that its been characterized as. if this is the motive it leaves me

  13. HITLER loved gun control. He passed gun registration laws and then he banned all Jews from owning not only guns but they were banned from owning ANY WEAPON. W

  14. I didn’t get to finish. We all know what happened to not only the Jewish people, but the entire world because of that crazied madman. I guess gun control worked real well there!

  15. A nice little conversation with one of “@eddiepepitone’s” friends. I used some of your info Rabbi.

    @jimearl666 Instead of “prayers,” how about offering something constructive and real, like, umm… voting for gun control laws?

    @GunKing1: Gun control laws only remove guns from those who obey the law. By definition, this would not apply to Criminals.

    @jimearl666 Horseshit. You lack knowledge of suicide, accident, and crime stats regarding guns. 

    @GunKing1: Really? How’s this for stats: Increasing gun control didn’t lower crime in Chicago, DC or NYC. IT WENT UP. #TryAgain

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