Horror: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot outside a grocery store in Arizona today. She was holding an event when a gunman approached and opened fire, injuring Giffords and nine others. No word yet on her condition, or of the others who were shot. A bystander tackled and subdued the gunman, who appears to be in his late teens or early 20s. No word yet on motive.
As for the murderer, he has been identified as 22-year-old Jared Loughner. He has left what amounts to a YouTube manifesto, which seems to show a paranoid mind at work. Doug Ross has gleaned several still frames from Loughner’s videos, as well as a photo of the shooter himself.
Update: Giffords’ husband is NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. Kelly was apparently scheduled to fly the final space shuttle mission, set for an April 1 launch. He has previously piloted two other space shuttle missions.
Update: This should go without saying, but an attack on a political figure should not be a cause for political grandstanding or point scoring. No one should attempt to profit from today’s events in Arizona. No one. Some will, in the coming days, and they should be called out on it when they do.
There’s no question that political murder happens all too often in this world. It is one of the most un-American acts imaginable. But there’s no evidence so far that Jared Loughner had any motives beyond being deranged. The writings of his that I’ve seen indicate incoherence, not a coherent worldview that led him to these atrocious acts.
Update: Disgusting. And it’s on the pages of the New York Times.