COLUMBUS, Ohio (CGE) – Ohio Speaker John Boehner (OH-8), newly sworn in as the nation’s 61st Speaker of the U.S. House of representatives last Tuesday, was miles apart in both distance and political persuasion from Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat Congresswoman a swing district in Arizona who was shot through the head Saturday, in a shooting perpetrated by a 22-year old gunman who shot 18 people in total, five of whom died. One common connection between them, however, is their district number – 8th.
Speaker John Boehner, who responded in a statement to the Arizona shooting from his home in southwest Ohio near Cincinnati, said, “I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve…. This is a sad day for our country.”
Cantor says delay of health care bill repeal in order
Boehner’s Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) released comments regarding the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others today in Tucson, AZ, and said next week’s House schedule, which was feature the repeal of the Affordable Patient Care Act or so-called Obamacare, would be postponed to a later date.
“Our nation was shocked by the tragedy in Arizona earlier today. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, and others became the victims of a senseless act of violence. Congresswoman Giffords serves Arizona’s 8th District with distinction and thoughtful leadership, and it is horrifying that she was exposed to such violence at an event designed to reach the people she represents. I couldn’t agree more with Speaker Boehner, who earlier said that, ‘an attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve.’ Along with our nation, this institution has suffered a horrible tragedy. We are saddened, mourn those who lost their lives, and stand together in hopeful prayer for the recovery of the victims and their families.
Cantor said all legislation currently scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives next week is being postponed so that Members can take whatever actions may be necessary in light of the tragic shooting today. He said further information relating to a revised House schedule will be released tomorrow.
Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker turned Minority Leader after big Republican wins last November, said in her statement, “This terrible act of violence is a national tragedy…. It is especially tragic that she was attacked as she was meeting with her constituents whom she serves with such dedication and distinction.”
Giffords, 40 years of age, was holding a meet-and-greet public event at a local Safeway grocery story, at which hundreds were present, including US District Judge John Roll, who joined the federal court in 1991. For a portion of his tenure, Roll served as chief judge. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said of the shooting, “It is a somber reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it.”
Kasich not worried, points to protection from OHP
Informed about the incident Saturday by a reporter at a media event during Family Day at the Ohio Statehouse, Gov.-elect John Kasich, who will be officially sworn-in a minute after Midnight Sunday, expressed his grave concern for Congresswoman Gabriella, but told reporters and others that for as for him, especailly looking ahead to his inauguration talk, which will be a public event, he had no worries. Kasich based his confidence on the protection services provided by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a division of the State Dept. of Public Safety.
Sharron Angle, the Republican, Tea Party- inspired challenger who lost last November to Nevada’s senior Senator Harry Reid, said during her vitriolic campaign that the political climate of the nation was such that maybe it was time to consider “2nd Amendment remedies.” Angle was referring to an individual’s right as addressed in the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to own a gun. This controversial issue was put to rest when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an individual has a clear right to own a gun.
The gun used today by 22-year old Jared Lee Laughner was described by the sheriff in Tucson as a semi-automatic handgun. Laughner, now in custody, was tackled by standers who came to a parking-lot meeting including Cong. Giffords, a member of her staff, and others. Had Laughner not be tackled, witnesses said he would have shot more people. Eighteen people were shot; five were killed.
Giffords office had been the target of an attack last summer during the heated run-up to the health care bill. The door of her district office was shattered. Sarah Palin, who endorsement of Republican candidates last year included Gifford district, identifying the district with a ‘cross hair’ graphic, jumped into the news early, saying, ” On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”
In an interview after the vandalism, Giffords referred to the animosity against her. “We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” she said, “but the thing is, the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realise that there are consequences to that action,” The Guardian reported.
According to one reporter, security on Capitol Hill and back in Member’s districts will become a topic for discussion. President Obama spoke with Speaker Boehner, and both agreed on the need for a unified front of Democrats and Republicans, in order that the nation see a bipartisan effort at addressing today’s violence and prevent more in the future
President Obama said, “We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.”
Nevada senior Sen. John McCain said, “Whoever did this; whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law.”
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