The shooting of Rep. Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords (D-Ariz.) Saturday is being viewed as an assault on the American political system by some of her stunned colleagues in light of reports that she was targeted. Giffords is in critical condition after a bullet entered one side of her head and exited the other side. The shooting occurred at a constituent event; many who know her described this as typical of her outreach efforts.
Here are some of the public statements issued in response to Saturday’s shooting of Gabrielle Giffords:
“An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country.” — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)
“My prayers are with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her family, her staff, and all the victims of today’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Congresswoman Giffords is a devoted and insightful public servant, and a passionate advocate for her constituents-but more than that, she is my dear friend. To all those who are privileged to know Gabby Giffords, who know her spirit and graciousness in public life, today’s cowardly attack is devastating. But it is equally devastating to every American-to everyone who cares about our democracy. Our form of government, like all human things, is imperfect and flawed; but one of its greatest virtues is its power to resolve questions of the greatest import without violence. An attack on a member of that government-of whatever party or whatever views-is an attack on that principle, in which every American has a stake.” — Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)
“I am just heartbroken. Gabby is more than just a colleague, she is my friend. She has always been a noble public servant.” — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
“This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded. 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.” — President Barack Obama
“I’m deeply saddened and shocked at the tragedy that has taken place in my home state of Arizona. The shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and the deaths of other individuals is a terrible tragedy and one that has shocked me and our nation.” — U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
“Congresswoman Giffords is a brilliant and courageous Member of Congress, bringing to Washington the views of a new generation of national leaders. It is especially tragic that she was attacked as she was meeting with her constituents whom she serves with such dedication and distinction.” — Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.)
“We at NASA are deeply shocked and saddened by the senseless shooting of Representative Giffords and others at Saturday’s public event in Tucson. As a long-time supporter of NASA, Representative Giffords not only has made lasting contribution to our country, but is a strong advocate for the nation’s space program and a member of the NASA family…” — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (Giffords husband Mark Kelly is an astronaut)
“We are incredibly saddened by the evil and atrocious violence that was inflicted on our community this morning. The shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and other innocent people is not to be condoned.
Our prayers go out to Representative Giffords and all of the people who were injured or lost today. Our hope is that as a community we can heal and help those who were hurt by this terrible tragedy.” — The Tucson Tea Party