Sunday, January 9th 2011, 4:00 AM
Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords miraculously survived a point-blank gunshot to the head as a lone gunman killed six people Saturday during a routine voter meet-and-greet.
Giffords and another 18 people were caught in the fatal fusillade after the cold-blooded killer opened fire without warning outside a Tucson grocery store on a sunny weekend morning.
A 9-year-old girl, a federal judge and a Giffords staffer were among those killed. Giffords and 12 others where wounded in a shooting that shook the nation.
“This is more than a tragedy for those involved,” said President Obama. “It is a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for our entire country.”
The shooter – identified as Jared Loughner, 22 – marched up to Giffords around 10 a.m. local time as she spoke to a couple, aimed his handgun and fired from just a few feet away.
Giffords, 40, had a bullet pass completely through her skull before she collapsed in front of her horrified constituents.
The three-term representative was listed in critical condition after undergoing surgery at the University Medical Center in Tucson.
“I’m optimistic about her recovery,” said emergency director Peter Rhee.
Hours later, doctors offered a more sober assessment. “With guarded optimism, I hope that she will survive, but this is a very devastating wound,” said Dr. Richard Carmona, the former surgeon general who lives in Tucson.
Hospital officials said five people were in critical condition, while another five remained in surgery hours after the attack.
Arizona Federal Court Judge John Roll and an aide to the congresswoman, Gabe Zimmerman, were killed. Several other aides were apparently wounded as the gunman sprayed bullets across the L-shaped shopping center.
Loughner was tackled by two of the attendees at the Congress on Your Corner event, and taken into custody. Cops last night were hunting for a man believed to have driven Loughner to the event.
Witnesses said the stone-faced gunman first shot Giffords, who was chatting with a couple from a seat behind a table, before unloading up to as many as 20 shots on the crowd.
“He was going for the congresswoman,” Alex Villec, a 19-year-old volunteer, told the Arizona Daily Star. “A few staff members were caught in the crossfire. … His goal was the congresswoman.”
Giffords had promoted the scheduled public event on her Twitter account shortly before the gunfire started. “My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now,” she advised local voters. “Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind.”
The President labeled the attack “an unspeakable tragedy,” and offered his prayers for Giffords and her family. “Gabby Giffords is a friend of mine,” he said, adding he would provide full federal cooperation to “get to the bottom of” the attack.
Obama also made a personal call to her astronaut husband.
Giffords, a lifelong resident of Arizona, was targeted during her reelection campaign last year by Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and opponents of health care reform. Palin, in identifying 20 vulnerable Democrats, created a map illustrating the targets with a gun sight on each district.
“When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action,” Giffords had said in an interview with MSNBC.
The front door of Giffords’ district office was smashed last March, apparently over her support of the health care bill.
During his campaign to unseat Giffords, Republican challenger Jesse Kelly held events where he urged supporters to help remove the Democrat from office by joining him to shoot a loaded M-16 rifle.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-L.I.) made the connection between the shootings and the nation’s oft-ugly political divide. “This is both a personal tragedy and a tragic reminder that we cannot remain silent when political rhetoric turns violent,” Israel said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer called the attack “an American tragedy.”
Palin was among a plethora of politicians condemning the attack and sending condolences to the Giffords. “My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona,” she said.
Outside Giffords’ office on Capitol Hill, staffers – including one in tears – walked silently into her office. One distraught woman left a bouquet of yellow flowers.
The shooting prompted the postponement of all legislation scheduled to be considered next week in the House of Representatives, including the health care repeal vote.
Gabrielle Dee Giffords was born on June 8th, 1970 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabrielle_Giffords
June 8th, 1970
6 + 8 +1+9+7+0 = 31 = her life lesson = what she is here to learn = Stir. Catalyst. Reaction. Risk. Controversy. Contention. Provocateur. Provoke. Instigate. Tease. Taunt. Ruckus. Noise. Dissonance. Cacophony. Disturbance. Struggles. Strife. Squabbles. Quarrels. Altercation. Brawl. Donnybrook. Feuds. Antagonism. Rivalry. Agitation. Rowdy. Wild. Disorderly conduct. Havoc. Riot. Rising to the challenge. Stirring things up. Stirring the pot. Provoke a reaction. Getting a rise out of someone. Raising a ruckus. Things get out of hand. Free-for-all.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
Gabrielle Dee Giffords
her salvation/undoing number = DG = 47 = Famous. Name & fame. Notoriety. Name recognition. (Inter)nationally known. High profile. VIP. Well-known. Household name. Public life. Limelight. Legendary. Notable. Noteworthy. Eminent. Prominent.
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