Arizona Shooting Motive: Rep. Giffords was on Sarah Palin's Targeted List

Gabrielle Giffords is fighting for her life at University Medical Center in Tucson after an assassination attempt outside a northwest Tucson grocery store. The New York Times reports there are conflicting reports about the dead and wounded. Local authorities and the hospital both say Giffords is recovering from surgery.

No motive has been listed but authorities are still compiling evidence and eyewitness reports. The shooting happened just after 10 a.m. local time. As of this writing, the Pima County Sherriff's Office says there are six confirmed dead and 18 wounded according to AZCentral's live blog of the event.

As statements and memorials regarding Giffords comes in there are many details to be forthcoming in the case. A press conference is scheduled for 6 p.m. MST.

Hospital officials at University Medical Center said five patients are in surgery. Five are in critical condition. One has died at the hospital--supposedly a child. The Congresswoman is in critical condition after undergoing brain surgery according to MSNBC.

Jared Loughner, 22, is in custody according to media reports. A motive has not been listed but the health care debate from March 2010 may lead to telling details.

Giffords' windows at her office in Tucson were shattered in violence regarding the health care reform vote in March 2010. The Arizona Daily Star reports glass was shattered in the early morning hours of March 22, 2010 at the office of Giffords and the door was broken.

Another telling detail in the case of Giffords happened a few days after the vote. Sarah Palin's PAC posted an image on her website listing 20 Democrats to set "sights" on targeting them for re-election. Palin literally had images of targets with cross hairs on a map of the United States according to the Huffington Post.

One of the targets on Palin's map was the 8th District of Arizona Democrat Gabrielle Giffords.

Palin later stated the GOP needed to take "aim" at these races and to launch the "first salvo in a fight." Have these statements and images induced a man to violence?

Jesse Kelly, who ran against Giffords in the midterm elections, took it one step further. The Cleveland Leader reports Jesse Kelly had a political rally in June 2010 with a statement that went like this: "Get on target for victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."

Yes, Sarah Palin endorsed Kelly to run against Giffords. Giffords ended up winning narrowly against a Republican opponent.

With so much vitriol and violence during the health care reform debate, could images such as these have led to an assassination attempt on the life of one of our elected representatives? What was the motive for a 22 year-old young man who is custody right now?

Business Insider reports Giffords made a brief interview on Fox News Friday after the House adjourned for the week to go home. Less than 24 hours later she was shot outside a hometown grocery store.

Sources:

Lacey, Marc, "Congresswoman Giffords Shot in Tucson,"New York Times.

AZCentral.com "Shooting incident in Tucson."

Associated Press, "Arizona Rep. Giffords shot, several wounded."

MSNBC, "Gabrielle Giffords."

Bodfield, Rhonda, "Rep. Giffords' Tucson office vandalized after health care vote,"Arizona Daily Star.

Huffington Post, "Sarah Palin's PAC Puts Gun Sights On Democrats She's Targeting In 2010."

McCormick, Eugene "Sarah Palin's Political Career May Be In Peril Over Gunsight Target Map," Cleveland Leader

Business Insider, "The Last Interview of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords."

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Published by William Browning

Welcome! My name is William Browning. I am an accomplished writer, in love with my beautiful wife and am blessed with two precious children who teach me something new every day.  View profile