Today: Jun 18, 2024

Tragedy in Tucson

Chardonee Wright
It was not her time to go. It was not her time to die. It is evident that her mission on earth was not fulfilled. God has other plans for her once she is fully recovered. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords did not deserve that bullet that was intentionally meant to kill her. No one does. And as a survivor, she has more strength in her than most of us would even be able to fathom.
As I found myself relaxing watching CNN on a Saturday afternoon, a banner ran across my television screen that made me gasp. “Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head.” As I watched CNN, this became headline news for that day and many days ahead. Nineteen people were shot at a Safeway supermarket at a “Congress on Your Corner” event. Out of the 19 shot, six were killed. I watched countless reporters scrambling to gather updates and talk to witnesses about the attacks. The first thing that came to my mind was literally, “What is this world coming to?” Really, WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO? So many questions popped into my head as I continued to watch coverage. Are public and political figures safe? Are they NOT safe enough after this tragedy? Will someone else strike again?
The suspect in custody is a 22-year-old man named Jared Loughner. Currently, a federal grand jury has indicted Loughner on three counts of murder for attempting to kill Rep. Giffords and two of her aides, Pamela Simon and Ron Barber, and some potential death penalty charges can be seen in the future. This is a man who had troubles in school previously and in other areas of his life. This is a mentally ill man who planned and premeditated his actions. Yes, he is to blame, but are others to blame as well? What exactly is the problem? Access to guns? Mentally ill individuals? If you witness someone who is in desperate need of psychological help and choose not to help them, are you just as liable? So many questions arise when tragic events take place. Loughner had prior drug charges and was in poor mental health. According to, while he attended Pima County Community College, he was suspended until he was able to present a clearance from a mental institution stating that his presence wouldn’t pose a threat to himself or others. Are you kidding me? These are the types of people who legal guns and permits are sold to? Interesting. Arizona falls into the one of the 50 percent of states which will sell a permit for a hand gun after full usage of federal and state data for a background check. Clearly, Loughner’s drug charges and incidences were not seen in this background check. By all means, drug charges and documented mental issues are standards which make an individual incompetent to obtain a handgun. Yet, Loughner was able to slip through the system. This system needs to be reevaluated and stricter laws need to come into effect about the background checks of individuals wanting to purchase guns. Maybe if stricter laws were already in effect, the tragedy in Tucson would have just been another eventful day for Rep. Giffords.
The only word I can use to describe Congresswoman Gifford’s recovery is miraculous. When I first heard she was shot, I thought the worst. Most people with gun wounds to the head are automatic victims. The fact that she was still alive and on her way to the hospital was simply miraculous. Day after day, the updates on Giffords get better and better. One day she was moving her legs and opening her eyes, the next day she was reported to have been looking out of her window. Only eight days after being shot, she was updated from critical to serious condition. That is amazing!
Recently, Giffords made the transition from Tucson to Houston where she will begin her next phase of recovery. Doctors expect a rehabilitation time of four to six months for her, and have all positive news about her recovery. A bullet that could have taken the life of Rep. Giffords didn’t. Any complication could have made her conditions worse, but she is progressing. How this woman was able to survive a gunshot wound to the front of her head at point blank range is unbelievable. In the future, I would only hope that justice will be served on behalf of Rep. Giffords and the victims. Thousands of flowers, teddy bears, cards, and balloons could be seen outside of the hospital where the victims and survivors were taken. Countless sympathetic opinions can be read in newspapers and heard from commentators on different news outlets. Yes, tragedy takes away, but it also brings together. It brings together the hearts and souls of Americans who share one common interest…COMPASSION.

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