Network news anchors and correspondents have been cautious about linking the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) and others to the state’s volatile political environment, but on Twitter and Facebook and other social media, there is immediate conclusion.
The Facebook page of Sarah Palin has been inundated with comments, some in defense of Palin, others pointing to her “Don’t Retreat, Reload!” message following the passage of healthcare reform, which featured a map of the United States with Giffords’ district identified in the symbol of a gun scope. Giffords and 19 other Democrats were identified on the map, noting that they had all voted for the healthcare bill.
Palin issued a statement: “My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”
Another congresswoman from Arizona, Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, lost her seat in November, but at a fund-raiser in Los Angeles last fall, she described an almost irrational political environment in which she was running.
As of yet, however, this tragedy is too new to actually assume that the state’s volatile politics had anything do with it, but details will undoubtedly emerge throughout the day.
Update: There is a YouTube channel that reportedly is from the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, which raises conspiracy theories, raises government mind control fears and the gold standard.