Obama set to head to Arizona

2011-01-11 15:11

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now
Washington - President Barack Obama plans to travel on Wednesday to Tucson, Arizona, to help a rattled nation deal with the deadly outburst of violence that left six people dead and a US congresswoman gravely wounded.

Late on Monday, White House spokesperson Nick Shapiro said Obama would speak at a memorial service for the victims of the shooting rampage. He said First Lady Michelle Obama would also attend the service at the University of Arizona.

It was many hours earlier, on a frigid winter's morning in Washington, that Obama led a national moment of silence for the 20 people shot outside a grocery store in Arizona on Saturday, including Democratic representative Gabrielle Giffords.

She was the target of the attack and, remarkably, was fighting for recovery despite being shot in the head from close range. Six other people were killed, including a 9-year-old girl, a federal judge and an aide to the congresswoman.

Time for reflection


With the House and Senate in recess, the Capitol was relatively quiet, with only the occasional tour group in the Rotunda or the old Senate chamber. In a nearby office building, people lined up to signs books of condolences and best wishes. Security felt tighter.

"In the coming days, we're going to have a lot of time to reflect," the president said from the Oval Office.

"Right now, the main thing we're doing is to offer our thoughts and prayers to those who have been impacted, making sure that we're joining together."

Obama and congressional leaders were figuring out their next steps in response to the shooting, searching for the right time, place and tone for a unifying moment. The president said the whole country needs to show its loss but also speak to a sense of hope. The question, he said, is "how, out of this tragedy, we can come together as a stronger nation."

Congress scuttled its schedule. Sadness, anger and disbelief took over.

"I travelled to Iraq with Gabby several years ago. We walked the streets of Baghdad together and did not face the violence she faced over the weekend in her own country," said Democratic Dutch Ruppersberger.

Doctors optimistic

Rather than the overtly political plan of voting on the repeal of Obama's signature health care overhaul, the House will vote this week on a resolution of support for Giffords and the other victims of the shootings.

Giffords' doctors said they were optimistic for her survival and recovery, though just determining the extent of such brain injuries can require weeks or months.

In the Senate, Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the Arizona shootings won't deter members from doing their jobs.

"A strong democracy depends on a free and robust exchange of ideas," he said. "The actions of one deranged man this past weekend will not hinder that."

Prosecutors have charged 22-year-old Jared Loughner with the shootings.

At the Capitol, the chief law enforcement official in the House, Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Livingood, and representatives from the Capitol police briefed congressional staff on the shooting.

He counselled them on steps they should take to ensure the safety of lawmakers and their constituents.

Gun controls

He said congressional offices should establish a contact with local law enforcement. When lawmakers are home, he said, they should share their schedule with local police. He also pleaded with staff members to fill out an emergency contact form.

Amid the mourning, Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, a long time advocate of gun control, said he would introduce legislation later this month to ban high-capacity ammunition clips.

The measure would re-establish a prohibition that lapsed in 2004 on clips that feed more than 10 rounds at a time. The Glock pistol used in Saturday's attack had such a high-capacity ammunition magazine.

"The only reason to have 33 bullets loaded in a handgun is to kill a lot of people very quickly. These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market," Lautenberg said in a statement.

As Washington's agenda adjusted, Obama postponed an economic trip to New York on Tuesday. Michelle Obama, scrapped her own Tuesday event with business leaders until a more appropriate time.

At 11:00 EST (16:00 GMT) Obama and his wife walked out of the White House to the sounding of a bell.
They stood in silence, flanked by the collection of advisers, kitchen staff, maintenance workers and clerks who keep the White House running.

The scene was reminiscent of the moment of silence held every year on September 11.

Acts of bravery

At the same time, farther down Pennsylvania Avenue, hundreds of legislative aides stood on the east steps of the Capitol, heads down in silence. And at the Supreme Court, the justices paused to reflect, too, between the two cases they were hearing on Monday morning.

The White House said Obama had called Gifford's husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, and the family of Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl killed in Saturday's attack, among others.

Obama also sought to shift some attention to those who acted with bravery as a horrifying scene unfolded in front of them on Saturday in Tucson.

He spoke of a college student who ran into danger to rescue his boss, and a woman who helped keep the suspect from reloading ammunition, and other citizens who wrestled the man to the ground.

"Part of what I think that speaks to," Obama said, "is the best of America."


- AP
Read more on:    jared loughner  |  barack obama  |  us  |  us shootings
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

This is why you should install iOS 8

Check out this video to see what iOS 8 has in store for you!

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
17 photo illusions that look so real
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Senior Accounts Clerk

Blouberg
Express Employment Services - Cape Town
R87 - R115 Per Hour

C# / .Net Application Developer, Cape Town, R30 000- R40 000

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Initiate International
R30 000 - R40 000 Per Month

Electronic Technician (CT – Table View)

Cape Town
West Coast Personnel
R15 000 - R20 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.