News24

US shooting: Obama to lead moment of silence

2011-01-10 12:05

Washington - When President Barack Obama steps out on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday morning, the thoughts of the nation will turn to Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of an assassination attempt against her.

Obama will lead the nation in a moment of silence to honour the congresswoman and the six people killed and 14 wounded in Saturday's shooting outside a Tucson supermarket.

"It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart," he said on Sunday in a statement.

The Supreme Court plans to convene early so the justices can observe the moment of silence.

Giffords, aged 40, remained in intensive care at a Tucson hospital after being shot in the head at close range. Among those killed were Arizona's chief federal judge, a 9-year-old girl interested in government, and one of Giffords' aides.

Prosecutors charged 22-year-old Jared Loughner with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee. More charges are expected.

House business postponed

House Speaker John Boehner told lawmakers in a conference call on Sunday to "pull together as an institution".

"What is critical is that we stand together at this dark time as one body," he said. "We need to rally around our wounded colleague, the families of the fallen and the people of Arizona's 8th District. And, frankly, we need to rally around each other."

Giffords, a Democrat, represents Arizona's 8th District.

House business this week, including a contentious vote scheduled for Wednesday to repeal Obama's new health care law, has been postponed to focus on any necessary actions in the shooting aftermath.

Connecticut Representative John Larson, who heads the House Democratic Caucus, said on Sunday that lawmakers will continue to have open sessions with their constituents, although they are likely to take more precautions.

The chief law enforcement official in the House, Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Livingood, is holding a conference call on Monday with House members to discuss security.

Comments
  • Pat - 2011-01-10 12:29

    Some Democrats are attempting to link the shooting of American congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, to inflammatory remarks from members of the Republican Party, the Arizona Democrat congressman Raul Grijalva has unequivocally stated. The “political tone and tenor,” created by Sarah Palin and her Tea Party supporters, set the stage for the Giffords shooting. The New York Times are not a newspaper to miss out on a juicy anti-Republican story, so they weighed in with an accusatory article titled, Bloodshed Puts New Focus On Vitriol In Politics. I hardly think the nature of American politics is going to change because of one shooting, the Democrats are being opportunistic by attempting to link the shooting, with the utterances of Sarah Palin and her Tea Party supporters. In fact the profile of the accused shooter, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, appears to be more that of a deranged Democrat than a red-neck Republican. Jared Loughner’s friends remember him as agreeing with left-wing views, and enjoying the punk band Anti-Flag. Loughner had identified among his favourite books "The Communist Manifesto" by Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and the fiction classic "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest". These books would hardly be on a recommended reading list by Sarah Palin, while Loughner’s rants that have surfaced on Internet postings, don't suggest he had a Republican conservative perspective. In one item on the video-swapping site YouTube, a hooded Loughner sets fire to a US flag in the desert to the sounds of heavy metal band Drowning Pool and its lyrics, "Nothing wrong with me/Something's got to give/Let the bodies hit the floor." This lunatic did not need influence from Sarah Palin, he had already made up his mind, and was grimly determined to kill Gabrielle Giffords. Yet the Democrats have aired a political posting by Sarah Palin, featuring crosshair gun sights focused on Gabrielle Giffords, and have suggested this could have motivated the shooting. But this posting was posted on the Facebook profile of Sarah Palin in 2010, while Loughner’s obsession with congresswoman Giffords, appears to go way back to 2007, The shooting was not the first time Loughner sought out Giffords, a letter from Giffords dating from August 2007 was found in Lougher’s home, which predates the Palin gun sight posting by three years. Found in a safe along with the letter was an envelope marked "I planned ahead", "My assassination" and "Giffords" written by hand, as well as what appeared to be Loughner's signature. In a later interview with Fox News, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik quoted from another letter Loughner wrote in which "he indicated that he was going to kill that 'bleeping' lady". Asked if it was clear that Giffords was the intended target, Dupnik replied: "There is no doubt about it, there is no doubt in our mind this was an act of a single, very troubled individual." There is not a whisper of a mention of Sarah Palin, so it appears implausible that Palin’s gun sight posting influenced the actions of Jared Loughlin, but thanks to the New York Times he may now seize on this as a defence. Irresponsible commentary on ongoing court cases, is in violation of the Sub Judice law, because it may interfere with the court process. So I call on President Obama to restrain his anti-Palin Rottweiler’s, that lady sure seems to bring out the bad side in Democrats, and it certainly does their cause no good. A new poll in New Hampshire reveals, that Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin lead a field of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, and this terrifies the Democrats because of the conservative policies Sarah Palin represents. Although the Democrats do not perceive Palin as a political threat, or even a serious candidate for the presidency, Palin’s popularity reminds the Democrats that their liberal policies are way out of step with the nation. This is why the Democrats remorselessly target Sarah Palin, why they are attempting to blame her for the shooting of congresswoman Giffords, in fact the Democrats are doing the same thing to Sarah Palin that they accuse her of doing to Gabriella Giffords. Attempting to silence Sarah Palin through groundless allegations, is political chicanery of the highest order, and a callous insult to those who were killed.

      Shistirrer - 2011-01-10 12:55

      From your rant above, it is obvious that you are a Sarah Palin fan. How is that supposed to inspire any confidence in your judgement? No, seriously? THAT's your idea of good leadership?

      Shistirrer - 2011-01-10 12:55

      From your rant above, it is obvious that you are a Sarah Palin fan. How is that supposed to inspire any confidence in your judgement? No, seriously? THAT's your idea of good leadership?

      HellRaiser - 2011-01-10 12:57

      Thanks for that Pat. No one in South Africa cares about Sarah Palin, or her wartered down assasination statements. We have people who don't mince their words in this country when they tell their supporters who to shoot. I think you are lost on the world wide web... you actually gave more of a case against Sarah - for most of us who know nothing about the american political anomaly and again - don't really care. How about rather showing some compassion for the dead, you jerk.

      HellRaiser - 2011-01-10 12:57

      Thanks for that Pat. No one in South Africa cares about Sarah Palin, or her wartered down assasination statements. We have people who don't mince their words in this country when they tell their supporters who to shoot. I think you are lost on the world wide web... you actually gave more of a case against Sarah - for most of us who know nothing about the american political anomaly and again - don't really care. How about rather showing some compassion for the dead, you jerk.

      rammstein.f4n - 2011-01-10 13:06

      Do you have any idea what a hypocrite Palin is? And how stupid she is? Really, even her knowledge of past American wars is horrific.

      rammstein.f4n - 2011-01-10 13:06

      Do you have any idea what a hypocrite Palin is? And how stupid she is? Really, even her knowledge of past American wars is horrific.

      Pat - 2011-01-12 13:05

      If you check the comments on the Georgina Guedes article “On target with political metaphor,”you will see you are out of step with most reasonable South Africans, in fact you are out of step with decent people everywhere. “This is a time for mourning and prayer for the victims and their families,” internationally respected evangelist Franklin Graham has said. “Whether you agree with Palin’s politics or not, it is outrageous to suggest that her political opinions encourage violence toward anyone,” this son of Billy Graham has added.

  • Badger - 2011-01-10 13:13

    What is up with these Yanks ? Every time someone has a bad day, they grab a gun and go on a shooting spree. Bunch of nut jobs, all of them. I feel for the victims and families. But nut jobs non the less!!!!

  • Nigel - 2011-01-10 13:42

    There will always be dangerous people in this world but the real issue is tougher gun laws. Im surprised the USA hasn't realized this yet or maybe im misinformed?

  • Nigel - 2011-01-10 13:48

    There will always be dangerous people in this world. For me the real issue is tougher firearm laws. I may be misinformed but the USA doesn't seem to have realized this yet? If this person didn't have a firearm there probably wouldn't be this many victims.....I know its in the U.S. constitution to bear arms but isn't enough enough.

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