Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has released the names of those killed in the mass shooting Saturday morning in Tucson.
Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and is in critical condition at University Medical Center.
The dead are identified as John Roll (63), Dorothy Murray (76), Dorwin Stoddard (76), Christina Greene (9), Phyllis Schneck (79) and Gabriel Zimmerman (30).
Also, a 9-year-old shot at the scene was pronounced dead at a hospital.
I read about this not long after it happened, and still haven't quite sorted out what I think or mean to say. The answer that the gunman, Jared Loughner, is somehow just a deranged individual, and the idea that he was influenced by the violent discourse that surrounded Rep. Giffords, equally leave me cold. On one hand, it might be a soothing answer to say this was just the anomalous behavior of a person who might have been bound to act out with violence (which I know is inadequate, because many non-serotypical people never have any violent episodes in their lives at all--an "inbalance" doesn't strike me as being solely at fault), on the other, it seems too convenient to my own political leanings to lay the blame at the sort of "2nd Amendment remedy"/"don't retreat, reload" sentiments going about on the right. I don't find those sentiments at all welcome or helpful, but I would have hoped they would be taken as figurative hyperbole--not an actual sanction of violence, even by "true believers."
I am too conflicted to say anything sensible about the why and wherefore of this event at all as yet, and the enormity of the tragedy and its seeming senselessness just leave me wishing Rep. Giffords and her family, and her district well, and the other victims' families well. And while I hope other elected officials re- evaluate their personal security, I really hope this doesn't damage our access to our representatives. I hope that something like this doesn't somehow damage our democracy.