On Saturday January 8th, a lone gunman named Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a Congress on the Corner event being held by democratic congresswoman Gabriel Griffords of Arizona. Loughner used a semi automatic Glock pistol with a thirty one round magazine in this Tucson shooting. He appears to have been angry about a response given by congresswoman Giffords several years prior. He had posted long conspiratorial anti-government screeds on YouTube and other social media sites.
On that day, Loughner calmly walked up to the desk where congresswoman Giffords was meeting and shot her point blank in the head. He then began to shoot indiscriminately into the crowd. He fired all thirty one rounds from his first magazine which killed 6 people and wounded 13 others, including a federal judge and a 9 year old girl. While trying to reload, his weapon was knocked from his hand by a wounded elderly woman. Then some members of the crowd and congresswoman Gifford's staff tackled him. Loughner had brought three fully loaded clips to the scene. It was amazing he was only able to fire the rounds from one of those clips.
Congresswoman Giffords was able to survive her wounds and was rushed to surgery. 9 others who were brought to the hospital also survived. After several tense days it appears Gabby Giffords will survive and recover from her injuries. She is currently at a rehab facility in Texas.
This Tucson shooting has brought up the issue of gun control.
- Could this tragedy have been minimized or prevented?
- Could better mental health treatment or law enforcement have stopped this action before it happened?
- If Loughner did not have access to extended magazines, could more people have survived?
Lawmakers are pondering these questions now and it wouldn't be surprising to see some changes made in the near future.