Reaction to Rep. Giffords' shooting

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Associated Press

Posted on January 8, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 8 at 6:55 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's statement about the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., in Tucson on Saturday:

"This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded.

"We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers."

This statement was issued by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Saturday afternoon:

“I am deeply saddened by reports that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Chief Judge John Roll and others were attacked this afternoon in Tucson, Arizona. There is no place in our society or discourse for such senseless and unconscionable acts of violence. Gabby is a steadfast representative for southern Arizona and both she and John are dedicated public servants.

The Department of Homeland Security has offered all possible assistance to the FBI and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, who are leading the investigation. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her family and staff, and all those who were injured in this difficult time.”

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Arlington/Ennis) issued the following statement after hearing of the tragic shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords:

“I am shocked, angry and saddened by the news of this afternoon’s tragic shooting. Congresswoman Giffords has always been friendly, personable and professional during our interactions. My family and I are keeping the Congresswoman, her family, her staff and her constituents in our thoughts and prayers.

"An attack against a Member of Congress is an attack against democracy itself. The House of Representatives is the ‘People’s House’ and we can’t do our jobs without interacting freely with those we represent. It is imperative that we hold open, public meetings to hear the concerns of constituents and I am sure that Congresswoman Giffords would want us to continue doing that. It is imperative that, despite this senseless attack, every member of Congress keep the lines of communication open. We can’t and I won’t let the act of one person stop the important work of Congress.

"Acts of violence against public officials should be roundly condemned. They have no place in a civilized society.”

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