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January 8, 2011

Maryland delegation comments on Giffords attack

Six people are dead, and 12 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, were wounded in a shooting attack today in Tuscon, Ariz., CNN is reporting. The Associated Press reports that Giffords, 40, is in critical condition with a single gunshot wound to the head.

Gifforrds, a Democrat, was meeting with constituents at a public event in her district at the time of the attack, according to media reports. A suspect is in custody.

Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, Republican of Western Maryland:

"I'm shocked and saddened by the horrible attack upon Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 17 other innocent people. Latest reports are that six people including one of her staff members have been killed. I hope her surgery and the treatment of the others who were wounded prove successful. My heart is broken for the tragic, senseless deaths today at a public Congressional meeting. My prayers and thoughts are with her, her husband and all of their families. I am relieved that the man who fired at them at close range is in police custody.

"After such a contentious election, most Americans who don't live in Washington, DC are unaware that among the 435 House members, some of us forge strong bonds across party lines and from different regions because we are dedicated to shared goals. Congresswoman Giffords is a Democrat from Arizona and I am a Republican from Maryland. However, I was privileged to work closely with Congresswoman Giffords on renewable energy initiatives on the Science and Technology Committee. I was impressed from her first day on the committee by her knowledge and passionate commitment to promoting a transition from our dependence on fossil fuels and imported oil to renewable, sustainable, domestic sources of energy."

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Baltimore:

“Congresswoman Giffords is battling for her life today, and we have lost several Americans in a senseless act of violence. For this to happen today is beyond my comprehension. Part of the pride we all felt this week was due to the peaceful transfer of power that has been a hallmark of our nation. Now, that bedrock has been shaken.

“It was my immense pleasure to sit beside Gabrielle Giffords in the House Armed Services Committee of the 110th Congress. I got to know her, to understand that passion she feels for her family, for her constituents, and for the people of this nation. I am praying for Gabrielle, for her family, for the families of her staff and those killed and for all those who have been touched by Gabby and who join me in prayers for her recovery.”

Rep. Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Southern Maryland:

“My prayers are with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her family, her staff, and all the victims of today’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Congresswoman Giffords is a devoted and insightful public servant, and a passionate advocate for her constituents—but more than that, she is my dear friend. To all those who are privileged to know Gabby Giffords, who know her spirit and graciousness in public life, today’s cowardly attack is devastating. But it is equally devastating to every American—to everyone who cares about our democracy. Our form of government, like all human things, is imperfect and flawed; but one of its greatest virtues is its power to resolve questions of the greatest import without violence. An attack on a member of that government—of whatever party or whatever views—is an attack on that principle, in which every American has a stake.”

Rep. Donna Edwards, Democrat of Prince George's County:

"I am shocked and saddened to learn of the horrible act of violence committed against Congresswoman Giffords, members of her staff, and her constituents. She is a beloved Member of Congress, a dedicated public servant, and a true friend.

"My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her family, all those who were injured, and those who lost their lives."

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Democrat of Maryland:

"The senseless shooting in Tucson this morning is a tragedy for our nation. My prayers are with everyone who has been affected by this heinous act, including the family, friends and staff of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Judge John Roll, and all of the other innocent victims. The violence witnessed this morning is an affront to our democracy and to all Americans.”

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Montgomery County:

“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic shooting of my friend Gabby Giffords, members of her staff, and some of her constituents – this senseless act of violence is deeply troubling. Gabby is one of our brightest lights – smart, fair, caring, courageous, effective, and considerate of all people and points of view. She is a wonderful friend to many of us and an amazing public servant for all Americans. The people of Arizona could not have a better Representative. Our hearts and thoughts are with Gabby’s family, and the families of all the victims, at this tragic time. We mourn for those who died and pray for the rapid recovery of Gabby and all others who have been injured.”

Rep. Andy Harris, Republican of Baltimore County:

"Over the weekend, I was horrified to learn about the shooting of my colleague Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. My family and I extend our deepest thoughts and prayers to Rep. Giffords, her family, staff and the people of Tucson, Az. We offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this shooting who did lose their lives. There is no place in a free society for senseless acts of violence like this."

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland:

“The shooting Saturday in Arizona was tragic and terrible. Congresswoman Giffords was out doing what members of Congress are supposed to be doing – listening to the people.

“My thoughts and prayers are with all those who were injured and the families of all who died- the 9-year-old girl, born in Maryland on Sept. 11, 2001, who was recently elected to student council and wanted to meet her Congresswoman. The three senior citizens, including a 76-year-old man who died trying to save his wife. The federal judge who went to the ‘Congress on Your Corner’ to greet the Congresswoman. The community outreach director who helped Congresswoman Giffords stay close to all her constituents.

“Yet, even in a time of tragedy, heroes emerged. Many jumped in to help stop the shooting, at the risk of their own lives – the 61-year-old woman who was last in line but first to act, grabbing the shooter’s magazine. The men who jumped on the shooter to subdue him. The young intern who ran toward the sound of gunshots and propped Congresswoman Giffords up, making sure she could breathe and applying pressure to her wound. I am so proud of each of these selfless Americans.

“In the wake of this tragedy, we must all pull together – because we are all in this together. We need to lower the decibel level across all levels of discussion. We need less partisanship and more citizenship. That’s what my constituents want. That’s what our nation needs. And that’s what I’ll keep fighting for.”

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Democrat of Baltimore County:

“First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her family, and the families of everyone involved in this unimaginable tragedy. I wish my friend Gabby a speedy and full recovery. She is a competent, compassionate and courageous public servant just doing her job when she was viciously attacked. My heart also goes out to the families who lost loved ones.

"What happened in Arizona is a senseless tragedy. Every American has a right to express their opinion on whatever issue they choose, but there is no place in our society for this kind of violence. I traveled 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.”

Rep. John Sarbanes, Democrat of Baltimore County:

“Gabby Giffords is a friend and admired colleague. She and I entered Congress the same year and I have come to know her as an effective and steady legislator. This is a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Gabby's family and to the families of the other individuals who were victims in this senseless act of violence.”

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 4:21 PM | | Comments (0)
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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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