“We at National Stonewall Democrats are shocked at the news of the shooting at an event involving Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8),” said NSD Executive Director Michael Mitchell. “We know that an act like this affects an entire community and we are holding all the parties affected in our thoughts and prayers at this incredibly difficult time.”
“Many members of the Southern Arizona Stonewall Democrats have worked on Rep. Giffords' campaigns and were close with her and her staff, so this is a horrible day for us, especially considering that today was the Arizona Democratic Party reorganizing meeting and, by law, we had to continue with the meeting after word of the shooting came to us,” said Les Krambeal of the SASD. “We’re devastated by what happened.”
“There’s something particularly gut-wrenching when an act of violence like this is committed against public servants, their staff and/or other folks participating in a constituent event,” continued Mitchell. “Violence of this type has no place in a civil, democratic society.
“There will be people who try to isolate this deplorable act as a singular incident unconnected to the surge in gun-infused rhetoric we’ve seen from the Tea Party – from Sarah Palin, no less – and the rest of the far Right in the past few years. But words obviously have power and the Left has been verbally attacked as traitors and worse by our own countrymen quite a bit of late. Of course, the vast majority of people on the Right are not violent; but few on the Right have stood up to the racist, homophobic, radical and destructive language that has sullied the national discourse. It’s not much of a leap to make the connection that language like that can be twisted into permission to commit violent acts by those who are already on the edge.”