The BBC reports the terrible news:
A US congresswoman and several other people have been shot at a public event in southern Arizona.
Gabrielle Giffords, a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives, was shot in the head at close range in front of hundreds of people.
A spokeswoman denied earlier reports that she had died and told ABC News she was in surgery.
A man was arrested after the shooting at a supermarket in Tucson where Ms Giffords was meeting constituents.
Gene adds: I’m not blaming Sarah Palin or anyone else, but can we at least hope that she and others who metaphorically equate electoral politics with the use of firearms will knock it off?
Update from Gene: Congresswoman Giffords is out of surgery for a bullet wound through the head, and one of the surgeons said he is “very optimistic” about her chances for recovery. There are six dead, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge.
Gene adds: During the health care reform debate, Congresswoman Giffords discussed vandalism at her Tucson office, and denounced extreme rhetoric and displays on both sides. As it turns out, she also expressed concerns about the website of Sarah Palin’s PAC.