TPM News

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was with Gabrielle Giffords on Wednesday, the first day of the 112th Congress. As the two waited to be sworn in, they talked shop -- and they even made tentative plans to meet up in Arizona for an upcoming event.

"I was telling her that I'd been invited to come out to Arizona for a sex trafficking conference, and that I was thinking about going and that I'd like to see her out there. She said, 'That's great,'" Maloney said in an interview Saturday night.

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Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) represents a district in southern Arizona adjacent to the one served by Gabby Giffords. Because the city of Tucson straddles the line separating those districts, they work together on common issues, including solar energy, green jobs, and making sure the federal government sends resources to the University of Arizona.

He was in Washington, D.C. this morning when his staff informed him that his colleague had been gunned down.

"The first reaction honestly was It's overblown, lets wait," Grijalva said in an interview Saturday evening. He, too, has been the target of political threats and has learned that most of the time those threats are more nerve-wracking than dangerous.

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Back in March 2010, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) responded to the use of violent imagery and heated political rhetoric from conservative activists -- mentioning Sarah Palin's use of crosshairs on a map over Democratic-held districts such as hers. At the time, Giffords said that people should realize such rhetoric has consequences.

Giffords was shot today at a meet-and-greet with constituents in Tucson.

In March, Giffords appeared on MSNBC to talk about the then-recent vandalism of her office, which followed her vote for health care reform. During the interview, she said that political leaders had a responsibility to say they would not stand for violence.

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Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was facing threats long before she was shot in the head today at a supermarket in Arizona.

Though it's not yet clear what motivated the attack on Giffords -- though suspect Jared Loughner has left a long internet trail -- the attack came after numerous threats against Giffords over the past couple of years.

Giffords's father Spencer Gifford, 75, told the New York Post that her enemies were "the whole Tea Party."

But as Zachary Roth also outlined, Giffords has consistently faced threats, mostly for her view on health care reform.

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In an eerie coincidence, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot today at a meet-and-greet with constituents in Tucson, participated in this past week's reading of the Constitution from the House floor -- specifically reading the First Amendment, which protects among other things the right of citizens to peacefully assemble and petition the government.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has issued a statement in response to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) at an event in Tucson today. Reid called the Congresswoman "one of our most dynamic members of Congress."

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