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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Our Thoughts and Prayers are with Arizona

Representative Giffords (D-AZ)
Yesterday, a member of Congress was the target of an assassination attempt. U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot in the head at point-blank range during a neighborhood meet-and greet, now clings to life after having emergency brain surgery.

Among the 20 people shot in the attack, 6 are confirmed dead including 9 year-old Christina Taylor Green and U.S. District Judge John McCarthy Roll. According to the child's mother,  Christina was "proud of her country and wanted to know more about the political process".

CAUSA offers our sincere condolences to the family of those killed in yesterday's brutal massacre and offer prayer and support for Representative Giffords, others wounded in the attack and their families. We pray for a speedy recovery for those injured in the senseless attack.

Violence has no place in our democracy and civic life. Furthermore, the level of violent and hateful rhetoric that seems to precede it has no place either. Far too often we hear pundits and political figures on radio, TV and the Internet use language and graphic imagery that seems to promote violence. 
9 year-old Christina Taylor Green
murdered in yesterday's assasination
attempt on Rep. Giffords (AZ-D)

Although we don't know the exact motivations of the gunman or others who may have helped him, the fact of the matter is, words of political figures and pundits have consequences.

In an interview yesterday, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik had this to say.
"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry. That may be free speech. But it's not without consequence."
The incident of violence directed at a Rep. Giffords and those attending her meet-and-greet yesterday was not the first in Arizona. The district office of U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) was closed in Yuma after staff found a shattered window and a bullet inside.

We hope that people of good conscience will unite against the violent acts, rhetoric, and graphic imagery used against our elected leaders and citizens. Although there will always be disagreements on how to move our country forward, we must not allow those who use violent acts and speech to divide to our nation.


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