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Local Congressman Responds to Arizona Shooting

Tod Young

Photo: United States Congress

Young says he hopes people remember not only Gabrielle Giffords but also the other victims of the shooting.

Recently elected 9th District Congressman Todd Young says he is saddened and concerned by the recent shooting of Arizona colleague Gabrielle Giffords.  According to various media sources, Giffords, a US Representative,and 19 others were shot outside a supermarket in Tucson.  Leaving 6 dead and 14 wounded.

Young says Capitol police have indicated to him and his staff that they believe the shooting to be an isolated incident.   He says… while he acknowledges the fact that US history is filled with political violence… he adds he has never felt like he might be a target and hopes that this remains the one time actions of a disturbed individual.

“I’ve found over the course of the last two years of campaigning and since I’ve been sworn in, most the people I’ve come into contact with though many are passionate about issues of public policy and the direction of the nation.” says Young. “They’ve been real respectful and I’ve never had serious concerns about my personal safety.”

Indiana University Political Science Professor Marjorie Hershey says the United States has a long history of strongly worded political rhetoric adding violent and combative language has been an enduring fixture in American politics.

“Whenever you have a constituency of people including people who may be just frustrated and filled with generalized hate, you’ll find political figures who see benefit in appealing to that constituency.” says Hershey.

Hershey also pointed to earlier incidents in Arizona where citizens appeared at presidential campaign events openly carrying assault weapons.

Other Indiana Congressmen have also issued responses to the shooting including Dan Burton, who says his office has decided to tighten security and Andre Carson, who points to a climate of political hate as a possible factor in the shooting.

According to the New York Times, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords remains in critical condition.  Other victims of the shooting include a 9 year-old girl, a federal judge, a congressional aide, and several elderly women.

There exist no provision in the Constitution for replacing an incapacitated representative, meaning Giffords will likely hold onto the seat regardless of the rate at which she recovers.

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