Monday, January 10, 2011

Amidst Tragedy, Four Heroes!

TUCSON, Ariz. – A 20-year-old intern to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said Sunday he used his hands to apply pressure to a gunshot wound to her head while holding her in his lap.

A 61-year-old Tucson woman, Patricia Maisch, who was waiting in line with her husband to get a photo with Congresswoman Giffords at the meet-and-greet on Saturday morning grabbed the magazine from the gunman, and two men tackled him. Mrs. Maisch likely saved dozens of lives. "Somebody said 'Get the magazine!' so I got the magazine, and I was able to secure that," Maisch said. "That's what needed to be done." -- "We could have had 31 more people shot," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said. Two men tackled the suspect — they were identified as Roger Sulzgeber, who was also in line, and Joseph Zimudie, who was at a nearby Walgreens and heard the shooting. The shooter reached for a magazine as he struggled with the men, Maisch said. They were able to keep him subdued until the Sheriff's men arrived.

Meanwhile, the intern — Daniel Hernandez — who had only started working with Giffords just five days earlier, was around the corner more than 30 feet away when he heard the shooting start."When I heard someone say 'gun,' I knew there was likely a gunman and she was likely the target because of her position. So I rushed to where I knew she would be," Hernandez said Sunday.

After the suspect — identified by authorities as Jared Loughner, 22 — was subdued, Hernandez said he started checking the pulses of those hurt. Then he noticed Giffords had been shot in the head, and he rushed to help the congresswoman and her assistant. "I've known them for a few years, and I consider them personal friends. So it wasn't just the person I was working for. It was, this is my friend Gabby and this is my friend Ron. And I needed to make sure that they were OK," he said. He hugged her up against his chest and sat her upright. He tried to stop the blood loss with his hands and some frocks provided by butchers. Giffords was conscious and alert, Hernandez said. "She wasn't speaking however, she was letting me know that she understood what I was saying by grasping my hand and squeezing when I would ask her to." He went with Giffords in an ambulance to the hospital, where she is in critical condition but expected to survive. "I don't consider myself a hero," Hernandez said. "This is something that I've only done once and I hope I never have to go through again."

All four are being hailed as heroes in the shooting that killed six and gravely injured the lawmaker during an event at a Tucson grocery store.


Vicente Duque said...

Sarah Palin will be deeply diminished by this ( for a time ) - Republicans and even Tea Partiers will have the sense – again, for a while – to steer clear of directly gun-related rhetoric. No "second amendment remedies" and insurrection and so forth. But this will be temporary

What a wonderful article !
This is the best of the best of writers about these horrible events.

British Guardian
In the US, where hate rules at the ballot box, this tragedy has been coming for a long time
The shooting of Gabrielle Giffords may lead to the temporary hibernation of rightwing rage, but it is encoded in conservative DNA

By Michael Tomasky
Michael Tomasky (born 1960) is a liberal American columnist, journalist and author. He is the editor in chief of Democracy, American editor-at-large at Guardian America, a contributing editor for The American Prospect, and a contributor to The New York Review of Books.

His work has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Harper's Weekly, The Nation, The Village Voice, The New York Review of Books, Dissent, Lingua Franca, George, and GQ.

Some excerpts :
As to the future, some things will change, at least for a while. Sarah Palin will be deeply diminished by this. Speaking about the now well-known cross-hairs imagery over the map of Giffords' congressional district on Palin's website, Giffords herself last year expressed concern about "consequences". Palin pooh-poohed this at the time. Her unctuous and hypocritical "prayer" for Giffords and the other victims will mollify only those who think she can do no wrong. But in general, this hastens that blessed day when we no longer have to pay attention to her self-serving lies and idiocies.

Republicans and even Tea Partiers will have the sense – again, for a while – to steer clear of directly gun-related rhetoric. We won't be hearing much in the near term about "second amendment remedies" and insurrection and so forth. But this will be temporary. Guns are simply too central to the mythology of the American right, as is the idea of liberty being wrested from tyrants only at gunpoint. For the American right to stop talking about armed insurrection would be like American liberals dropping the subjects of race and gender. It's too encoded in conservative DNA.

In addition, contemporary American conservatism has been utterly arrested by this ridiculous paranoid fantasy that our government is a tyranny. Here was Republican Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia, speaking in Washington last April on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing: "Fellow patriots, we have a lot of domestic enemies of the constitution, and they're right down the Mall, in the Congress of the United States – and right down Independence Avenue in the White House that belongs to us. It's not about my ability to hunt, which I love to do. It's not about the ability for me to protect my family and property against criminals, which we have the right to do. But it's all about us protecting ourselves from a tyrannical government." The year before, this same Broun singled out then-Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, as one such "domestic enemy of the constitution". He was re-elected last November with 67% of the vote.

Paul McCartney had no earthly reason to think that an innocent song about a fairground ride (Helter Skelter) would lead a man to commit barbarous acts of murder. Today's Republicans and conservative commentators, however, surely understand the fire they're playing with. But they do it, and a tragedy like Saturday's won't stop them, as long as they can maintain a phoney plausible deniability and as long as hate continues to pay dividends at the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

Did Jared train at Camp Vigilance with the BPAUX?

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