If you were around during October you read about my “real” job in politics. For those of us who have day jobs in politics the mass shooting at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ “Congress on the Corner” Event has struck close to home. While I usually work only the campaign side of politics, I have many friends in Congress and a ton of friends who are aides. Needless to say, the shooting rattled me, and many of my friends, to the core.
The shock turned to pain as the first reports came in claiming Rep. Giffords was dead. The pain lifted for a few moments when word came Rep. Giffords was still alive and in surgery. The joy was short lived as we all heard of the deaths and other injuries. We heard of the heroic efforts of the three people who tackled and disarmed the gunman. We heard of the intern who probably saved Rep. Giffords’ life. We heard of others who helped the injured and dying.
Between all of that I spent too much time on the phone talking to the offices of those I work closely with. Suddenly, the blog and the book were no longer important. The safety of my friends was. Due to that, today’s blog post is about a tragedy that has changed politics as we (at least those of us who are staffers) know it.
Congressmen & Congresswomen will insist that they still be accessible to the public. Trust me, they will still insist on setting up tables in grocery stores, deli shops, ice cream stores, corners, and elsewhere across their districts. They are going to insist on going to county fairs and being in parades; especially those from “small town” districts. But now every single person on staff, be it Congressional or Campaign staff, shall suddenly worry a bit more at every event.
That’s for tomorrow. For today we shall mourn our dead and pray for the wounded. Today, 10 January, at 11:00 EST a moment of silence shall be held to honor all of the victims. Today, the US House will reconvene but no business shall be conducted. Everyone’s thoughts and prayers will be in Arizona.
And tomorrow I will get back to the books and the blog. But for today, I join my fellow politicos in mourning and prayers for Rep. Giffords, her staffers who were injured, the bystanders who were shot, and the families of those who are not here today.
I do not have information on all of those we lost, though I do have their names. I ask you to join me in remembering these souls today, praying for their families, and praying for those who are recovering.
Christina-Taylor Green: Age Nine who was a “Faces of Hope” baby born on 9-11-2001. She had just been elected to Student Council and was on a Little League Baseball Team.
Gabe Zimmerman: Age 30 one of Rep. Giffords’ people from the very beginning. He was engaged to be married.
John Roll: Age 63, a father, grandfather and a federal judge
Dorwin Stoddard: Age 76 and pastor at Mountain Ave Church of Christ
Dorothy Morris: Age 76, retired
Phyllis Scheck: Age 79, retired