It is the eve of Martin Luther King Day and our nation again is struggling to come to grips with another horrible crime. Last Saturday, a madman who was obsessed with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, shot her in the head at point blank range then turned the gun onto a gathering of his fellow citizens. Six people were murdered; Christina-Taylor Green, 9, of Tucson, John Roll, 63, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Arizona, Gabriel "Gabe" Zimmerman, 30, a member of Giffords' staff since 2006, Phyllis Schneck, 79, from Tucson, Dorwan Stoddard, 76, retired construction worker and husband of Mavy Stoddard, who was wounded, Dorothy "Dot" Morris, 76, a retired secretary and wife of George Morris, who was also wounded. The madman’s bullets wounded 14 people in all.
The madman was apprehended at the scene. After he had emptied his first clip of bullets, he stopped to reload, but fumbled and dropped the clip where an unwounded Patricia Maisch was able to grab it. Another citizen clubbed the madman with a folding chair. The madman was then tackled to the ground by 74-year-old retired colonel Bill Badger, who had been shot, and was further subdued by Maisch and Roger Sulzgeber and Joseph Zamudio. It is because of the quick acting of these good people that this horrific crime was not worse. While we can see that evil is everywhere, it is heartening that heroism is more common in our national character.
As of this date Congresswoman Giffords has reportedly been taken off a ventilator. She has opened her eyes and the doctors seem optimistic. It has been said that she was lucky that the bullet exited her skull, thereby causing less damage. According to the father of Christina Green, her organs were donated to a little girl in Boston.
We have lost more than enough to this horrific crime and our thoughts and prayers go out to the injured, the fallen, their loved ones, and their families. All of these are our Patriot dead. They are American citizens that by fate or chance found themselves on the battlefield of freedom. We cannot make the wounded whole. We cannot replace what those that lose a spouse now do not have. There is nothing that would compensate for the lose of a nine year old daughter. Those of us that would call ourselves Americans must do all that we are able to make ourselves worthy of their sacrifice.
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