Democratic Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday was shot point-blank in the head at a congressional meet-and-greet set up at a Safeway supermarket in Tucson. Reports updated Monday morning say Giffords, 44, is in critical condition after surgery, but that she is responding to simple commands and doctors are “cautiously optimistic” about her recovery.
Giffords was among 14 people shot when the suspected perpetrator, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, approached her and opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon. Loughner was tackled by a bystander and taken into custody, but not after killing six people, including John M. Roll, the chief federal judge in Arizona; Gabriel Zimmerman, a congressional aide; and a nine-year-old girl.
The Advocate summarized Giffords’ voting record and congressional career, which reflects her strong support of LGBT equality:
“Giffords, a Democrat, was first elected to the House in 2006. She scored a 92% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard during the 111th session of Congress. She voted to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” and was a cosponsor of several gay rights bills, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which passed in 2009.”
President Obama has called for a moment of silence at 11am EST on Monday, January 10, for Giffords and the other victims of the tragic shooting. For more information, click here.