Tragedy in Tucson Anniversary: Bell ringing at 10:10 a.m. today


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Today is the second anniversary of the tragedy in Tucson. Bells ring today to honor Jan. 8 victims:

Bells will ring in Tucson at 10:10 a.m. today to commemorate the second anniversary of the Jan. 8, 2011, mass shooting.

Mayor Jonathan Roths- child will be at the downtown fire station at 300 S. Fire Central Place, which will ring its bell 19 times – one for each of the victims of the massacre. Rothschild is encouraging Tucsonans to join in by ringing bells at the same time. He's also urging local residents to take a moment and reflect.

A gunman opened fire during a congressional meet-and-greet at a Tucson-area shopping plaza at 10:10 a.m. on Jan. 8, 2011. In less than a minute he killed six people and injured 13, including then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot through the head and continues to recover.

An interview with Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, with ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer is scheduled to be aired tonight at 5:30 Tucson time on KGUN Channel 9. The interview, in which Giffords and Kelly will announce a new initiative they are launching, will also be featured on "Good Morning America" and "Nightline," as well as, Newsmakers on Yahoo!, ABC News Radio, and ABC's local affiliates.

In a clip from the interview, Kelly talks about speaking with the father of one of the 20 children killed in the Dec. 14 mass shooting at a Connecticut school. In the excerpt, Giffords finishes Sawyer's sentence. Sawyer comments that when children are gunned down in a classroom, "it's time to say … "

"Enough," Giffords says.

The teaser clip from Monday night's news broadcast is below the fold.

From ABC News, Giffords, Kelly Say 'Enough' to Gun Violence on 2nd Anniversary of Tucson Shooting – ABC News:

After she was gravely wounded by gunfire two years ago in Tucson, Ariz., former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, imagined a life out of the public eye, where she would continue therapy surrounded by the friends, family and the Arizona desert she loves so much.

But after the slaughter of 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month, Giffords and Kelly knew they couldn't stay silent.

"Enough," Giffords said.

The couple marked the second anniversary of the Tucson shooting by sitting down with Diane Sawyer to discuss their recent visit to Newtown and their new initiative to curb gun violence, "Americans for Responsible Solutions."

"After the shooting in Tucson, there was talk about addressing some of these issues, [and] again after [a movie theater massacre in] Aurora," Colo., Kelly said. "I'm hopeful that this time is different, and I think it is. Twenty first-graders' being murdered in their classrooms is a very personal thing for everybody."

During their trip to Newtown, Giffords and Kelly met with families directly affected by the tragedy.

"[The] first couple that we spoke to, the dad took out his cell phone and showed us a picture of his daughter and I just about lost it, just by looking at the picture," Kelly said. "It was just very tough and it brought back a lot of memories about what that was like for us some two years ago."

"Strength," Giffords said she told the families in Newtown.

"Gabby often told them, 'You got to have strength. You got to fight for something,'" Kelly said.

* * *

"I think we all need to try to do something about [gun violence]," Kelly said. "It's obvious to everybody we have a problem. And problems can be solved."

Giffords, 42, and Kelly, 48, are both gun owners and supporters of the 2nd Amendment, but Kelly had strong words for the National Rifle Association after the group suggested the only way to stop gun violence is to have a "good guy with a gun."

There was a good guy with a gun, Kelly said, the day Jared Loughner shot Giffords and 18 other people, six fatally, at her "Congress on Your Corner" event.

"[A man came out] of the store next door and nearly shot the man who took down Jared Loughner," Kelly said. "The one who eventually wrestled [Loughner] to the ground was almost killed himself by a good guy with a gun, so I don't really buy that argument."

Instead, Giffords and Kelly are proposing "common sense" changes through "Americans for Responsible Solutions."

The first change the couple hopes to enact is to require a comprehensive background check for the private sale of firearms.

* * *

The debate over high-capacity magazines and assault weapons has been renewed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Kelly, a veteran of Desert Storm and a gun owner, said he doesn't believe an extended magazine is necessary for the sport.

"An extended magazine is used to kill people," he said, "lots of people."

* * *

Finally, Kelly hopes to address the issue of how the mentally ill are treated in the United States. Loughner, who was deemed incompetent to stand trial, pleaded guilty to 19 counts in August.

"Jared Loughner was clearly mentally ill," Kelly said.

"Sad," Giffords added.

Kelly said, "We have to learn how to identify these people and get them treatment. And we don't do a very good job at that."

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.