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Entries in Pima County (2)

Thursday
Sep012011

Pima Co. GOP to Raffle Same Type Gun Used to Shoot Rep. Giffords

Tom Williams/Roll Call(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Forget quilts and cookies, the Pima County Republican Party in Arizona is auctioning off a handgun at their next party fundraiser. And not just any handgun -- the same series of pistol that was used in the Tucson shooting of Rep. Gabriel Giffords in January.

“Help Pima County get out the vote and maybe help yourself to a new Glock .45. Get yourself a new Glock 23 .40 cal handgun for just 10 bucks -- if your name is drawn. That’s right for just 10 dollars this gun could be yours,” reads the Pima GOP’s flyer that was sent to supporters Aug. 26.

The text is followed by a large photo of the handgun and a note that the gun comes with three 12-round magazines.

“This raffle shows a stunning lack of judgment and sensitivity in raffling of the same make of weapon used in the January shooting,” said Jeff Rogers, the chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party. Pima County includes Tucson. “It’s a slap in the face of a grieving community.”

Rogers said the Glock 23 that the GOP plans to raffle off is a more powerful, more easily concealed version of the Glock 19 used to shoot Giffords.

“If these guys had chosen to raffle off a shotgun or a hunting rifle it might not have gone so nuts on the Internet,” he said. “We’re pretty raw and still on edge down here and it certainly doesn’t help to heal this community.”

Pima GOP’s interim director, Mark Shaw, said “there weren’t any concerns” about the gun raffle until The Huffington Post reported about it Thursday.

“We at the Pima GOP regard gun ownership as a constitutional right and an Arizona tradition,” Shaw said. “We’re just standing on the Second Amendment and we certainly don’t feel like we’re doing something wrong.”

But the former leader of the Pima County GOP told Talking Points Memo he disagrees with his predecessor.

“There’s a woman who has a bullet in the brain and who everybody is wishing a full recovery,” Brian Miller, the immediate past chair of the Pima County GOP told TPM. “I don’t think that raffling off a firearm right now is probably the right way to go.”

Giffords, D-Ariz., is still recovering after being shot in the head by 22-year-old Jared Loughner in January. Six others were shot and killed at the open meeting the congresswoman was holding at a Tucson Safeway grocery store.

Gifford’s spokesman Mike Kimball declined to comment on the gun raffle, saying only that “we don’t, as a congressional office, get involved in political issues at all.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan102011

Arizona Sheriff Blasts Rush Limbaugh for Spewing 'Irresponsible' Vitriol

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The Arizona sheriff investigating the Tucson shooting that left U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded had harsh words Monday for those engaging in political rhetoric, calling conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh "irresponsible" for continuing the vitriol.

"The kind of rhetoric that flows from people like Rush Limbaugh, in my judgment he is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said Monday. "[Limbaugh] attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences."

Limbaugh on Monday railed against the media and Dupnik for trying to draw a link between the heated political climate and the shooting rampage, calling the sheriff a "fool." But Dupnik stood by his assertions.

"The vitriol affects the [unstable] personality that we are talking about," he said. "You can say, 'Oh no, it doesn't,' but my opinion is that it does."

Investigators have yet to determine what motivated 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, described by some as appearing to be mentally unstable, to allegedly open fire on the crowd outside the Tucson Safeway. However, so far there is no evidence that he has any ties to any political group

Dupnik took ABC News' Diane Sawyer on a tour Monday of the Safeway where six people were killed and 14 others, including Giffords, were injured.

Dupnik said eyewitnesses reported that the gun was about a foot away from Giffords' head when she was shot. The gunman then fired wildly and seemingly indiscriminately at the crowd of people.

"It's a matter of seconds," he said. "I'm told he was firing as fast he was capable of firing."

"He's trying to reload when one of the individuals hits him over the head with a chair," he said, "and then people grab him and a lady grabs the magazine and at that point he is subdued."

Dupnik maintains that it was Loughner's own demons, not his state's relatively lenient gun control laws, that caused the tragedy on Saturday.

"He could have purchased this gun in any state. It's not just Arizona," said Dupnik, who owns a gun. "There are too many people who have temper problems who have troubled personalities. This isn't an unusual individual. There are hundreds just like him in our community -- and in every other community."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio