The truly horrific news in Tuscon today defies any sort of context, but it follows an incident of violence targeted at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords earlier this year.
On March 21, 2010, the night the House of Representatives passed its sweeping health reform law, a window was smashed in Congresswoman Giffords's office in Tuscon, the city she has represented in Congress since 2006, where she was shot today. Her staff stayed late in the office, as the health care vote happened well into the night in Washington, and after everyone had left, someone smashed a window.
The Arizona Daily Star published this story the following day:
The front door was smashed out at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' congressional office last night.
At 2:40 a.m., just a few hours after staff left the building after the late-night vote, the alarm system went off, said spokesman C.J. Karamargin. The panel to the front door and the glass panel alongside it were smashed out. The perpetrator likely had to hop the gated fence to get access to the door, since it's not viewable from the parking lot.
Karamargin said it was unclear if the glass had been shot out with a kind of pellet gun, if it had been kicked or smashed with an object. The door has been covered with plywood.
Giffords's office became one of many stories that week about violence and intimidation aimed at members of Congress surrounding the health care vote. Seven months earlier, tensions over health care and President Obama's stimulus plan had led to violence at lawmakers' town-all meetings, like the one Giffords was hosting today.