Speaking on Jared Lee Loughner’s attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) yesterday, FBI Director Robert Mueller said, “The ubiquitous nature of the Internet means that not only threats, but hate speech and other inciteful speech is much more readily available to individuals than quite clearly it was eight or 10 or 15 years ago. … That absolutely presents a challenge for us, particularly when it results in what would be lone wolves or lone offenders undertaking attacks.”
Federal prosecutors yesterday charged 22 year-old Loughner with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the mass shooting that critically wounded Giffords and killed a federal judge and a Giffords staffer, among others. FBI director Robert Mueller said Giffords was targeted for assassination.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) says she plans to introduce new gun control legislation following Saturday’s shooting. “Again, we need to look at how this is going to work, to protect people, certainly citizens, and we have to look at what I can pass,” she said of her legislation. The extended magazine used by the shooter was illegal under the now-expired assault weapons ban.
A Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by Fox News speculates that Loughner may have links to a white supremacist group known as American Renaissance. However, the “group’s leader told Fox that they had no record of Loughner being on the subscriber list or attending events.”
The tea party movement was quick to say “don’t blame us” for the Giffords shooting. The movement “has from the beginning struggled to debunk a storyline that its fiery rhetoric pushed followers towards violence,” and indeed several tea party protestors have harassed Giffords in the past, but leaders were outspoken yesterday indenying any culpability.
The House will postpone the health care repeal vote set for this week due to the shooting of Giffords (D-AZ), House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said Saturday. All legislation scheduled for this week will be postponed “so that we can take whatever actions may be necessary” to address the tragedy, he said.
Thousands of south Sudanese arrived at polling stations for a second straight day, as the region undertakes a historic independence vote that would see the southern part of the conflict-torn region emerge as a new state. A flare-up in violence at the North-South border marred the voting, however, and Western monitors expressed their “deep concerns” about the situation.
And finally: Fans will get only one season of caribou hunting and snow machine riding from “real America’s” favorite former governor, as TLC has canceled “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” The two-hour season finale of the reality TV show aired last night, and Palin-ites will have to satisfied with that until cable news becomes a de facto Palin reality TV show when she announces her inevitable run for the presidency later this year.
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