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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Tucson community reaches out to show support for victims

The Tucson community is putting together a variety of events to show support for Saturday’s victims.

Adam Kinsey, the executive director of the Pima County Democratic Party, believes that Tucson is “”responding remarkably with a lot of dignity and compassion.”” There have been vigils at a half-dozen locations, including a continuous vigil that is ongoing at the University Medical Center, according to Kinsey. He said community members are also writing down their thoughts regarding the shooting in a “”remembrance book”” at Pima County Democratic Headquarters, as well as at the Arizona state Capitol.  

Other members of the Tucson political community are reaching out to those affected by the shooting, including Rep. Raul Grijalva, according to Pat Burns, the former communications director for the Grijalva campaign in 2010.

“”He (Grijalva) has been hitting a lot of the talk shows explaining how and why it (the shooting) happened,”” Burns said. “”His district director was in Gifford’s office helping in any way he could. Our office is going to continue offering any help with whatever they need. We are all affected by this. It could have been any one of us.””

The Arizona Students’ Association and the Associated Students of the University of Arizona are working closely with the university to help prepare for the memorial, according to Elma Delic, board chair of ASA. They are recruiting volunteers, both students and community members, to help at the event and be in attendance, according to Delic.

“”We will also be reaching out to students as well as Tucson community members, especially those who were impacted, so they have all resources necessary during this time,”” she said.

The UA’s Young Democrats and College Republicans are also planning on getting involved in the support effort to reach out to students once school starts.

The College Republicans plan on protesting the Westboro Baptist Church’s picketing of the victim’s funerals, according to political science junior Lauren Bouton, the group’s secretary.

“”We definitely don’t want to turn this (the shooting) into a political thing,”” she said. “”We do not support her (Giffords) in her political views, but we would never wish this upon her. We are praying for her family in this time of need.””

Members of the Young Democrats are volunteering at President Barack Obama’s visit to the UA today.  

“”Gabby Giffords is a well-liked congresswoman. We view her as family in the political community.”” said Erik Lundstrom, the group’s president and political science sophomore. “”Everyone has been coming out to show their support. Her district office has a beautiful array of candles and signs showing support for her and the community.””

Both clubs expressed interest in creating some type of event for students once school begins.

To show ongoing support for the victims and their families, Kinsey said he believes that giving back to the community, as Giffords would want, should be a priority. Kinsey recommended donating blood at a local blood drive or food to a food bank, causes which were close to Gifford’s heart. On a political level he says the legislature is working on a law mirroring 40 other states’ that limits hate speech within a certain vicinity of funerals, a direct response to the Westboro Baptist Church’s promised appearance at all six funerals.

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