Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and over a dozen others were shot earlier this afternoon. 

At last reports, she was in critical condition and in surgery.  The gunman is in custody but no details on his identity or motive have been released.

The left-blogosphere already is blaming the shooting on Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.  I’ll have more on that later. 

For now, my prayers go out for Congresswoman Giffords and the other shooting victims.
Consider this an open thread.

Updates:

Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court Arizona, John M. Roll, a George H.W. Bush appointee, is confirmed shot. (per FoxNews 4:09, confirmed dead)

The shooter is identified as Jared Laughner (sp?)(update: Loughner).  If anyone can find out something about him, please post in comments.

4 p.m. E.S.T. hospital news conference, 10 patients, 1 dead (young child, 9 years old), 5 in critical.  Congresswoman in critical condition, “very optimistic about recovery” “following commands” “shot one time in head through and through on one side of head” “about as optimistic as one can be in this situation”.

It’s becoming apparent that the shooter was psychotic and likely not aligned with any political movement, as witnessed by his farewell video on YouTube:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHoaZaLbqB4?fs=1]

This other video the shooter posted reflects psychosis:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhAx8WzNJT0?fs=1]

Remember when a deranged environmental activist  took hostages, Media Matters was quick (and correct) to point out the following:

Markos Moulitsas, who founded and runs DailyKos was one of the first to blame Sarah Palin, based on a chart of targeted districts she had on her website several months ago:

Markos must have forgotten that he wrote that Giffords district had a “bulls eye” on it based on Gifford’s voting record:

Markos’ website also hosted a blog post declaring that Giffords was “dead to me”:

As soon as Markos was called out on it, he took down the post [update – the DailyKos blogger who posted it apparently was the one to take it down]:

Matthew Yglesias also has been at it all day, posting links suggesting a connection between the Palin chart and the shooting, but then denying he actually meant to draw a connection when people called him out on it:

It’s interesting how all these left-wing bloggers are seizing on a chart from a Palin website without ANY evidence that the shooter ever saw it or acted on it.

Via Verum Serum, here’s a chart of Republicans being targeted from the Democratic Leadership Committee website:

For what it’s worth, as several commenters note, a women who claims to have known the shooter claims that he was fairly left-wing as of a few years ago:

The 2012 prophecy refers to a Mayan end of times prediction.

I don’t blame the guy’s left-wing politics, I blame his obvious mental illness, which hopefully will not give him a legal excuse like John Hinckley.

While some of the bloggers at Firedoglake are playing the Palin connection, as least Jane Hamsher seems to have it right (emphasis mine):

He encourages people to read the Constitution in order to “apprehend of the current treasonous laws.” He appears to be more paranoid than political, however, and concludes “The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.”

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