Wounds remain fresh 1 month after Tucson shooting

Feb 8 2011 - 11:58am

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Pat Shannahan, The Arizona Republic/The Associated Press
Amanda Sapir picks up flags left at a memorial outside Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Tucson office on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz. Volunteers dismantled a massive tribute Friday outside the Tucson hospital where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of a mass shooting were treated. The volunteers removed thousands of candles, cards, photos, stuffed animals and flowers that blanketed the 60 foot-by-100 foot lawn in front of University Medical Center, where doctors performed life-saving surgery on the Arizona congresswoman, who is now in a rehabilitation facility in Houston. The items filled up 60 boxes, which will be stored in a locked area at the hospital until a permanent memorial can be built, hospital spokeswoman Darci Slaten said.
Pat Shannahan, The Arizona Republic/The Associated Press
Lisa Duncan, of Tucson, box up items left at a memorial outside the Safeway where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot and six people killed on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz. Volunteers dismantled a massive tribute Friday outside the Tucson hospital where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of a mass shooting were treated. The volunteers removed thousands of candles, cards, photos, stuffed animals and flowers that blanketed the 60 foot-by-100 foot lawn in front of University Medical Center, where doctors performed life-saving surgery on the Arizona congresswoman, who is now in a rehabilitation facility in Houston. The items filled up 60 boxes, which will be stored in a locked area at the hospital until a permanent memorial can be built, hospital spokeswoman Darci Slaten said.
Pat Shannahan, The Arizona Republic/The Associated Press
Bettina Hofacre is framed by a heart while helping collect items at a memorial outside University Medical Center to the victims of the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. Volunteers dismantled a massive tribute Friday outside the Tucson hospital where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of a mass shooting were treated. The volunteers removed thousands of candles, cards, photos, stuffed animals and flowers that blanketed the 60 foot-by-100 foot lawn in front of University Medical Center, where doctors performed life-saving surgery on the Arizona congresswoman, who is now in a rehabilitation facility in Houston. The items filled up 60 boxes, which will be stored in a locked area at the hospital until a permanent memorial can be built, hospital spokeswoman Darci Slaten said.
Pat Shannahan, The Arizona Republic/The Associated Press
Amanda Sapir picks up flags left at a memorial outside Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Tucson office on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz. Volunteers dismantled a massive tribute Friday outside the Tucson hospital where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of a mass shooting were treated. The volunteers removed thousands of candles, cards, photos, stuffed animals and flowers that blanketed the 60 foot-by-100 foot lawn in front of University Medical Center, where doctors performed life-saving surgery on the Arizona congresswoman, who is now in a rehabilitation facility in Houston. The items filled up 60 boxes, which will be stored in a locked area at the hospital until a permanent memorial can be built, hospital spokeswoman Darci Slaten said.
Pat Shannahan, The Arizona Republic/The Associated Press
Lisa Duncan, of Tucson, box up items left at a memorial outside the Safeway where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot and six people killed on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz. Volunteers dismantled a massive tribute Friday outside the Tucson hospital where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of a mass shooting were treated. The volunteers removed thousands of candles, cards, photos, stuffed animals and flowers that blanketed the 60 foot-by-100 foot lawn in front of University Medical Center, where doctors performed life-saving surgery on the Arizona congresswoman, who is now in a rehabilitation facility in Houston. The items filled up 60 boxes, which will be stored in a locked area at the hospital until a permanent memorial can be built, hospital spokeswoman Darci Slaten said.
Pat Shannahan, The Arizona Republic/The Associated Press
Bettina Hofacre is framed by a heart while helping collect items at a memorial outside University Medical Center to the victims of the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. Volunteers dismantled a massive tribute Friday outside the Tucson hospital where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of a mass shooting were treated. The volunteers removed thousands of candles, cards, photos, stuffed animals and flowers that blanketed the 60 foot-by-100 foot lawn in front of University Medical Center, where doctors performed life-saving surgery on the Arizona congresswoman, who is now in a rehabilitation facility in Houston. The items filled up 60 boxes, which will be stored in a locked area at the hospital until a permanent memorial can be built, hospital spokeswoman Darci Slaten said.

PHOENIX -- A month after a lone gunman shot U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others, the southern Arizona city and those whose lives were changed by what happened outside that Tucson grocery store are still reeling from the shockwaves that the massacre sent throughout the country.

Tuesday marks one month since the tragedy, but the families of the six people killed in the Jan. 8 shooting remained awash in grief and the 13 survivors are struggling with their injuries and the emotional scars left behind.

Giffords, who was critically wounded after being shot in the head, has been recovering at a rehabilitation hospital in Houston.

By appearances, Tucson has largely returned to normal, with massive makeshift memorials to the victims dismantled and boxed in locked storage for a future permanent memorial.

Meanwhile, more than a hundred miles north in Phoenix, state lawmakers are taking action in the aftermath of the shooting.

Democrat legislators introduced a bill late Monday that would ban the sale of large-capacity gun magazines, like the one used in the Tucson rampage. It faces a difficult road to passage at the Republican-led Legislature, which has a strong record on gun rights.

A second piece of legislation has bipartisan support. It would require educational institutions and public agencies to notify health authorities about terminations, expulsions and suspensions resulting from violence or threatening behavior.

Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old Tucson man charged in the shooting, was booted out of Pima Community College because of behavior that campus police considered disturbing. He was told to get a mental health evaluation or not return.

Some lawmakers say they're comporting themselves with new restraint and respect amid increased bipartisanship.

"Things have changed," said state House Speaker Kirk Adams, a Mesa Republican who, on the Jan. 10 opening day of the legislative session, said he prayed that the Legislature and society would be more attuned to respect and value.

"The relationships on an individual basis between the majority and the minority are better," Adams said Monday. "We're communicating a lot. We're cooperating on everything that it's possible to cooperate on."

Two Democratic leaders offered somewhat differing assessments.

House Minority Whip Matt Heinz said he was finding Republicans receptive to work on several policy issues in the session's first month.

"I certainly feel a sense of more unity, and it's not so much us versus them," he said.

But Tucson Democrat Rep. Steve Farley, the chief sponsor of the gun-magazine bill, said he thinks that the shooting is now fading for many lawmakers, particularly those from other parts of the state.

"When I come up I-10, it's almost like it never happened," said Farley, referring to the major interstate freeway that links Arizona's capital city with Tucson. "In Tucson, we're still in the middle of it."

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