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US media reacts with dismay to Giffords shooting

world Updated: Jan 09, 2011 11:54 IST

US media reacted with dismay to Saturday's shooting in Arizona of US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, calling it a tragedy and a "heartbreaking" event.

But at the same time they urged restraint in any reaction to the attack, in which six people, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl, were killed.

"The shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords is, of course, both heartbreaking and depressing," The Los Angeles Times said in an editorial.

It had been years since the country had been through the trauma of a political assassination attempt, said the paper.

"Nevertheless, the sane and rational approach to such an event is to stop, take a deep breath, listen to the facts -- and above all, to condemn violence in the harshest possible terms," the editorial noted.

Giffords, a Democrat, was in a critical condition after being shot in the head Saturday by a gunman in Tucson, Arizona.

President Barack Obama called the attack on Giffords a "tragedy for our entire country". Police said the gunman may not have acted alone.

The Arizona Republic, the leading newspaper in the state, predicted that "this horrific tragedy" would be characterized as a consequence of Arizona's politics, a reference to attempts to crack down on illegal immigration.

Last April, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a controversial immigration law aimed at identifying, prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants from the state.

The measure sparked protests around the country and even attempts to economically boycott the state.

"This incident will be used to stigmatize Arizona," the Arizona Republic said in its editorial.

"It will fit into a narrative of this state as a place of hatred and rampant violence. That is unavoidable.

"But many of us know the fallacy of the easy politics of convenience and stereotypes and how simple it can be to use one terrible moment to characterize the state."