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Gabrielle Giffords Shot

Gabrielle Giffords Shot - Just hours after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and others at a neighbourhood meeting in Arizona, about 40 people had gathered in front of her district office, many holding hand-printed signs, others with hands raised towards the traffic, fingers making peace signs.

Motorists sounded car horns in support. Ilene Thompson stood amid the signs that said things like ''Hate Speech = Murder'', banging a drum. Like many of those in the crowd on the corner, she was a volunteer worker in the last Giffords campaign. ''This is just my small way of saying we need a heads-up about the real consequences of hate,'' Ms Thompson said.

Miss Giffords's shooting set off what is likely to be a wrenching debate over anger and violence in American politics.

While the exact motivations of the suspect in the shootings remained unclear, an internet site tied to the man, Jared Lee Loughner, contained anti-government ramblings. And regardless of what led to the episode, it quickly focused attention on the degree to which inflammatory language, threats and implicit instigations to violence have become a steady undercurrent in the nation's political culture.

Gabrielle Giffords Shot

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