Giffords had been target of violent threats
By Zachary Roth

It is not yet known whether or not the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and as many as a dozen other people at a public event in Tucson, was an act of political violence.

The AP has reported that the gunman has been identified as Jared Loughner. There’s still uncertainty about Loughner’s motives and politics. But a Youtube video posted under the name Jared Lee Loughner of Tucson proposes creating a “new currency,” and rails against non-English speakers “in District 8” — Giffords’s congressional district.

But it’s worth noting that Giffords — who in 2006 became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, at 36 — has, for more than a year, been the target of violence-tinged rhetoric from political opponents and of threats that appear to have come from right-wing activists.

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