Gabrielle Giffords Breathing Tube Is Removed

Gabrielle GiffordsIn some amazing news after the horrific Arizona shooting last week, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' breathing tube was removed today. According to hospital reports, she's breathing on her own through a tracheotomy tube. 

Just last week, I typed the horrifying words that U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was dead. It turned out to, thankfully, be an inaccurate report to the press, but still after being shot at close range in the head, her prognosis didn't look good. Yet all week, there have been signs of her strength and determination -- responses to commands, tracking light. Though she remains in critical condition, this recent news is simply incredible.


On Friday, one of Giffords' staffers who was injured in the shooting, Pam Simon, returned to work in the district office, which was open for business. Earlier today, news came that the Safeway supermarket where six were killed and Giffords and 13 others were injured had reopened today. A moment of silence has held at the site just after 10 a.m. -- exactly one week after the horrific incident.

At first I wondered if it was too soon, but I realize that it's not. It's a sign of healing, just like this recent progress from Giffords is. And while there will always be scars, healing is what this country needs.

More information continues to come to light about about what a troubled young man Jared Loughner, the suspect, was. New pictures of him in a g-string with a gun have surfaced; a new  YouTube video about his "genocide school" has been found; and various clues from friends and are being offered in an attempt to answer the question: Why? 

We may never know, not really, but the best we can do is to embrace the signs of healing and try to do what we can to prevent such further incidents from happening without doing more damage -- through blame and attacks -- along the way.

As Giffords' communications director, C.J. Karamargin, said:

"No act of depravity would be enough to close down this small little outpost of our government. The office is open, our government is open, our democracy is open and that hasn't changed."

Are you surprised to learn U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is breathing on her own just a week after the shooting in Tucson?

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