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Arizona house speaker Rusty Bowers was forced to return on foot, a statement he made about the possible gun-control legislation in the state, after he erroneously said that Arizona “is not to experience happiness, to shoot a large mass.”
Bowers, a Republican, apparently had to forget the 2011 mass shooting at a Safeway Parking lot in the Tucson area, left six dead and 13 wounded, including then-US rep Gabrielle Giffords.
“While Arizona has been lucky not to experience a mass shooting, that should not stop us from considering measures to prevent a tragedy like we saw over the weekend in Texas and Ohio,” Bowers said in a statement that was published on Twitter by a local journalist.
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Bowers’ office was quick to fix the snafu – was wrong shortly after, the Arizona Republic, the speaker of the house of representatives “in the classification of the 2011 Tucson shooting” – but not before his Democratic colleagues in the state Parliament rushed to his statement.
“If the speakers are Bowers has forgotten about the mass shooting in Tucson, in the AZ, I’m sure that [Rep. Daniel Fernandez] and I might find some time to help him, remember,” State Rep. Randy Friese, a Democrat representing Tucson, said on Twitter. “The #AZLeg has never heard a gun safety bill, which I supported in Committee of the whole 5 years. @Gifford courage.”
Fernandez, who is also, of Tucson, was a 20-year-old Intern for Giffords, who on the day of the 2011 shooting, and ran his hand over her gunshot wound to the head, to stop the bleeding. Friese, a trauma surgeon, prepared for the then-Congressman for the first of numerous operations that saved her life.
Both Democratic legislators are vocal advocates for stricter gun laws in the Grand Canyon State.
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2011 shooting in Tucson, the most deadly mass shootings in the history of the state is not. In 1991, nine people were shot to death at the Wat Promkunaram Buddhist temple in Waddell.
The debate about the gun laws in Arizona comes after a deadly weekend in the United States, in which a total of 31 people were killed and more than 50 injured in a couple of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.