San Diego City Council observes a moment of silence for Arizona tragedy

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego City Council observed a moment of silence Monday to honor wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and six other people who died in a weekend shooting in Tucson.

“This sad event has struck a somber note in all of us,” said council President Tony Young. “We must remain strong and steadfast.”

A total of 19 people were shot in Saturday's rampage. Among the six who died were a federal judge, the 9-year-old granddaughter of former major league baseball manager Dallas Green and Giffords' director of community outreach.

Young called for civil dialogue in what he promised would be a busy year with the City Council and its committees addressing often emotional issues. Instead of tightening security, Young said he is opening his office to the public every other Friday from noon to 3 p.m., with anyone invited without an appointment to discuss their concerns.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer said he has “full confidence” in the ability of the San Diego Police Department to protect public officials, and that he does not have personal security when he goes out to speak with constituents.

A spokesman for the San Diego Mayor's Office said they do not discuss security measures.

The alleged gunman, Jared Loughner, made his first Arizona court appearance in the company of his lawyer, Judy Clarke of San Diego, who previously represented “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, al Qaida terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui and Susan Smith, who drowned her two sons in South Carolina.

All were convicted or pleaded guilty, but none got the death penalty. Loughner, 22, was ordered to remain in custody, pending a Jan. 24 hearing.

Categories: KUSI