This is a screengrab from Sarah Palin's website Take Back the 20, taken moments ago. One of the crosshairs in Arizona appears to be for the district represented by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat. (First iteration of Ms. Palin's map here.)
Rep. Giffords, who'd just won a third term, was shot today in the head outside a grocery store while meeting with constituents. The Arizona Republic is live-blogging coverage. The latest from them says Ms. Giffords is in surgery in very serious condition -- UPDATE: The paper says she's out of surgery and in intensive care. A federal judge, John M. Roll, and a Giffords staffer were also reportedly killed. MSNBC says the alleged shooter, 22, is in custody. In all, six people are reported dead. The toll includes a nine-year-old girl. Eighteen people were injured.
ADDING: As several commenters have noted, there's no indication that the alleged shooter was politically motivated. Even if the perpetrator turns out to have been seriously involved in political causes, which again there's no evidence of, his actions will likely remain senseless. What we can say is that today's shooting, whatever its motivation, comes after an election season that was marked by the language of violence, like Sharron Angle's call for Second Amendment remedies. And so today's literal violence in a political context will inevitably raise questions about the effect of violent rhetoric.
Firedog Lake and David Safier each link to an ad they say came from the Pima County Republican website in June. It invites people to a fundraiser for Ms. Giffords' opponent, Jesse Kelly. The ad urges:
Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shot a fully automatic M15 with Jesse Kelly
Today Mr. Kelly tweets, "We are all deeply saddened by this morning's shooting. Gabrielle Giffords, the other victims, and their families are in our prayers."
Sarah Palin has offered her condolences over Facebook. After the November vote, Yahoo noted that Ms. Palin's Take Back the 20 campaign "scores a bull's-eye." Ms. Giffords' seat was one of only two Ms. Palin's favored candidates lost.
After today's shooting, Ms. Palin's website went down. It's possible that it's simply being overwhelmed with traffic, though the error message I get says my browser "can't find the server." I was able to screengrab a couple of the pages before the site went dark. If you've got more, share links in the comments, please.
(H/T Aaron Naparstek)
Sarah Palin's map with Gabrielle Giffords' name.