TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Speaker of the House has corrected a statement sent to a reporter that drew outrage online.
After the weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio, political reporter Dennis Welch asked Speaker Rusty Bowers whether the Arizona legislature planned to pass any firearms legislation in the upcoming legislative session.
In his response, Bowers said the state "has been fortunate enough not to experience a major mass shooting," apparently forgetting the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting in Tucson that left six people dead -- including a 9-year-old girl -- and 15 others injured -- including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) issued the following statement on potential gun control legislation where he apparently doesn’t consider the 2011 shooting in Tucson a “major mass shooting.” Six people died and more than a dozen injured including then congresswomen Gabby Giffords pic.twitter.com/QegIvdgLWk— Dennis Welch (@dennis_welch) August 6, 2019
About an hour and a half later, Bowers issued a correction on his previous statement -- but not before a flood of angry tweets and replies.
UPDATE: House Speaker Rusty Bowers’ office says he made a mistake by not considering 2011 shooting in Tucson a mass shooting. pic.twitter.com/3jRKKKli9U— Dennis Welch (@dennis_welch) August 6, 2019
Other tweets were quick to point out that Tucson's Jan. 8 shooting was not the only "major mass shooting" in Arizona's history.
There have been many. I’m a native Phoenician. 1991 Buddhist Temple that killed 9...as well as the other horrific ones. I remember the horror of Gabby Gifford’s. We have asshole pols in AZ people.🤬🤮— Andrea S (@Andrea_Kimb) August 6, 2019