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For Arizona Girl, a life of hope with tragic endpoints

[ 2011-01-18 12:21]     字号 [] [] []  
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For Arizona Girl, a life of hope with tragic endpoints

This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

Christina Taylor Green was born on September 11th, 2001, the day when terrorists attacked the United States. A book published the following year, "Faces of Hope," showed 50 babies born that day, one from each state. One was Christina.

Last Saturday, the nine-year-old girl was among six people killed by a gunman at a political event in Tucson, Arizona. She was the youngest victim, and the first to be buried. On Thursday, a flag recovered from the World Trade Center in New York flew outside the church where her funeral took place.

Services took place Friday at the same church for another victim, Arizona's chief federal judge, John Roll.

A neighbor had invited Christina to meet her congresswoman at a "Congress on Your Corner" event near a store. The third-grader had recently been elected to the student council at school.

For Arizona Girl, a life of hope with tragic endpoints

But she also had other interests besides politics. She was the only girl on her Little League baseball team, and wanted to become the first woman in the major leagues.

The gunman wounded Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 13 other people, including the neighbor who brought Christina.

On Wednesday, President Obama spoke at a memorial service held at the University of Arizona. He talked about each victim, including Christina Green.

BARACK OBAMA: "I want to live up to her expectations. [Applause] I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it. [Applause] All of us -– we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations. [Applause]"

Doctors say Representative Giffords continues to make progress, although they cannot predict the extent of her recovery. She was shot through the brain. Police believe she was the main target of the attack -- the first shooting of a member of Congress in more than 30 years.

Officials continue to investigate the 22-year-old suspect. Jared Loughner withdrew from a local community college after being suspended last September because of fears about his behavior.

Arizona has some of the nation's least restrictive gun laws. Arizonans have a long tradition with guns -- even Congresswoman Giffords talked about owning one.

Mr. Loughner did not have a record of crimes or mental problems that would have prevented him from buying a gun. Two men seized him as he stopped to reload, and a woman pulled away his ammunition. Some lawmakers are proposing to renew a former ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, like what the gunman had. These can hold more than 30 rounds.

But the National Rifle Association has worked hard to fight restrictions on weapons.

Many political leaders have joined the president in appealing for unity. But the shooting has also led to debate about whether or not the nation's heated political talk is enough to incite violence.

A majority of Americans believe heated political speech played little if any part in the Arizona shooting. That was the finding of a USA Today-Gallup public opinion survey. Also, only about one in five people said they believe stronger gun controls would have prevented the shooting.

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

Related stories:

Experts say violence not necessarily linked to mental illness

Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot at public event

US lawmaker injured in shooting, 6 others killed

Suspected US assassin to show in court

(来源:VOA 编辑:崔旭燕)