After the shootings of Jan. 8, 2011, those of us here at the Tucson Weekly ripped up our planned Currents section for the Jan. 13 issue and dedicated the space to coverage and reaction to the tragedy.
As we went to press that week, we were all still kind of stunned (like much of the rest of Southern Arizona) as we tried to process what had happened. In this space that week, I wrote: "We don't know how complete (Gabrielle) Giffords' recovery will be. We don't know what the long-term fallout, political and otherwise, will be. Well, whatever happens, I promise you that the Tucson Weekly will be here to chronicle and explain it all."
Now, here we are, almost a year later, and those questions I posed are still, to a large degree, unanswered. Yes, we now know more, of course. We know that Giffords' recovery has been pretty spectacular. We know that the fallout has been a mix of inspiring (our community responded by doing a lot of good after the shootings) and disappointing (our mental-health system is, in some ways, in worse shape than it was a year ago, and all those calls for civility seem to have fallen on deaf ears).
But we do not know whether or not Giffords' recovery will allow her to return to Congress or any other office anytime soon, and therefore, we don't know what the political implications of the shootings will be. We don't know the fate of the shooter. We don't know whether the call by Jan. 8 heroes such as Patricia Maisch for better background checks on potential gun-buyers will lead to any sort of fruition.
So ... it looks like the Tucson Weekly still has a lot of chronicling and explaining to do regarding Jan. 8. As part of our continuing efforts, we offer you this special issue, much of which focuses on these aforementioned questions. Enjoy.