Sharron Angle: Don't blame me for Tucson shooting rampage

LAS VEGAS - Former U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle said Tuesday she's not to blame for the Arizona shooting that left six people dead and 14 injured.

The tea party-backed Republican who lost to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has drawn criticism for alluding to "Second Amendment remedies" and the need to "take Harry Reid out" during her 2010 campaign.

"I condemn all acts of violence," she said in a statement e-mailed to reporters late Tuesday. "The despicable act in Tucson is a horrifying and senseless tragedy, and should be condemned as a single act of violence, by a single unstable individual."

Jared Loughner, 22, is accused of trying to assassinate U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, at a public event Saturday. She was shot in the head but survived.

His motives remain unknown. Investigators have said he appeared mentally unstable. Some have linked the shooting to divisive political rhetoric.

Pima County, Ariz., Sheriff Clarence Dupnik directly blamed Angle and other tea party leaders in a television interview after the attack, claiming her comments were "totally irresponsible and are not without consequences, and I think we may be seeing the fruit of it here."

Democratic U.S. Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina also linked the shooting to Angle, saying Loughner "saw a Second Amendment remedy and that's what occurred here and there is no way not to make that connection."

Angle called the accusations "dangerous."

"Finger-pointing towards political figures is an audience-rating game and contradicts the facts as they are known - that the shooter was obsessed with his twisted plans long before the tea party movement began," she said. "I have consistently called for reasonable political dialogue on policy issues to encourage civil political education and debate."

Angle's remarks about the Second Amendment and Reid came during an interview with a conservative radio talk show amid the heated 2010 election.

"If this Congress keeps going the way it is," she said, "people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying, 'My goodness what can we do to turn this country around?' And I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out."

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms.

Angle later said she was speaking broadly about the Constitution.


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