Tucson Voices: Debra Simmons
Debra Simmons says the most important lesson to be learned is that public officials could use more security.
“We’ve been really depressed, wondering who got killed and how they made it out,” Simmons said. “We’ve been talking to our neighbors…we’ve all been real sad about it.”
The 56-year-old housewife says she voted for Giffords because she agrees with the congresswoman’s views on immigration.
Simmons is originally from Wisconsin and moved to Tucson 20 years ago. She says this isn’t the first time she has experienced gun violence since she moved to Arizona. Six years ago, her grandson’s 17-year-old friend was killed in a drive-by shooting while he stood at a bus stop on his way home from school.
“[Gun laws] should be less lenient,” she said. “Just because this is the wild west doesn’t mean people have to carry around guns.”
Simmons has been watching the continuous coverage of the shooting to try to make sense of what happened.
“I don’t know who [the shooter] was after…if he was after Giffords or the judge,” she said. “I keep watching to see why it happened.”
She said she was especially nervous when President Obama visited Tucson for the memorial because she feared that he might be the target of another shooting.
Still, Simmons does not believe that open political discussion is dangerous, especially since she says she does not know the motivation behind the shooting. But she says the real problem is that public officials do not have enough security.
“Everyone in office should have more security,” she said. “And I really hope they get some after this.”