A horrible tragedy occurred Saturday at a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was holding a meet-and-greet when a gunman opened fire, gravely injuring her with a shot to her head. The man kept firing, killing six and wounding 11 others.

Among those who died was a 9-year-old girl, a student council member at her school, who was brought to the event by a neighbor.

Gabrielle Giffords was a Democrat. She narrowly won re-election to her seat in Congress in the November election.

What's very disturbing about this shooting, besides the actual tragedy, are the news accounts following it.

At least one national newspaper yesterday bashed Sarah Palin and stated that Palin "put a target on her." The article says that prior to last year's general election, Palin had a map on her Facebook page with "targets" on it for individuals she sought to get out of office.

Giffords was among those who Palin was hoping wouldn't get re-elected.

Any normal person would know that the "targets" were a form of figurative speaking. Palin, nor any other sane person, wouldn't indicate they would want harm to come to anyone such as Giffords, a very respected person in Congress.

It's wrong to shift blame from anyone except the gunman.

Arrested was a 22-year-old man, described as a loner, who purchased the gun in November.

The "suspect" was placed under arrest but has declined to cooperate with authorities.

If the man targeted Giffords, its only speculation on why he did so.

And if Giffords was the target, what about the six innocent people he killed, including a child too young to vote?

The articles surfacing after the shootings leave little wonder why so many people are skeptical of the national media. What happened to reporting the facts as they are: that a man opened fire in a grocery store and shot 17 innocent people; that there has been nothing so far to indicate the gunman targeted a Congresswoman for political purposes, and that there was a 9-year-old girl who was a victim who had no political ties what-so-ever.

Turning the shooting into a political fiasco, which some media have done, is only stirring up hatred and potentially leading more unstable individuals to become drastic.

Let the investigators find the motive. Let the police, FBI, and others probing the shooting determine why 17 defenseless individuals were shot in broad daylight.

Sensationalism sells some newspapers. Such sensationalism as we've seen in the coverage of this shooting isn't true journalism.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com.