Sunday, January 8, 2012

U.S. Federal Innovation 48: The Rights of Free Speech and Peaceable Assembly 

The Safeway Memorial
Fundamental human rights granted by the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution and protected by the federal government include freedom of speech and the practice of peaceable assembly. On January 8, 2011, Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her constituents were exercising those rights at a "Congress On Your Corner" event when another American, Jared Loughner, gravely misused his freedom to own a powerful weapon of destruction. Six individuals were killed and 13 others were wounded in Mr. Loughner's attack. One of the killed was Gabriel (Gabe) Zimmerman, community outreach director for Congresswoman Giffords and a member of her staff. Science Approach, a Tucson company, honors all of the dead and wounded from the January 8 shooting and offers a special tribute to Mr. Zimmerman. In support of the federal Small Business Innovative Research and Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers programs from which it receives funding, Science Approach interacted with Gabriel several times to describe the positive educational benefits that these programs are creating for American children. A key element of Science Approach's philosophy was enthusiastically embraced by Mr. Zimmerman and conveyed by him to Representative Giffords: empowering young people to use science and technology to ask questions, understand the world around them, and come to conclusions on their own. Gabe died while promoting similar goals of empowerment and self-responsibility with Representative Giffords' constituents. On this anniversary of the shooting in Tucson, Science Approach thanks Gabe Zimmerman for his efforts and offers condolences and hope to all victims of the January 8 shooting. 

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