An aide of the potential presidential candidate Sarah Palin has turned down claims by the opposition that Palin's depiction of controversial crosshairs symbols on her Facebook page ahead of the mid-term polls last year, led to the Tucson massacre in the United States that ultimately wounded Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
Crosshairs is a political phrase that emerged from Palin's political action committee SarahPac that targeted congressional districts for the Tea Party campaign in the last election, including Giffords' district.
Politico quoted Palin aide, Rebecca Mansour, as saying that crosshairs symbols have nothing to do with the incident.
"We have nothing whatsoever to do with this. We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights. It was simply cross-hairs like you'd see on maps," she said, suggesting that it is a "surveyor's symbol."
"I don't understand how anybody could be held responsible for somebody who is completely mentally unstable like this. Where I come from the person that is actually shooting is the one that's culpable. It seems that the people that knew him said that he was left-wing and very liberal, but that is not to say that I am blaming the left," Mansour added.
Giffords, who is in critical condition after being shot in Tucson, had become a target of Palin in the mid-term elections, and had reportedly posted on her Facebook page a U.S. map with crosshairs of a rifle scope over the districts repped by Giffords and 19 other Democrats.
Meanwhile, without referring to the ongoing debate about the issue, Palin in a post on Facebook has called for "peace and justice."
"My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice," she wrote. (ANI)