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Giffords Aide: We're Fearful Now

Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
CBS
While saying there's "no place for acts of violence or intimidation in a free and open society," C.J. Caramargin, communications director for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, admits the congresswoman's home office now shuts its venetian blinds at night for the first time.

He's now "a little bit" fearful, following the weekend assassination try on his boss, Caramargin conceded to "Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill Monday.

Hill observed that discussion in the aftermath of Saturday's events "has turned, in many ways, political, on both sides -- people speaking out."

Special Section: Tragedy in Tucson

She pointed to Pima County, Ariz., Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who told reporters "all this vitriol" in recent political discourse might be connected to Saturday's shootings. "This may be free speech," he said, "but it's not without consequences."

Will the tragedy lead to toning down of the rhetoric?

"I don't know," Caramargin said. "But the congresswoman said the same thing. After our office was targeted -- the day of the health care vote, we had a front door shot out -- she said that there were consequences to our rhetoric. Being mindful of that is important. There's no place for acts of violence or intimidation in a free and open society. Congresswoman Giffords has always said we can't have this chilling effect on our public discourse. And … fortunately it's drawing renewed attention to that very issue."

He added that he was in the Giffords district office Sunday night, which is "surrounded by windows. And the venetian blinds, for the first time, even at night, they were closed shut. And I think … there's a risk. But we will, as (House) Speaker (John) Boehner put it, 'We will survive this."'

Caramargin also remembered a beloved staff member, Gabe Zimmerman, who died in the hail of bullets, and updated viewers on the condition of two other aides who were wounded.

To see the entire interview, click on the video below: