Each week, The Heritage Foundation highlights one of its nearly 300,000 Facebook Fans on its “Featured Fan” page. This week’s fan is Samantha Thompson of Oracle, Arizona! Read her story below, and be sure to become a fan of Heritage on Facebook! Thanks for being a fan, Samantha!

Moments after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others were shot at a Tucson, Arizona, supermarket, Samantha Thompson, who lives in nearby Oracle, was glued to her television set. As a lifelong Arizonan, she immediately knew a tragedy of staggering proportions was unfolding in her backyard.

Like so many fellow Americans gleaning for information during those frantic hours, Samantha had trouble getting accurate details from a mainstream media seemingly more interested in assigning blame than gathering facts about the January 8 attack. As the six people killed in the shootings are mourned, Samantha is reflecting on that Saturday’s tragic chain of events, while hoping for the swift recovery of all surviving victims, including Rep. Giffords.

“I don’t agree with [Rep. Giffords’] politics, but I’ve met her and she’s a really nice person,” the Arizona native said. “I certainly didn’t want to see her or anyone else hurt because of some crazy guy who took it upon himself to go shoot people. Him doing that didn’t have anything to do with the rhetoric out here.”

Before transferring and earning her criminal justice degree, Samantha attended Pima Community College, where accused gunman Jared Loughner, 22, once frightened classmates and teachers with his disturbing behavior. She is upset that in the immediate aftermath of the shootings, some in the mainstream press began repeating names like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Click here to read more of Samantha’s story on Facebook and find out why she’s a huge fan of The Heritage Foundation!