Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot while meeting constituents in 2011, told Republicans to show some courage and face their constituents by holding town halls.
In response to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) refusing to hold town halls because he is worried about a liberal shooting him, Giffords said in a statement:
Town halls and countless constituent meetings were a hallmark of my tenure in Congress. It’s how I was able to serve the people of southern Arizona. I believed that listening to my constituents was the most basic and core tenant of the job I was hired to do. I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning my offices were open to the public. Ron Barber – at my side that Saturday, who was shot multiple times, then elected to Congress in my stead – held town halls. It’s what the people deserve in a representative.
In the past year, campaigning for gun safety, I have held over 50 public events.
Many of the members of Congress who are refusing to hold town halls and listen to their constituents concerns are the very same politicians that have opposed commonsense gun violence prevention policies and have allowed the Washington gun lobby to threaten the safety of law enforcement and everyday citizens in our schools, businesses, places of worship, airports, and movie theaters.
To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.
Even after being shot, Giffords still believes in the duty of a member of Congress to be available to the people that they serve. If anybody in this world would have a right to be afraid of public gatherings, it’s Gabrielle Giffords.
Giffords is demonstrating the bravery and commitment to our democracy that is missing in so many Republican members of Congress. Gabby isn’t afraid to hold public meetings and events, so there is no reason for members of Congress to hide from their constituents.
It is ironic that Louie Gohmert, who opposes common sense gun reform, is avoiding the public because he is afraid of being shot.
Republican cowards have been shamed by a true American hero who is showing them what democracy is supposed to look like.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association