FEBRUARY 23, 2017 – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Co-Founder of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions, today called on leaders in Congress embrace open debate, listen to their constituents and hold town halls.
Earlier today, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01) invoked the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Giffords at a constituent event as a reason not to hold a public town hall. In a statement, Rep. Gohmert said: “At this time there are groups from the more violent strains of the leftist ideology, some even being paid, who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc and threaten public safety.”
In the past year, Congresswoman Giffords has held over 50 public events in states across the country to champion commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer.
STATEMENT BY CONGRESSWOMAN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS
“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 tenet 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.”