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‘Have Some Courage’: Gabby Giffords Tells Lawmakers to Stop Skipping Town Halls

2 minute read

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords told members of Congress to “have some courage” and hold town hall meetings in spite of angry demonstrations.

Giffords, who was shot during a public event in 2011, released a statement criticizing lawmakers who are skipping town hall meetings this recess on the website for Americans for Responsible Solutions, the pro-gun control group she runs with her husband.

“To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage,” she said. “Face your constituents. Hold town halls.”

A number of Republican members of Congress have avoided holding town halls or scheduled more tightly controlled “telephone town halls” after seeing protests erupt over Trump Administration policies.

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert even cited the Giffords shooting as a reason not to hold a town hall.

“The House Sergeant at Arms advised us after former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot at a public appearance, that civilian attendees at congressional public events stand the most chance of being harmed or killed — just as happened there,” he wrote in a letter to constituents Tuesday.

Giffords responded by noting that her office was open to the public two days after the shooting.

Read Giffords complete response below.

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.


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