Former Rep. Gabby Giffords is not going to put up with a cowardly Republican using her shooting to justify hiding from his constituents. The Republican in question is Rep. Louie Gohmert, of Texas, who tried to play tough by explaining that while he personally wasn’t afraid of his constituents, he worried about public safety should he appear in public and take questions.
“Threats are nothing new to me and I have gotten my share as a felony judge,” he wrote. “However, 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.” Giffords issued a response that shows just how dishonest an excuse this is from Gohmert:
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.
There’s some courage for you. Meanwhile, Gohmert isn’t even really most afraid of being shot—he’s afraid of simply being asked some tough questions.