Tweets by Rep. Gabby Giffords Destroyed an Argument Against Holding Town Halls

February 24th 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) had a pointed message for elected officials who wont hold public meetings with their voters: "have some courage."

On Tuesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) wrote a letter to his constituents explaining why he will not hold town halls, citing "violent strains of leftist ideology."

"Unfortunately, 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," the letter reportedly said. "Threats are nothing new to me and I have gotten my share as a felony judge."

He went on to use Giffords as an example of a safety issue.

"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," he wrote.

Giffords was shot in a 2011 at a meeting with constituents in a supermarket parking lot. The shooting killed six people and injured 12 others in addition to wounding the former congresswoman.

Giffords survived this traumatic event and used three powerful tweets on Thursday to criticize elected officials who won't meet with voters.

She tweeted that she was shot on a Saturday but kept her offices open on Monday to the public.

In the third tweet, she challenged politicians to "have some courage" and hold town halls.

This come after Republican members of Congress have received angry backlash at public meetings during the congressional recess. And some have refused to hold town halls.

The town hall for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was contentious. On Feb. 21, people at a luncheon with McConnell started yelling and booing at the senator, according to Curtis Tate from the Lexington Herald Leader.

"At one point, a frustrated audience member implored him: 'Answer the question, Mitch!' after he offered a curt answer to a woman asking about lost coal jobs in Eastern Kentucky," Tate wrote for the Leader.

Constituents have been demanding and attending town halls during this congressional recess, with many voicing support for the Affordable Care Act.

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