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Public Statements

Condemning Shooting At U.S. Holocaust Museum

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate the bringing of this resolution. This is a time when we should join our hearts and minds together in condemning the violent act that occurred at, of all places, the Holocaust museum, a place that I, with countless others, in my case, multiple occasions going to the museum, have been touched to tears to just try to get your mind around the inhumanity of man to man.

This is a Nation that was brought together as a Nation, fought hard, so that within this Nation we could have civility. And one of the Founding Fathers' favorite lines was often to quote Voltaire in saying, I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

The criminal who invoked and created this violence in the Holocaust museum should be properly punished, and I am thankful that we have laws that will punish him. I wouldn't mind seeing a death penalty as a possibility in the case of such violence, but in this town that is, apparently, not an option. But violence of this nature within this country must not be tolerated.

But it also must not minimize the commitment, the love and devotion of Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns, who gave his life in doing his job in devotion to others and to this country and all it stands for.

So we thank Stephen Tyrone Johns. We thank his memory. We thank his family, and we will pray for their peace and healing during this very, very difficult time.

We condemn the attack, such a violent nature, encourage all to understand that in this Nation, in every State, in the District of Columbia, no matter how someone may disagree with someone else, provoking words are never a defense to violence. Violence must be condemned, no matter what someone deems to be the provocation in their own mind.

We must be and we must make this a Nation of civility. We can disagree. Disagreement is a good and healthy thing. When there's disagreement, it means we're not all useless. But we must never allow this kind of violence to go unaddressed.

So we pay tribute to the Johns family--our prayers will be with them--and condemn the violent attack at the Holocaust museum, of all places, and appreciate this resolution being brought forward.


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