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Public Statements

Expressing Sense of House Regarding Arizona Shooting

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, I, like our colleagues, am rising in sorrow today to address the events that occurred in Arizona this past weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those victims, with their families, and with our colleague, Gabby Giffords. She was doing what we all do--hearing the concerns of her constituents. And I think we all know and recognize that we in this Chamber are more visible and more accountable than ever before.

On Saturday, a madman, a monster, attempted to assassinate our beloved colleague. She was shot in the line of duty, the duty of listening to, so that she could more effectively represent those constituents. It was a duty that she and many of us do love and do treasure that interaction with our constituents.

Today, more so than ever, as Members of Congress are called to that duty, we realize that it goes with us wherever we go. Every trip to the grocery store, to church, to a soccer game, can turn into a town hall meeting. That accessibility to those who count on us to make the right decision is something that we cannot give up. Even though this past weekend's events have devastated us, we must not compound the tragedy by being deterred from those duties.

The shooting occurred on Saturday, and on Sunday I kept a previously scheduled district appointment at Fort Campbell. That Army post is home to the 101st Airborne when they are not deployed, as they currently are in Afghanistan. These public servants know what the senseless loss of an honored friend, colleague, even a hero feels like. They also know better than anyone else that service is often most valuable when it is performed in the face of fear, uncertainty, or hostility.

So many of my constituents have asked what will this mean for how we, as Members, carry out our jobs. I think we will all be more careful when we undertake our duties. We know we are responsible not only for our own safety; we are responsible for the safety of our staff, our constituents who bring issues to us. And in this, I hope our service does credit to the men and women in uniform.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California. I yield the gentlewoman an additional 30 seconds.

Mrs. BLACKBURN. I hope our service does credit to the men and women in uniform who have served us so very well. God bless Gabby Giffords, bless her staff, her constituents, the other innocent victims, bless this House and our great Nation.


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