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Public Statements

Expressing Sense of House Regarding Arizona Shooting

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GOODLATTE. Madam Speaker, I am shocked and saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred Saturday against Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her staff and members of the Tucson community. Just 2 days before this horrific attack, Gabby joined me and many other Members of Congress in reading aloud the U.S. Constitution on the House floor. It was my honor to yield to Gabby to read the First Amendment. And on Saturday, she and those participating in her Congress on the Corner event were exercising their First Amendment freedoms of free speech and to peaceably assemble.

It is unconscionable that anyone would take violent action to deprive someone of their life and liberty. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gabby, her family, her staff and others who were affected by Saturday's tragic events in Tucson. While this tragedy serves as an unfortunate reminder of evil actions, it must also remind us of the good in people as we hear the stories of the heroes of that day, people who gave their lives, people who saved other lives.

We as Members of Congress cannot allow this senseless act of violence that occurred against Congresswoman Giffords to deter us from our jobs or deter the American people from exercising their precious freedoms.

I read again the words that Ms. Giffords read on the floor on Thursday.

Amendment I: ``Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.''

Madam Speaker, I don't know if Ms. Giffords spoke on the floor after that. Those may have been the last words she uttered on the floor of the House. I join my colleagues in praying that we will see her again on this floor exercising her precious freedoms.

God bless her and all of the victims of this tragedy.


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