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Expressing Sense of House Regarding Arizona Shooting

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. I thank the gentleman from Arizona.

Shakespeare tells us in Othello that when Iago whispers mistruths in the ear of Othello, something beautiful dies.

Something beautiful died in Tucson, Arizona, this past Saturday. People who came to an event, to hear their congresswoman speak--one little girl, 9 years old--all beautiful, all celebrating the great beauty and majesty of our democracy, passed on that day.

Who knows what mistruths were bouncing around in the head of the assassin. Who could know that? But something beautiful died. Democracy died just a little that day.

But beauty has a way of coming back. It resides in people like Gabrielle Giffords. She epitomizes all that is good and rich about serving in the United States Congress. From her very demeanor, to her graciousness, to the way she carried herself in committee, with her legislation, and how she held forth with her constituents in an accountable manner that has become so much a fabric of our democracy--our Congress on the Corner.

She truly is a beautiful person. And that beauty had others responding that day with acts of heroism that have already been recounted on this floor. And that beauty lies with her husband by her side and with the fervent prayers of a Nation in hope, knowing and feeling confident that she will return from this awful incident and be back here with us gracing us with her beauty and dignity and vision and purpose.

One of her last remarks, in speaking to Mr. Trey Grayson, director of the Harvard Institute of Politics, was to say, I would love to talk about what we can do to promote centrism and moderation. I think we need to figure out how to tone down our rhetoric and the partisanship that exists here.


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