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Public Statements

Expressing Sense of House Regarding Arizona Shooting

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank our leader for the time.

Just a few days ago, one of our own, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was gravely injured as a result of a terrible act of an unbalanced individual. Americans were profoundly shocked and saddened and continue to be by this deplorable act of violence which resulted in the unjust deaths of six innocent individuals and a struggle to survive for others, including our own Gabby.

Among those who lost their lives, we know that the list is lamentably long: the Honorable John Roll, a Federal judge who went by just to say hi to his friend, Gabby; and Christina Taylor Green, a 9-year-old girl, who had just been chosen to serve in her school's student council and was taken to Gabby's ``Congress on Your Corner'' event by a family friend who wanted to get her interested in public affairs; and Gabe Zimmerman, a member of Gabby's loyal staff who had an enormous heart and was recently engaged to be married.

It is difficult to make sense of this tragedy, but all Americans stand with Gabby and her family and the families of all the victims throughout this painful time. Many of us count Gabby not just as a colleague but as a friend. I had the privilege of getting to know Gabby as a member of our Foreign Affairs Committee. She has always demonstrated a strong commitment to serving her constituents, our men and women of our Armed Forces and our Nation. And that is exactly what we must do. We must not waiver in our duties to serve those whom we are proudly and yet humbly asked to serve.

Our Republic was founded on the premise that the people have the right and the duty to petition their Representatives and to express their views, and Gabby truly embodies that principle. She has always been accessible. She has always been eager to listen to her constituents. Representatives like Gabby are what has made America an example of freedom and democracy the world over. It is truly reprehensible to think these noble intentions were exploited to carry out such a terrible tragedy.

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: ``We must disagree without becoming violently disagreeable.''

The thoughts and prayers of the residents of Florida's 18th Congressional District are with Gabby's family and with the families of all those affected by this senseless tragedy.


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