Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

Madam Speaker, it wasa Saturday morning, clear skies, and a wonderful day, and Gabby Giffords was doing what really she liked to do best, what many of us like to do best, talking to people that we represent and listening to those people back home.

Friday, before she left for Tucson and I left for southeast Texas, we were talking here on the House floor. Gabby and I are friends. I have been to Iraq with her. And we were talking about border security. In fact, she had invited me to Tucson to see what takes place there and go to the border. I, likewise, have already invited her to Texas to see our border. And we work quite well together. She works with everybody quite well. And then she was off to the airport, going home.

Many people don't realize that most Members of Congress go home every weekend. We don't live in Washington. We work in Washington, and we commute. And she was headed to the airport excited to go back and see the people that she represents.

And then Saturday morning, and evildoer came to a public gathering, attacked Gabby.And he really attacked our nation, because there was a crowd of citizens, old and young, that were peaceablyassembling to learn more about America, to participate in the American process in dealing with their representative, Gabby Giffords.

We should remember the victims that were shot and killed that day. The evildoer, his name is not important. He should be held personally accountable for his actions. His trial should be swift. If convicted, his punishment should be severe. But it is the victims that we honor, that we remember in this cruel episode of evil.

You know, Christina Taylor Green, a 9-year-old girl, just elected to the student council in her third grade class. She liked politics. She wanted to be more involved, and that's why she was there Saturday morning with Gabby Giffords. She was born on 9/11, a 9-year-old girl, her life stolen in her youth.

All of us who are parents, grandparents, we never want to see our child or someone else's child taken before their time. But that's what happened to Christina Taylor Green, apparently a wonderful, wonderful young person.

You know, Gabby Giffords is a fighter, and she fights for her beliefs, make no question about it. Everybody who knows her, knows where she stands on issues. My grandmother described her years ago without even knowing it. My grandmother was probably the most influential person in my life. My friends on that side of the aisle would appreciate the fact that she was a Yellow Dog Democrat and never forgave me for being a Republican. But she made a comment about people like Gabby. She said "there is nothing more powerful than a woman who has made up her mind". Gabby Giffords is that woman.

She's made up her mind about her beliefs. She's made up her mind about the will to represent the people in Arizona. And I believe she's made up her mind to survive, because onlyfive percent of gunshot wounds to the head, those people, survive. And she will be one of them.

So we recognize her; we honor her, and we look forward to seeing her on this House floor again being that strong-willed woman, that feisty woman from Arizona.

And that's just the way it is.