I grew up in the Sixties, era of assassinations. Even before the people’s choice of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was undone in 2011 by a madman’s bullet, I always respected the courage our politicians show when they make themselves available to their constituency.
Newly elected interim congressman Ron Barber is starting his service with a courageous stand for the constitutional right of the people peacefully to assemble. The citizens who came out to meet their representative were are saying ‘no’ to the culture of fear and pre-emptive violence that drives and divides us. This simple act of meeting freely in public is a powerful nonviolent testimony of faith in the American people and the democratic process. From the AZ Central…
TUCSON — Newly sworn-in congressman Rep. Ron Barber, who was injured in a mass shooting last year along with then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, held his first “Congress on Your Corner” event with southern Arizona constituents on Saturday.
Giffords conducted 21 of the informal meet-and-greet events during her more than four years in office, including one on the day of the shooting — Jan. 8, 2011. The rampage left six dead and 13 wounded, including Giffords and Barber, her then-district director.
Giffords relinquished the seat in January to concentrate on her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head. Barber, a Democrat, won a special election to replace her earlier this month. He was sworn in Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
About 300 people showed up at Saturday’s event outside a Tucson grocery store as temperatures topped 100 degrees, Barber spokesman Mark Kimble said. Visitors ranged from other survivors of the mass shooting and well-wishers to people who had concerns about their federal student loans or veteran’s benefits, he said.
The democratic process was violated by the murderous attack that took the lives of six innocent people and wounded thirteen. Ron Barber is showing physical and moral courage by refusing to let the gun rule our politics.