Louie Gohmert, a congressman from East Texas who has been unkindly labeled as "the dumbest member of Congress" by at least a couple of internet media sources, has, nevertheless, come up with a clever excuse for avoiding town halls. Gohmert says that Gabby Giffords was shot at a town hall meeting, along with several attendees, and he does not want to place people in unnecessary danger.
What a saint!
Gohmert isn't scared of being verbally abused by angry constituents, but he does labor under a concern for the physical safety for those who would show up to meet with their member of Congress.
Gabby Giffords, to her credit, noted that she and her husband, Mark Kelly, still attend lots of meetings with the public, and she encouraged Gohmert as well as other congressmen to "have some courage" and get out and meet with their constituents.
Well Congressman Gohmert, your concern for the welfare of others is commendable. Here are some facts that you might want to consider as you move forward in your efforts to enhance public safety:
- Gabby Giffords was shot and almost died in a January 2011 attack that took the lives of six and wounded twelve others. The shooter was a young man who had previously been diagnosed as a "paranoid schizophrenic," yet had effortlessly bought a gun and ammunition from two separate vendors just days before the shooting. That's one fact.
- Another fact is that after the Giffords' shooting President Barack Obama established a rule that would have added people to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) who had such severe mental handicaps that they received an SSI disability payment and had to be assigned a trustee. (And even those people would have had an appeal process if they felt strongly about wanting to buy a gun.)
- Yet another fact is that this month both houses of Congress voted to override that Obama rule and once again allow the seriously mentally ill to buy weapons and ammunition without government interference.
- And, a final fact is that you, Congressman Gohmert, not only voted to permit the seriously mentally ill to buy guns and ammunition, you actually co-sponsored the legislation that will roll back the sensible Obama rule.
In fact, if you would concentrate of voting in ways that would enhance the welfare and well-being of your constituents, you might actually enjoy visiting with them!
Smarten up, Louie - and do your job!