Violence Will Not Stop Houston House Members

PoliticsCrime, Law and JusticeCrimePublic OfficialsElectionsTed PoeMark Kelly

The shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has brought wide-spread condemnation from elected officials including those here in the Houston-area. They are shocked to hear the news of their colleague's shooting.

Houston area representatives received safety alerts from Washington after the shooting. While threats are a part of the job, they say things must continue as normal.

Ranking House Republican Kevin Brady speaks highly of Congresswoman Giffords.

"[She is] very warm, very personable, [has] lots of energy," Brady told us.

The U.S. Representative for Texas's 8th congressional district says Giffords was also a conservative Democrat that liked to reach across the aisle.

He says the shooting will not keep him from planned meetings with constituents this Monday.

"I believe southeast Texas is a very safe place to live, to play, to raise a family and these instances for members of Congress, any threats, are very, very rare," Rep. Brady said.

"To have this happen in a public meeting where a member of congress is trying to hear form their constituents shouldn't happen in our society," said U.S. Representative for Texas's 29th congressional district Gene Green. "We can disagree but you don't go to violent efforts to do it."

Democratic representative Green worked with Giffords on NASA legislation. Giffords, who is married to astronaut Mark Kelly, is a proponent of space issues.

After today's violence, Green says it may be time to tone down the political rhetoric, but still isn't concerned about his protection.

"I have a number of town hall meetings coming up in the next two weeks and it will mean we will have more law enforcement there, but we're going to have those town hall meetings," Rep. Green said.

Elected officials realize these type of threats cannot stop democracy in action.

"I had my share of threats as most elected officials have," said Texas's 2nd congressional district representative Ted Poe. "But no one really in public service wants to be intimidated or will be intimidated and quit doing what they're doing because of threats or because of violence."

Only the house leadership has official security escorts. The other 400 plus members do not. But they can always ask for protection from local law enforcement. Saturday, both Congressmen Brady and Green received offers from their county's sheriff department for extra protection.

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