On Wednesday, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) embraced on the floor of the House of Representatives. Giffords was there in person as Democrats introduced a gun control bill that Scalise opposes. Even so, the experience of surviving an attempted assassination united the politicians from different parties.
“This is quite a moment in Congress,” Fox News host Bill Hemmer said. “Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Congressman Steve Scalise, you see here, hug it on the floor of the House shortly before a rather somber occasion, marking eight years since the deadly shooting that left Giffords gravely injured, six others dead in Tucson, Arizona.”
“As well you remember Steve Scalise also the victim of a horrific shooting at a baseball practice in Virginia. He’s still recovering from those injuries. But we just wanted to share that with you,” Hemmer added.
The man who shot Steve Scalise was a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — who condemned the shooting — and reportedly asked to make sure he was targeting Republicans as opposed to Democrats. The motives of the man who shot Giffords in 2011 remain a mystery, but an envelope with papers reading “assassination” and “Giffords” was discovered at his house.
Giffords was falsely reported dead after the 2011 shooting, while Scalise was falsely reported to be okay after the 2017 shooting. Both fought for their lives. Giffords retired from Congress in January 2012, just over one year after the attack. She has become a champion of restrictions on gun ownership ever since.
The two victims should remind Americans of the dangers of turning politics into a religion. While political disagreements are important, Americans should be able to come together to live with and respect one another outside of political debates. This embrace illustrates the beauty of just that.
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