Butterfield calls for ‘civil discourse’

Published 9:07 am Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) is urging political civil discourse in the wake of this weekend’s tragedy in Tucson, Ariz.

On Saturday, six people were killed and 14 wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), as a gunman opened fire on a crowd gathered to see the elected official in front of a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, Ariz.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless violence,” Congressman Butterfield said in a statement to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. “While we are still learning about what happened, there is no place in our society for these kinds of acts. As elected leaders we must insist on civil discourse and avoid the politics of hate and polarization.”

He concluded, “My thoughts and prayers are with are with the families and loved ones of all those who were killed or injured.”

On Monday, Giffords, who suffered a gun shot wound to the head, was in critical but stable condition at a Tucson hospital. Doctors are reportedly “optimistic” about Giffords making a recovery.

The suspected gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, is currently in custody and made his first court appearance Monday. Though the investigation is continuing, Giffords appears to have been the target for the 22-year-old, who rambling political diatribes on the Internet.

As the nation grapples with the recent tragedy, many are also pondering the safety of their elected officials.

Ken Willis, Communications Director for the congressman’s office, said the recent tragedy will not have any effect on Butterfield’s public appearances.

“This won’t really change anything for us,” said Willis.

He concluded meeting the public face-to-face is part of an elected official’s role.