Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C. shocked his constituents when he suddenly pulled out his loaded 38 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and put it on the restaurant table, and left it there in a town meeting with to discuss sensible gun laws.
“I’m not going to be a Gabby Giffords,” Norman said, during the “coffee with constituents” meeting at a Rock Hill, S.C., restaurant. Giffords, a former Arizona congresswoman, was shot outside a grocery store during a constituent gathering in 2011.
“I don’t mind dying, but whoever shoots me better shoot well or I’m shooting back,” Norman told The Post and Courier.
Giffords’ husband, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, said in a statement that Norman is “no Gabby Giffords.”
“Americans are increasingly faced with a stark choice: leaders like Gabby, who work hard together to find solutions to problems, or extremists like the NRA and Congressman Norman, who rely on intimidation tactics and perpetuating fear,” Kelly said.
Norman vowed to continue to display his gun at future constituent meetings.
“I’m tired of these liberals jumping on the guns themselves as if they are the cause of the problem,” Norman told The Post and Courier. “Guns are not the problem.”
“He chose to take the gun out and put it on the table not knowing if any of us had mental health issues,” Carter, told the Post & Courier newspaper.
“What was to prevent me from leaning across the table to take that gun?” she asked. “So to me, it was contradictory.”
And they wonder why we march.
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Lori Freemon, a volunteer with the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America, a group that advocates sensible gun control, said what Norman did was “a far cry from what responsible gun ownership looks like.”
“I had looked forward to a respectful dialogue with my representative about common-sense gun violence prevention policies,” a clearly perturbed Freemon told the Post & Courier.
“Instead,” added Freemon, “I felt unsafe when he insisted on showing us his loaded gun and keeping it out on the table for much of our conversation.”