WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The shooting Saturday involving Representative Gabrielle Giffords was at the center of the conversation on Sunday's Meet The Press on NBC. Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador was a part of the panel on the nationally televised show that also included other colleagues of Giffords' from the House.
She's the kind of person that tries to see the good in everyone, said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida), a good friend of Giffords.
The freshman Congressman from the Gem State, Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), talked about Giffords' service, She was doing what all of us should be doing, which was talking to our constituents, and trying to get educated on the issues.
But even though it appears the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was not politically motivated, the five assembled representatives were using the tragedy as an opportunity to reassess their sometimes very heated discourse.
It's our responsibility to set the right example, and set the tone of civility, said Wasserman Schultz. But the shock jocks and the political movement leaders that are out there, on both sides of the aisle, need to have some pause as well.
We have to be careful not to blame one side or the other, Labrador said. Because both sides are guilty of this. You have extremes on both sides. You have crazy people on both sides. I think what I have done in Idaho is when we have some vitriol or when we have political rhetoric that is going beyond the pale, your job as a leader is to talk to the people in a reasonable way, to have a rational conversation with the people in your district.
And then, the conversation turned to gun control.
I think accessibility, particularly in Arizona, with the highly permissive gun laws that we have in that state, have to be examined, said Rep. Raul Grualva (D-Arizona). That doesn't mean denial of, that means accessibility.
Washington, D.C. last week had seven murders, and they have some of the strictest gun laws in the United States, said Labrador. So, I don't know that it's the gun laws that are going to make the difference. It's the responsibility that each individual has to carry guns safely.
Following the shootings, all legislation on the House schedule for the coming week is postponed, including a possible repeal of health care reform. The decision was made by leaders of both political parties in the House.