(KCPW News) Utah Congressman Jim Matheson called Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords a good friend of his, following a shooting Saturday that left her in critical condition and six people dead. He said it was an outrage that such an act of violence could happen in the United States.
“My own personal belief is that I think that people are good,” said the congressman. “I think they’re born with a good heart and a good mind, and I think that most everyone in this country has really good motivations. And when you see a tragic act like this, I think it calls everyone to a point where they all look inward and talk about what we’re about in this country.”
Like Matheson, Giffords belongs to the Blue Dog Coalition. Matheson said he interviewed her when she first joined the caucus. He called her bright, articulate, and passionate.
Giffords was meeting with her constituents in public when the shooting happened. Matheson noted that members of Congress aren’t protected by the Secret Service.
“I value being out with my constituents. I always have. I think that that’s just part of the job,” said Matheson. “And so I have not historically given a lot of thought to security or really tried to worry about it, but this act shows that there are vulnerabilities, and I’m sure there’s going to be some sort of discussion about if policies need to change.”
Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Senator Orrin Hatch both issued statements condemning the shooting and offering their prayers for Giffords.