Photo: AP

Across this great nation of ours, members of Congress are holding town hall meetings during the recess as a way of connecting with their constituents. Rep. Louis Gohmert [R-Texas] —a man most recently heard accusing Hillary Clinton of having “special needs” —has decided to sit this one out. Why? What do you think he’s scared of?

According to the Washington Post, Gohmert released a statement earlier this week clarifying his decision not to hold a town hall meeting in person, citing “violent strains of the leftist ideology, some even being paid, who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc and threaten public safety.” He also called out former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and the 2011 shooting that left six people dead, pointing to that incident as an example of what could happen if a politician dared show their face in public.

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In a statement released Thursday, Giffords was unflinching in her response, saying that town halls and actually listening to the people that she was meant to serve was “one of the core tenets of the job I was hired to do.” Addressing Gohmert’s comments, she said “I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning my offices were open to the public.”

“To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this,” she continued. “Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.” If a woman who was shot in the head and survived is telling you to have some courage, it seems prudent that you take a long, hard look at your life and see where you can make some changes, don’t you think?

For the most part, nothing untoward has occurred at the town halls, save for some persistent booing and a grown man being schooled by a 7-year old in front of a room full of people.

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If you’d like to participate in what’s left of our democracy while it still stands, check and see if there’s a town hall happening near you here. And please feel free to tell us how it went.