Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was with Gabrielle Giffords on Wednesday, the first day of the 112th Congress. As the two waited to be sworn in, they talked shop — and they even made tentative plans to meet up in Arizona for an upcoming event.
“I was telling her that I’d been invited to come out to Arizona for a sex trafficking conference, and that I was thinking about going and that I’d like to see her out there. She said, ‘That’s great,'” Maloney said in an interview Saturday night.Maloney says she’s devastated.
“She’s part of a new generation of women leaders. I went out and campaigned with her in Arizona,” Maloney said.
Because of the free flow of misinformation this morning, colleagues and friends and even the President of the United States had lapsed into referring to Giffords in the past tense. Maloney’s no exception. “She was a terrific person, she has an amazing future,” Maloney added.
As we spoke, Maloney checked her government BlackBerry — so far she’s received no official communication aside from the note of caution Capitol police sent to all members.
“The police have warned members to take precautions, ‘reasonable and prudent’ precautions to safeguard their security,” she said. “I did not get an official communication on a government.”
The attack, Maloney said, “speaks to the need for more control to keep unstable people from having access to guns…. Public service is a dangerous profession. It saddens me to see police officers standing on the steps of the Capitol with machine guns. I wish we didn’t have to be that way in our society.”