Republicans Are a No Show Across the Country for Town Halls on Gun Action

What a surprise.

The organizers of last month’s March for Our Lives have taken their movement to town halls across the country and invited congressional lawmakers—who have returned to their districts for a two-week recess—to discuss action on gun control. According to the Town Hall Project, more than 130 of these meetings are taking place, with most of the events happening on Saturday.

Though invited, no Republicans appeared at any town halls, and many of the forums featured empty chairs to symbolize their absences.

Mother Jones‘ Kara Voght attended the town hall at Virginia’s 10th congressional district, where every Democratic candidate seeking to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock showed up to discuss gun legislation. Comstock, unsurprisingly, refused to attend.

Here are some other highlights from around the country.

Let’s start in Glen Ellyn, Illinois:

Then go east to Natick, Massachusetts: 

Next stop, Fresno, California:

Then back to Buffalo, NY:

Also in New York, this from New York City:

In the midwest, there is a meeting in Ashtabula, Ohio:

But it’s not as if Republicans failed to meet with constituents at all this week. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) hosted a “coffee with constituents” event on Friday, pulled out a loaded gun, and said “I’m not going to be a Gabby Giffords”—referring to the Arizona Democrat who was shot outside a grocery store in 2011.

“I don’t mind dying,” Norman told the crowd, “but whoever shoots me better shoot well or I’m shooting back.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate