IdiotSpeak: Gabby Gifford get out of my towns!

by Mickey Weems
Tuesday Jan 8, 2013

Here's the gun-lobbyist backtrack I've been waiting for.

Representative DebraLee Hovey, Assistant Leader of the Connecticut House Republicans, represents the towns of Monroe and Newtown. She issued a Facebook statement condemning Gabby Giffords for visiting families of victims of the Newtown massacre in her home state:

"Gabby Gifford stay out of my towns!!"

Gabby Giffords survived a bullet to the head when some fool in her home state of Arizona decided to exercise his Second Amendment rights, but then got a little carried away and killed people with a semi-automatic pistol (and a 33-round magazine) he carried legally to a rally for Giffords. If anyone understands what parents of children murdered by an assault weapon might feel, it would be Gabby.

None of this, however, could keep DebraLee from doing some wild shooting off at the mouth. After her righteous scolding of Giffords for showing compassion rather than standing firm with the NRA, I was eager to see what Ms. Hovey would do next, once her words left her Conservative extremist bubble and entered the real world.

DebraLee caught holy Hell from the media, so she offered this statement to make nice:

"The remarks I made regarding Congresswoman Gifford's visit were insensitive and if I offended anyone I truly apologize."

As I hoped, DebraLee did not fail to deliver.

First, the name is "Giffords," not "Gifford." Making that mistake once is forgivable. Not so much when she did it again.

Second, the remark she made about Giffords staying out of her towns was not insensitive. It was not an "OOPS!" moment where she accidentally cut somebody off in traffic. That remark was offensive, as if she purposely cut somebody off and them shot them a bird. Or shot them with an assault rifle.

Third, when politicians and celebrities say, "if I offended anyone," it is all too often a sign that they don't really think they did something wrong. Just own it and then issue a real apology, Ms. Hovey.

Then again, she probably knows exactly what she is doing. A cash reward from the powerful gun industry is most likely already in her campaign's war chest.

I just hope she says something else that's really stupid while she's in the national public eye, like Gay marriage caused the Newtown massacre.

Dr. Mickey Weems is a folklorist, anthropologist and scholar of religion/sexuality studies. He has just published The Fierce Tribe, a book combining intellectual insight about Circuit parties with pictures of Circuit hotties. Mickey and his husband Kevin Mason are coordinators for Qualia, a not-for-profit conference and festival dedicated to Gay folklife. Dr. Weems may be reached at


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