Statement of Brady Campaign Acting President Dennis Henigan to Illinois Representative Joe Walsh’s November 8th Debate Invite:
“On November 8, Rep. Joe Walsh invited me to debate him on the Second Amendment in his home district. I think a debate is an excellent idea, but it makes far more sense to have the debate here in Washington, D.C. The meaning and scope of the Second Amendment has implications for both federal and state legislation, not to mention national implications for how we think about our democracy. I, therefore, invite Rep. Walsh to hold this debate on Capitol Hill, easily accessible to his colleagues in the House and Senate and their staffs, as well as the national press corps. I have sent him a letter with this proposal.
"Rep. Walsh’s invitation came on the same day he sent me a new letter that once again raises disturbing questions about his views on the Second Amendment and the carrying of loaded guns in public. In the new letter, Walsh asserts that “Allowing our citizens to carry firearms is to allow them to exercise their right as Americans to protect themselves – be it from violent crime or to secure their freedom from a despotic government.” I have called this the “Timothy McVeigh theory” of the Second Amendment. Timothy McVeigh strongly agreed with Rep. Walsh and he acted on those beliefs when he bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City.
"Just last week, we were reminded of the public safety threats faced by our elected officials. The Washington Post reported that a man with a hatred of President Obama fired on the White House with an assault rifle. We also heard last week a message of courage and hope from Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was so grievously wounded while reaching out to her community in her capacity as an elected official. Thankfully, she survived and continues to recover, but her staffer Gabriel Zimmerman, also a devoted public servant, was not so fortunate.
"A debate on these issues is timely and it should be held in the Nation’s capital.”