Sens. Tim Johnson and John ThuneWhile holding a public event on January 8, 2011, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, along with a number of her constituents and staff, was shot by a deranged man.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this tragedy, as well as their families and friends. At this difficult time, our focus should be on helping them through this tragedy. However, since these horrific acts were carried out, there have been those who would like to point fingers or place blame on one political party or the other. This will not help the healing process, nor will it contribute to lasting solutions to the major issues that face our country and Congress.
It is important to remember that we are all Americans first and foremost and that is why, despite having run against one another in a hard-fought campaign eight years ago, the two of us work together even when we disagree. During the months leading up to that election, we participated in several public forums and debates, giving voters an opportunity to hear our differences on issues. Those events began and ended with a handshake and since that time we have and will continue to work alongside one another with the best interests of our state in mind.
We have now served together in the Senate for six years. We certainly have not always agreed on every issue, but we have always respected one another. Where we can find balance, we reach for it, and when it comes to South Dakota, we put the state and our constituents first.
We enjoy traveling around South Dakota, meeting with constituents, and doing our best to help the people of our great state. As we hope and pray for the recovery of all of the injured victims of this shooting and mourn for those lost, we will continue to meet with constituents across South Dakota. It is through open dialogue that we will find solutions to our nation's most pressing challenges.