Giffords Pulls Only 75-100 People In Fargo, Democrats Mum On Her Visit

Former Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords didn’t get a very warm reception in North Dakota for her gun control pitch. She and her husband spent the morning in Bismarck at meetings with the media closed off to the public (I’m told she was at Kroll’s Diner where a few protesters found her and told her to “go home”). She then went to Fargo where she had a mid-afternoon event where about 100 people showed up.

Of course, of that 75 people, a SAB reader notes that many were wearing NRA or other pro-gun shirts/hats. Meaning they weren’t likely won over by Giffords’ pitch.

The event was well-publicized. Her visit and its location was reported in the media days in advance. But Giffords’ message just isn’t very popular in North Dakota, despite her claims that over 70% of the state supports the expanded background checks she’s touting.

As evidence, consider that Senator Heidi Heitkamp and the Democrat party gave Giffords a wide berth while she was in the state. While Giffords was in Fargo, Heitkamp and the Democrats were holding a picnic in Bismarck. And not once did Senator Heitkamp or the North Dakota Democrats mention Giffords’ presence in North Dakota on their websites or social media streams.

“Giffords’ agenda includes working to enact a comprehensive federal background check for gun purchases, which 79 percent of North Dakotans support, polls show, but not 79 percent of the state’s elected representatives,” grumped the Fargo Forum in an editorial today. “North Dakotans also believe by a margin of 69 percent that it is possible to protect gun rights and strengthen gun laws. Elected officials, state and federal, are out of step on that one, too.”

If that level of support were true anywhere but in the Forum’s ivory tower in downtown Fargo, Heitkamp and the Democrats would have been quick to trumpet her visit. As it was, Giffords was relegated to a smallish coffee shop and a tiny crowd.

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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