WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and North Carolina Congressman Mike McIntyre are colleagues and friends. The recent shooting at Giffords's public forum has prompted McIntyre to rethink security at his Conversations with the Congressman.
"The main thing is, come and let's talk. Let's talk about better ways our government can serve you. Let's make sure it's an open democracy and a safe one,” said McIntyre.
Friday's Conversation with the Congressman was McIntyre's first after the Arizona shooting. McIntyre said he will always be open to the public…now he'll just have more security in place.
Air Force Veteran Robert Hester said he fully trusts the men and women who are there to protect, and will never miss an opportunity to meet with McIntyre. "Because he's my Congressman. I like him. He stands up for us in Bladen County. He's the man."
McIntyre hopes Friday will serve as an example and prove to people that a minimal hindrance is worth maximum security. "We've got make sure whatever setting we're in, we're sensitive to the surroundings, and that we're aware for everyone's safety that we can make sure we're in a situation where no one feels threatened or intimidated. They can freely express their minds and concerns but also know that in doing so, they won't be subject to threats or intimidation."
McIntyre knows he can never let his guard down, but hopes security doesn't deter participation... Because, he says, democracy works best when people participate.
McIntyre's next Conversation with the Congressman is scheduled for Tuesday in Lumberton.