Press Release issued June 14, 1017

Wed, 2017-06-14


Subject: Civility expert on today's shooting: Our divisive politics have transformed into acts of violence

Contact: Alex Bloom
               (646) 930-1940

National Institute for Civil Discourse Statement on
Shooting at Congressional Baseball Practice in Virginia

Washington, D.C. (June 14, 2017) – Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD), issued the following statement in response to this morning’s incident:

“Tragically, we’re seeing a repeat today of the terrible shooting at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson in 2011. Founded in the wake of that tragedy, The National Institute for Civil Discourse works to revive civility and break down divisions across the country.

Today’s shooting is just one more dreadful example of how our social norms have completely crumbled. We must take action today to stop the practice of vilifying and demonizing others who hold differing viewpoints or who voted for a different candidate. The shooting today shows how our divisive politics have transformed into tragic acts of violence.

It’s time for every American to pull back from this profound divisiveness, take a deep breath, and learn to interact with people who differ from us, and interact in ways that do not lead to violence.

Civility – working together to build consensus – is at the foundation of our system of government. But our democracy is at risk of unraveling if we do not act to strengthen the bonds – across party lines – that tie our country together.”

About the National Institute for Civil Discourse
The National Institute for Civil Discourse, is a non-profit, non-partisan institute based at the University of Arizona dedicated to addressing incivility and political dysfunction in American democracy by promoting structural and behavioral change. Informed by research, NICD’s programs are designed to create opportunities for elected officials, the media, and the public to engage different voices respectfully and take responsibility for the quality of our public discourse and effectiveness of our democratic institutions. Their National Advisory Board includes former Presidents Bill Clinton and George Herbert Walker Bush; former Senators Tom Daschle and Olympia Snowe; former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright and Colin Powell; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; and journalists like Katie Couric, Greta Van Susteren, and NPR’s Scott Simon.