NEWTOWN, Conn. -- A Connecticut lawmaker has apologized for telling U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to "Stay out of my towns."
Republican State Rep. DebraLee Hovey made the remark on Facebook, after Giffords visited Newtown, Connecticut last week. Giffords met with family members and friends of the victims of the Dec. 8 Sandy Hook school massacre that left 20 children and six adults dead.
Hovey's remarks on Facebook appeared to suggest that Giffords had political motives for her visit. She also spelled Giffords' last name wrong.
Hovey has since apologized for her post, and admitted her remarks were insensitive.
Hovey wrote: "My comments were meant to be protective of the privacy of the families and our community as we work to move on, and were in no way intended as an insult to Congresswoman Giffords personally. Our community has struggled greatly through this tragedy, and we are all very sensitive to the potential for this event to be exploited for political purposes. This is what I wish to avoid."
She has since removed the post from her public Facebook page, but her comments have sparked a wave of criticism.
Giffords' trip to Newtown came days before the two-year anniversary of the shooting in Tucson, which killed six and injured 13, including the congresswoman. Giffords was left partially blind, with a paralyzed right arm and brain injury,.
Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, has become a proponent for gun control since her shooting.
Just today, Giffords and Kelly announced a gun control initiative to “launch a national dialogue and raise funds to counter influence of the gun lobby.”
Writing in an opinion piece in USA Today, the couple announced the launch of a new website, Americans for Responsible Solutions, that demands congressional action on the issue.