Mark Kelly to CNN: He and Giffords used NRA practice range
January 29th, 2013
04:10 PM ET
1 year ago

Mark Kelly to CNN: He and Giffords used NRA practice range

Washington (CNN) - Commander Mark Kelly and his wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, were such gun enthusiasts, they used to go together to the NRA practice range outside of Washington, Kelly tells CNN.

He even says he considered joining the NRA, but "never got around to it."

Now, Kelly is preparing to take on the powerful gun lobby at the first congressional hearing on gun violence since December's massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

In a telephone interview, Kelly told CNN he will tell members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that he and Giffords are "both moderate gun owners and strong supporters of the Second Amendment, but we really need to do something about the safety of our kids and our communities. It's gotten really out of hand."

Kelly says he has never met the other star witness at Wednesday's hearing, NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre, but says he looks forward to it because he believes there are probably some things they could agree on right now.

"The NRA does some really good things. They teach people about gun safety, how to handle a firearm – a lot of what the NRA does is really positive," said Kelly.

But these days, they disagree more than they agree.

"You would think with my background I would be a member of the NRA. I own a gun. I recently bought a hunting rifle a few months ago. I went through a background check. It took I think about 20 minutes. It's a small price to pay to make us safer. We're not going to stop every one of these mass shootings. We're not going to stop every murder with a handgun in our cities, but I think we'd go a long way to reducing the violence and preventing some," said Kelly.

Kelly, a retired astronaut and 25 year veteran of the Navy, is now pushing gun control through a new organization he recently started with Giffords called Americans for Responsible Solutions, which has both a lobbying arm of its own and a super PAC to raise unlimited funds for its cause.
Kelly tells CNN he and his wife have not yet endorsed any legislation, but he certainly sounded supportive of not only universal background checks, but also much of what is in Sen. Dianne Feinstein's bill to revive the expired assault weapons ban.

"We are going to work to pass some reasonable gun violence legislation that addresses universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole and helping with mental health issues, and banning high capacity magazines, and both Gabby and I are of the opinion that semi automatic assault weapons should be left for the military to use," said Kelly.

"I spent 25 years in the Navy. I'm well aware of the capability of some of these guns, especially when combined with a high capacity magazine, they're great at killing a lot of people very quickly and that should be left for the military," he argued.

"We shouldn't have to deal with assault weapons on our streets."


Filed under: Gabrielle Giffords • Gun rights • Mark Kelly
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. UDidntBuildThat

    The Real Tom Paine-funny u should bring up the ATF. They were the same ones under the DOJ's directive, that let guns walk illegally into Mexico without any tracking. So I think their invokation is a little weak since they acutally broke the law by handing guns over to another country's drug dealers. Let me guess this is Bush's fault right b/c he did the same thing. right? Well again u r stupid and wrong. Bush had tracking devices and caught the bad guys. The guns were recovered. Obama and the incomeptent DOJ had no clue what they were ddoing. But hey that's the HOPEY CHANGE for the DOPEY masses such as urself right?

    January 30, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. UDidntBuildThat

    PaineNoBrain -Boy, there is nothing you hate more than a liberal with money. You are tossing out excuses in a lame effort to cover up the fact you can't compete with the truth, so you try to re-invent reality. You ought to be flattered that liberals play the game you admire btter than your lot, but, I suppose you can't savor the irony of that. As for being an apologist, you will spare no expense to look into where Kerry moors his yacht, but would you look into Romney's tax returns with equal fervor? Nope. Too much work. Another lazy conservative.
    _________________________
    Tell me did u have a problem that John Kerry paid 13% of his bazillion dollar income when he ran for president? How do u know how I felt about Romney's release of tax returns? DO NOT speak for me. I wouldn't use lazy when it comes to a conservative. Afterall u r the party that encourages free food stamp, housing, welfare for all. U see the John Kerry's and the Al Gores, Hollywood, Buffets of the world well they talk a great game about paying more taxes. U liberals love to hear that and worship at their altar. But behind the scenes they are dodging and taking advantage of all the loopholes that Romeny advocated getting rid of. Gee is Obama trying to get rid of the tax loopholes? Did he make it fair so Buffet does not pay a less rate than his secretary? No. What about Al Gore. He talks a great talk about paying more taxes but tried to push his deal with Al Jazeera for Dec 31st. B/4 the taxes on the rich kicks in. I don't have a problem of liberals with money. Oh lets not forget Hollywood. Where are most of these stars residents? CA? NY. Nope u will find then in states that are more "tax friendly" Oh but "tax me more Obama". I laugh at people like u Mr Pain that believe these rich Dems actually want to pay more taxes. I just laugh!

    January 30, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    @ Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Your comment about us being a nation of cowards is spot on. I really don't comment on any discussions about guns on the Ticker because I hate them, but thanks for telling the absolute truth.

    January 30, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. harmbringer

    @UdidntBuildThat – Give it up man.

    You're not thinking like a liberal.. its easy to do.. go slam your head in a car door..

    For oh.. 20 mins.. Then down 2 hand fulls of Xanax. And you to will think like a liberal.

    January 30, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Adam

    The Real Tom Paine

    -Adam

    The Real Tom Paine

    @ Adam,

    Since you obviously don't want to follow the original intent of the Second Amendment, which was to keep yourself in readiness should your country need to, you can take a flying leap, and take your hoard of weapons with you.
    ___________________________
    I am following the original intent and am in FULL readiness under all our current laws. I am not going anywhere and continue to exercise all my rights which I know just peeves all you liberals who love restricting freedom. There are millions of us here and we are not leaving. As a matter of fact I have a conceal to carry in my state and travel frequently to two other states that recognize my permit.
    **************
    Oh please. I don't give a damn about you exercising your so-called rights, but you declared your intent to ignore the law if it changes. For you, the law is nothing more than a fig-leaf to hide behind. As for restricting freedom, there is responsibility that goes with it as well, and that includes abiding by the law. Like most gun-huggers, you really don't care about exercising responsibility, so don't lecture anyone about being in full readiness. Do you really think you'll win if it comes to a shootout? The Founders placed equal emphasis on responsibility with freedom, and that was intended to defend the nation against outside aggression. Ever hear of the Whiskey Rebellion? Washington crushed an uprsising in Pennsylvania, because the spector of anarchy over-rode any fears of oppresive government. Who supported the Whiskey Rebellion? People like Jefferson, who were armchair patriots during the Revolution. You're not upholding anything except your own selfishness and a hoarding disorder.
    ____________
    Not a shot has been fired over the election since the Narcissist and Chief has been re-annointed. You are safe in America as power has been transitioned without violence for many a moon. Rebellion and anarchy – give me a break. I follow the law and its your choice to be unarmed. I willingly follow every law and background check. As far as hoarding I like land and wide open spaces too. I

    January 30, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. UDidntBuildThat

    Eureka! I found proof that the NRA opposes background checks in 2008
    _____________________________________
    “It shouldn’t be a dialogue about guns; it really should be a dialogue about dangerous people,” Mr. LaPierre said, adding that his group has supported proposals to prevent gun sales to the mentally ill, strengthen a national system of background checks and spur states to provide needed data.
    ____________________________
    There u go RudyNYC & Paine! Your proof. LOL!!! I guess the media loves fools like u!

    January 30, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. gatecrasher1

    Gabby Giffords is the Sarah Palin of the Democrats.

    January 30, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. the REAL Truth...

    @Old Shoe – I think you – like many – are missing the point. No-one is taking your 2nd amendment right away. The "assualt" weapons ban is to keep guns that no-one really needs to possess of the streets. Sure, the response is always that the "criminals will ignore the law", and its correct. However, make the possession penalties stiff enough and ENFORCE them, while it may take a few years, it will get these weapons off the streets.
    While growing up in Watts no-doubt was challenging, other than similar pockets in other metropolitan areas, the rest of America is NOT like that. Most gun deaths are NOT due to criminals trying to mug you on a street corner (as someone else mentioned,... google it!), but occur when friends have arguments, gang fights and domestic disputes.
    So we need AR-15's because ?

    January 30, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. the REAL Truth...

    @UDidntBuildThat
    The Real Tom Paine-funny u should bring up the ATF. They were the same ones under the DOJ's directive, that let guns walk illegally into Mexico without any tracking. So I think their invokation is a little weak since they acutally broke the law by handing guns over to another country's drug dealers. Let me guess this is Bush's fault right b/c he did the same thing. right? Well again u r stupid and wrong. Bush had tracking devices and caught the bad guys. The guns were recovered. Obama and the incomeptent DOJ had no clue what they were ddoing. But hey that's the HOPEY CHANGE for the DOPEY masses such as urself right?
    ----------------------------
    Please don't display your obvious bias when ignoring facts. Project Gunrunner was initiated under the Bush 43 administration. It was continued under the Obama administration.... same folks, same teams, different name. Yet somehow you believe that Bush program has tracking devices and Obama's didn't. R-I-g-H-T !! and that thing flying around your head is not a fly, its a miniature pig!

    January 30, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. Facts don't Lie

    while the Hill is having this gun "dog and pony show" which will result in NOTHING being done maybe they should have a chart behind them like they do of the national debt of how many Amercains have been victims of gun violence even if accidental has occured while it was going on. Bet that would capture some attention.

    January 30, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Lisa P.

    gatecrasher1

    Gabby Giffords is the Sarah Palin of the Democrats.
    January 30, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    No need to insult the poor woman - being shot in the head is bad enough!

    January 30, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. Jim

    God bless Gabby. She is , however, not a hero, she is a victim. And promoting a victim agenda is not only wrong, it is despicably wrong. The statement "We must do something" is emotional, not rational. We must do something that will have a real, positive, effect. And most of what the gun-grabbers are suggesting will not do that. That is a simple fact.

    January 30, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Jesse

    "The assualt weapons ban is to keep guns that no-one really needs to possess of the streets"

    Who determines what guns people need? These assault weapons are semi-auto? They employ the same technology as the handgun I keep under my pillow? Why not ban them all? After all, we've decided we "no longer need" magazines with more than... 10 bullets.

    Who gets to decide how long the piece of metal is that I insert into my firearm?

    Why does my car go over 80mph? Why hasn't someone removed that capability since it is unnecessary right?

    Humans innovate. That means those with the desire to do harm, may be capable of finding their own longer pieces of metal.

    with 300 million + guns in circulation, it isn't much to ask to let those who paid the money, took the classes, and store the weapon responsibly to have the basic equipment that has been available for decades AKA larger magazines and other "Look alike" military guns AKA AR 15's.

    make punishment for gun crimes 200% stiffer. Create a stigma for irresponsible gun users, and remove them from the equation.

    January 30, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Ed1

    Because a gun looks like an assault weapon doesn't mean it is one. Get over it I use my Bushmaster 308 with a 5 shot magazine for deer mainly because it's light, much tougher, and more dependable that the other semi-automatic weapons on the street. Has nothing to do with how many times you have to pull the trigger just more about dependable.

    You can't buy an assault weapon because 1) they can fire full automatic, 2) they can fire three rounds with one pull of the trigger, and 3) they can fire semi-automatic too. The only way you can get one is from a person who does not obey the Federal Gun Laws and that would be the people that don't pay for background checks, taxes, and anything else other criminal can get there hands on.

    You can do what ever you want with real assault weapons you want to and I don't think the NRA would say a thing. Who are killing people out there with assault weapons -0- that's how many get you facts right and call it what it is insane people that shouldn't have guns in the first place getting them anyway they can.

    Sandy Hook nobody was killed with an assault weapon if you think that's not right the check out NBC and the so called assault weapon was still in the killers car.

    January 30, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
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