Mark Kelly to CNN: He and Giffords used NRA practice range
January 29th, 2013
04:10 PM ET
2 years 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. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Kelly, the entire board of the NRA is comprised of owners and top executives of companies that manufacture weapons and ammo. Lapiere is just a salesman doing their bidding. If you wish to join a gun club, then look into your local Elks club sor something. The NRA is no longer a club for gun owners. It is a publicity mechanism for gun manufacturers.

    January 29, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Moose

    Hypocrites !!! im pretty tired of these 2 !!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    -Moose

    Hypocrites !!! im pretty tired of these 2 !!!!!!!!!!
    **********************************
    Aww geez, too bad. Real Americans are tired of the NRA.

    January 29, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. rs

    Yes, it would be hard for any thinking individual to join an organization that supports the rights of murderers.

    January 29, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Moose

    @Tom love you libs, real Americans, like the bamman ??? you wouldnt know a real american if he bit ya !!! you and rudy. wimpy brown nosers, typical bamman followers (not leaders) part of the heard, its ok the world needs foddder !!!!

    January 29, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Moose

    @rs like hillary killings in ben ghazi ??? hypocrite !!!!

    January 29, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    -Moose

    @Tom love you libs, real Americans, like the bamman ??? you wouldnt know a real american if he bit ya !!! you and rudy. wimpy brown nosers, typical bamman followers (not leaders) part of the heard, its ok the world needs foddder !!!!
    *****************
    I love moose, good eating too. Pathetic little man, you don't know a thing about this country or being a real citzen, you just parrot back whatever Uncle Rupert tells you. I fire people like you for fun, because you can only do so much with a delta-minus mind. And yes, I am a leader. Take care, your hourly infusion of propaganda is coming up on FOX!

    January 29, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. MaryM

    Mark and Gabby, the majority of gun owners in America are with you on these reasonable reforms.

    January 29, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Facts don't Lie

    @ The Real Tom Paine...

    sorry to tell you this but anybody that is "bright" enough to refer to him or herself as MOOSE should really be taken with a grain of salt and a wink! I laugh every time I read their posts.

    January 29, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -Facts don't Lie

    @ The Real Tom Paine...

    sorry to tell you this but anybody that is "bright" enough to refer to him or herself as MOOSE should really be taken with a grain of salt and a wink! I laugh every time I read their posts.

    **********
    Yes, but the factt that he/she/it responded is priceless.

    January 29, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. MooseKiller

    I'm pretty tired of idiots who call gun owners who expect reasonable gun control laws hypocrites. Seriously, are they six years old or just that ignorant? And, yes, I own two handguns, 3 rifles and a shotgun.... and thank God for reasonable people like Mark Kelly who have a national voice.

    January 29, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Moose

    @facts, facts dont lie, so why do you ??? whats the diff between facts or moose ??? according to hilly none !!!!

    January 29, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Moose

    I get it now its ok for libs/dems to flip flop, Moosekiller, now thats cold, careful dont hurt yourself with all those weapons !!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. BigTBone

    I think if your rationale for stockpiling unregistered weapons is for some kind of revolution against the democratically elected leaders of the US, you're exactly the type who needs to be watched like a hawk.

    Kudos to the Giffords for trying to maintain some level of sensibility. It's been abandoned by the righties and NRA.

    January 29, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. Mark

    "Gabby and I are of the opinion that semi automatic assault weapons should be left for the military to use,"

    Why would the military want our civillian rifles when they have the real deal?

    January 29, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. Kevin

    "and strong supporters of the Second Amendment, but "

    You either support the constitution or you do not. Mr. Kelly obviously does not. If you would like to add " ... except for ..." after " ... shall not be infringed." then there needs to be a constitutional amendment. As it stands right now, it is very clear.

    January 30, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. Wilson

    @Sniffit

    "@liberal disease, amen. Theresa Heinz-Kerry could buy and sell the Romneys with the change in her pocket. Double-standard Democrats."

    There's no double standard whatsoever. We gladly support wealthy people who exhibit the pragmatic, altruistic societal responsibility required by the social contract and are willing to advocate for raising their own taxes when it's necessary. It has nothing to do with the wealth per se. I find poor useful idiots arguing that trickle-down unicorn farts will create growth and jobs are just as distasteful as wealthy plutocrats arguing the same things in order to protect, expand and inequitably grow their wealth and influence on th ebacks of said useful idiots and the rest of the middle-class. You clearly don't really understand the concept of what constitutes "hypocrisy."
    --------------------------------------
    I've only finished 7 chapters of "Atlas Shrugged" so far, but Sniffit, sounds like you would love to live in the society described by the author. Your comments above are almost direct quotes of some of the characters in the book. Myself, I would not like to live in the society described. I can't imagine the book ending well.

    January 30, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Still Bill

    Widespread possession of fully automatic assault weapons by citizens seems to work fine in Switzerland – guns don't cause violence. Obviously Kelly and Guiffords are upset that she was shot, but it's clear that banning assault weapons won't noticeably impact gun violence in America. Everyone rightfully feels a need to "do something", but why not do something that will actually work instead of doing something that's easy?

    January 30, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. The Dude

    @ BigTBone

    I could not agree more.

    January 30, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  20. David in Texas

    Most people that quote the 2nd amendment fail to realize that the right to bear arms to protect from an overreaching government was enacted at a time when the firepower of a private musket equaled the firepower of a soldier. In order for the 2nd amendment to keep pace, wouldn't an average citizen need the ability to take out a tank or a jet/drone? How would you feel about your neighbor having anti-aircraft weapons and bozes of C4? It is outdated and useless now.

    January 30, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. Rex

    If the Administration wants to save children from senseless violent deaths, Obama should stop flying drones over the Middle east and South Asia.

    The Constitution was written to limit the powers of Government, not to limit the rights of the People. "Shall not be infringed" is clear, as are the recorded opinions of the Founders. History clearly shows where citizen disarmament leads; to Stalin, to Mao, to Pol Pot.

    January 30, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    -Wilson

    @Sniffit

    "@liberal disease, amen. Theresa Heinz-Kerry could buy and sell the Romneys with the change in her pocket. Double-standard Democrats."

    There's no double standard whatsoever. We gladly support wealthy people who exhibit the pragmatic, altruistic societal responsibility required by the social contract and are willing to advocate for raising their own taxes when it's necessary. It has nothing to do with the wealth per se. I find poor useful idiots arguing that trickle-down unicorn farts will create growth and jobs are just as distasteful as wealthy plutocrats arguing the same things in order to protect, expand and inequitably grow their wealth and influence on th ebacks of said useful idiots and the rest of the middle-class. You clearly don't really understand the concept of what constitutes "hypocrisy."
    ------------–
    I've only finished 7 chapters of "Atlas Shrugged" so far, but Sniffit, sounds like you would love to live in the society described by the author. Your comments above are almost direct quotes of some of the characters in the book. Myself, I would not like to live in the society described. I can't imagine the book ending well.
    *******************************
    You are aware that Ayn Rand lived off of her husband's SS, aren't you? If you want to live in a world where "Individualism" is expressed only by greed and where generosity is considered a weakness, that is not a world most people want. Rand's own hypocrisy at the end of her life shows her "vision" is no more realistic than L. Ron Hubbard's.

    January 30, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Sniffit

    Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have benefitted from at least $700k from the NRA, the NRA’s PAC or employees.

    January 30, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    To those that are poiting to the Swiss as an example where people have automatic wepaons and there is little gun violance, please keep in mind that these are people who are part of their military who can be called into national service in short order. Different solutions are required for a society that has never had the centralized control the Swiss have.

    January 30, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Wilson wrote:

    I've only finished 7 chapters of "Atlas Shrugged" so far, but Sniffit, sounds like you would love to live in the society described by the author. Your comments above are almost direct quotes of some of the characters in the book. Myself, I would not like to live in the society described. I can't imagine the book ending well.
    --------------------------
    Trust me, 'sniffit' despises the society described in the book. Ayn Rand was of Russian background. The society that she describes is exactly the society Karl Marx aspires to and describes in "Das Kapital", imperial capitalism. It is the society that people like Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and other economic extremists believe was envisioned by the founding fathers.

    January 30, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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