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. UDidntBuildThat

    Its also way too easy to regurgitate the FOX News talking points, as you have demonstrated so well. The NRA has changed its positions on background checks, as well as the whole issue of private sales of guns. They have opposed them reflexively as others, whom the NRA has decided to label as their enemies, embrace the positions of the NRA. What the NRA does is nothing more than a dance designed to delay any meaningful action from taking place. Look at the history of what they do, and how they operate, before you reflexively parrot back the words you have been told to utter.
    _______________________
    Sorry Mr Pain, Dont like the news media so try again. The NRA is all for sensible gun control that actually works. What is being proposed will not stop the violence nor what happend in Sandy Hook CT. U might want to read the actual legislation. the SCOTUS had deem the right to bear arms so that will never change. But crimninals do not follow the rules and could care less about background checks or any other restrictions that is why they do NOT work! That's the pt the NRA is making. They are NOT against the backgound checks they are merely pting out that they dont work for criminals. Read much? That mostly what I do!

    January 30, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. UDidntBuildThat

    RudyNYC-"I do not believe the way the law is now, unfortunately, that it does any good to extend the law to sales between hobbyists and collectors," LaPierre answered. His objections were that the current background check law was not being enforced adequately and "this administration is not processing the people that they catch."
    ______________________
    Thank you for making my case that no where in that statement fr the NRA he said he was against background checks. Again, you and your liberal friends like to distort what someone acutally says. Explain to us how a criminal who buys a gun illegally will be caught via a background checks? Did he say get rid of backgound checks? No he said the current backgound checks is not working because the justice system when the catch someone DO NOT PROSECUTE THEM TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW! He gave the statisticts too which u conveniently left out.

    "The fact is the law right now is a failure, the way it's working," he said. "The fact is that you have 76,000 some people that have been denied under the present law. Only 44 were prosecuted. You're letting them go. They're walking the streets."
    If u make laws then fail to enforce them then making more laws will do what?

    January 30, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    -UDidntBuildThat

    Chipster

    @UDidntBuildThat
    No, that is NOT the reason Kerry's boat was in Rhode Island. The boat Kerry purchased was in need of maintenance that required more than 6 months to perform. He registered the boat in RI while it was there for service. MA didn't require taxes to be paid on the products registered 6 mos. or more before the item is relocated to MA. Kerry notified the MA dept. of revenue that he would pay the taxes in MA, even though he wasn't required to do so. This is just another example of the right-wing habit of taking a grain of truth and turning it into a great American novel of false information.
    ____________________________
    Oh wow listen to th apologist for the liberal rich. Yeah it was in need or maintenance, blah. REally it was registered in RI for years so give me a break! and there is no exception when a Repub avoid taxes for whatever reason. So no need to apply them here.
    From the Boston Herald themsevles
    "Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I."
    If the boat was new how come it needed repairs? Or who buys a brand new yacht in need of repairs?
    boy u libs make excuses for your own and nail a repub. for doing less.
    ******************************
    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.

    January 30, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    -UDidntBuildThat

    RudyNYC-"I do not believe the way the law is now, unfortunately, that it does any good to extend the law to sales between hobbyists and collectors," LaPierre answered. His objections were that the current background check law was not being enforced adequately and "this administration is not processing the people that they catch."
    ______________________
    Thank you for making my case that no where in that statement fr the NRA he said he was against background checks. Again, you and your liberal friends like to distort what someone acutally says. Explain to us how a criminal who buys a gun illegally will be caught via a background checks? Did he say get rid of backgound checks? No he said the current backgound checks is not working because the justice system when the catch someone DO NOT PROSECUTE THEM TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW! He gave the statisticts too which u conveniently left out.

    "The fact is the law right now is a failure, the way it's working," he said. "The fact is that you have 76,000 some people that have been denied under the present law. Only 44 were prosecuted. You're letting them go. They're walking the streets."
    If u make laws then fail to enforce them then making more laws will do what?
    ***************************
    You cannot enforce laws or prosecute cases when the NRA and its minions in Congress have been steadily de-funding every agency and law charged with enforcement, ie, the ATF. Apparently tax cuts for the wealthy are more important than making sure laws are enforced and people sent to prison.

    January 30, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    -UDidntBuildThat

    Its also way too easy to regurgitate the FOX News talking points, as you have demonstrated so well. The NRA has changed its positions on background checks, as well as the whole issue of private sales of guns. They have opposed them reflexively as others, whom the NRA has decided to label as their enemies, embrace the positions of the NRA. What the NRA does is nothing more than a dance designed to delay any meaningful action from taking place. Look at the history of what they do, and how they operate, before you reflexively parrot back the words you have been told to utter.
    _______________________
    Sorry Mr Pain, Dont like the news media so try again. The NRA is all for sensible gun control that actually works. What is being proposed will not stop the violence nor what happend in Sandy Hook CT. U might want to read the actual legislation. the SCOTUS had deem the right to bear arms so that will never change. But crimninals do not follow the rules and could care less about background checks or any other restrictions that is why they do NOT work! That's the pt the NRA is making. They are NOT against the backgound checks they are merely pting out that they dont work for criminals. Read much? That mostly what I do!
    *******************************
    Apparently your approach to reading is like your approach to enforcing the law: get something that looks good, then admire it from a distance. The NRA has worked to defund every attempt to make gun control or law enforcement work, since it views itself as the ultimate authority on the law. Ask the agents of the ATF how much fun its been to work with a fraction of the budget they are accustomed to. I am sure that you read, but what intellectual pablum you ahve been reading becomes apparent in your unwillingness to admit that LaPierre says that background checks don't work, laws don't work, so why bother?Just admit it, you don't give a damn.

    January 30, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    UDidntBuildThat wrote

    RudyNYC-"I do not believe the way the law is now, unfortunately, that it does any good to extend the law to sales between hobbyists and collectors," LaPierre answered. His objections were that the current background check law was not being enforced adequately and "this administration is not processing the people that they catch."

    Thank you for making my case that no where in that statement fr the NRA he said he was against background checks.
    -------------------–
    You need to check your translator. "His objections were that the current background check law was not being enforced adequately and "this administration is not processing the people that they catch." LaPierre is openly opposing background checks at gun shows.

    Besidse, how can the administration "prosecute the people that they catch" when there is no law in existence that is being violated? In other words, LaPierre's statement is pure hogwash designed to impress the woefully misinformed. No one is being "caught" because there is no existing law for them to break at the gun shows. That's why it's called a loop hole.

    January 30, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Facts don't Lie

    call me a cynic if you wish but I don't think much of anything different about who can buy guns, what kind of guns are clips may or may not be legal, and closing the so-called loopholes are going to be done. This bluster and dog and pony show on the hill may be entertaining but in the end MONEY always wins and the NRA has too many people in congress either scared or in their backpockets with kickbacks. Until the next mass shooting which we know one day will happen, then we go through the same old thing, outrage, we need change, gun sales rise, NRA says arm everybody, noise from the left and right, tears for the victims, then NOTHING gets done.

    January 30, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Another workplace shooting in Phoenix while Mark Kelly was testifying before the Senate. The universe must just be conpiring to take a dump in your cereal bowls, eh Teatrolls?

    January 30, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Facts don't Lie

    "But THIS time it's different"!! Yeah, right it was only different maybe 2 or 3 weeks after Sandy Hook but now it's the same old thing like after Va Tech, Tuscon, Aurora, Ft Hood, Portland.........ect. ect.

    January 30, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Amazing

    It really is amazing how smart all you democrats are. You sure have everything figured out...

    January 30, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. 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.

    January 30, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Ed1

    What bushmaster are you talking about. The guns that are sold to the private sector are semi-automatic. Rudy I have no idea what bushmaster you are talking about but the guns they sell to the gun shops are semi-automatic unless you have a class three permit then you can but that permit is not very easy at all to get. I would still like to know what bushmaster that you are talking about Rudy they have a selector switch that says safe and fire only.

    January 30, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Now... your pet subject, the AMT. Well, Rudy, the AMT does not even come into consideration unless income exceeds $175,000 ($87,500 married filing seperately). NOT $50,000 as you claim. Just because Rudy says so does not make it true. To use your buddy Sniffit's line – googles it man.
    ---------------------------
    Ha. You're funny. I almost missed this jab. Google this, " IRS 6251 " You're citing the wrong figures, the ones from line 42, which set the tax bracket. The correct figures for the minimum income threshold are on line 43:

    • $70,700 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er),
    • $35,350 if single or married filing separately, or
    • $47,350 if head of household.

    Anyone with incomes above those levels must perform the AMT calculation and pay the higher tax.

    January 30, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. DENNA

    Sad to say that all of this will go for naught. The NRA will win again and America will continue her march toward a gun -infested country. Pretty soon we will look just like those news stories of armed insurgents shooting up the streets. It is coming and there is nothing that can be done. I feel for the police officers who have to deal with this gun-crazy country.

    January 30, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Old Shoe

    To Seth Hill: Personal protection as advocated by Thomas Jefferson is both a right and a choice, but make no mistake, Thomas Jefferson warned repeatedly against trusting government for protection. Whether you choose to carry a gun for protection is YOUR choice, but it is your RIGHT to do so. I grew up in S. Central Los Angeles, the area called Watts. Police never showed up until the gun shot echos and gun powder smoke was gone and people stopped breathing. I can almost guarantee that if someone starts shooting at you or a loved one of yours, waiting for police to stop it will be too late. Screaming at a 911 operator for help is an exercise of futility when seconds, not minutes count. Here is a FACT: When the SCOTUS overturned Chicago's ban on handguns in 2010, crime rates involving guns dropped. Here is another FACT: Most criminals are cowards and avoid armed individuals. I've seen thugs pee their pants when tables are turned and they are looking down the barrel of a gun. Again protecting your self is YOUR choice, and your RIGHT, and our government (and the SCOTUS agrees) cannot infringe on your choice to be armed and no citizen or group should be able to make that choice for us.

    January 30, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    -Amazing

    It really is amazing how smart all you democrats are. You sure have everything figured out...
    ****************
    Somebody has to try. It certainly is not coming from the Right, not when evolution is viewed as " lies from the pit of hell" by the chair of the Science and Technology Committee.

    January 30, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. politicojames

    he's biased!! The giffords get so much cash from her injury, the insurance policy on congressman, hurt in the line of duty is phuqn crazy loads. He is biased, she wasn't shot with an AR-15; sorry mark, honey boo boo wouldn't be around it a 5.54 traveling at 1700 fps hit her skull. The shock alone would have vaporized most her brin.

    Here's the problem, the pain that they encapsulated after the shooting; well it's starting to leak, and along with alll that cash they get in congress disability cash; they feel justified to do something. THERAPY.... buy a cabin in the rockies, and plan your assault on the right wing, you phuqn left wing nut job!

    January 30, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. BoThome

    I was with Kelly until he got to "high capacity mags" and "leaving semi-auto assault weapons on the battlefield". That tells me he knows very little about guns. No military assault rifle is semi-auto only. All have selective fire capable of full auto or 3 round burst. That is what makes them an assault rifle. Just because he spent 25 yrs flying a plane for the military doesn't make him any sort of expert. He probably used guns in basic training once. I know, my dad was a Navy submariner for 20 yrs, only used a gun in basic, never used them after. He had no knowledge or understanding of guns to this day.

    January 30, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Old Shoe

    The Real Tom Paine: Which Thomas Jefferson "quote" are you referring to? Reread my post troll.

    January 30, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "our government (and the SCOTUS agrees) cannot infringe on your choice to be armed"

    our government (and the SCOTUS agrees) cannot infringe on your RIGHT to be REASONABLY armed

    FIFY

    January 30, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. 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.

    January 30, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Adam

    Ed1

    What bushmaster are you talking about. The guns that are sold to the private sector are semi-automatic. Rudy I have no idea what bushmaster you are talking about but the guns they sell to the gun shops are semi-automatic unless you have a class three permit then you can but that permit is not very easy at all to get. I would still like to know what bushmaster that you are talking about Rudy they have a selector switch that says safe and fire only.
    ____
    Ed,

    Its a fabrication like almost everything else he says. There are no selectors on any retail firearms sold in the States. And not just the selector, any full auto part in a semi auto gun is illegal. No lawful gun owner is going to attempt anything that idiotic. Just like the President he spouts total fabrications hoping people are stupid enough to belive him.

    January 30, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    More people shot in Phoenix this time: happy, my gun-hugging freinds?

    January 30, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. UDidntBuildThat

    The Real Tom Paine/RudyNYC: Here is more fr the testimony of the NRA

    "LaPierre, though, argued that prosecution for federal weapons violations in 2011 was essentially down 35 percent, compared to previous administrations, which he says means violent felons, gang members and the mentally ill who possess firearms are not being prosecuted.

    "That is completely and totally unacceptable," said LaPierre, who suggested fixing the country's "broken" mental-health system become part of the solution to gun violence - including making patient records part of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System."
    ____________________________________________
    Does this sound like someone trying to get rid of backgound checks? He advocates for making a database to check against when purchasing a weapon. Just goes to show how far liberals like RudyNYC and Paine will go to lie for their cause.

    January 30, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. UDidntBuildThat

    RudyNYC "Besidse, how can the administration "prosecute the people that they catch" when there is no law in existence that is being violated? In other words, LaPierre's statement is pure hogwash designed to impress the woefully misinformed. No one is being "caught" because there is no existing law for them to break at the gun shows. That's why it's called a loop hole.
    ____________________________________
    U are the big hole here! Go pickup a literature book and try to comprehend English. U are a typical low information voter. The criminals are being caught and are NOT PROSECUTED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW!!! The laws exist, the are not being enforced. Again u r just another liberal liar! If u r a felon and committ a crime with a gun the law is clear to prosecute. They choose not to. Wow! Read much? NRA wants these violent criminals prosecuted harshly. But being a dumb liberal such as yourself, I guess we cannot expect better. No worries, Cuomo and Bloomberg will do the thinking for u. Go watch American Idol & drink some more liberal kool aid. All is well morons

    January 30, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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