Giffords on senators: 'Shame on them'
April 17th, 2013
10:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Giffords on senators: 'Shame on them'

(CNN) - Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords lambasted the 46 senators who voted against an ill-fated bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on firearms sales and vowed to continue her fight for tougher gun laws.

"Speaking is physically difficult for me," Giffords wrote in a New York Times opinion piece published online after the Senate rejected the compromise on Wednesday. "But my feelings are clear: I'm furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done."

Giffords, a Democrat, was seriously hurt in a 2011 shooting that killed six and wounded 13. She and her husband, Mark Kelly, have been vocal advocates for stricter gun laws since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.

Together, the two gun owners formed a nonprofit group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, which lobbied Congress and tried to beat back efforts from the powerful National Rifle Association.

Opponents argued the compromise struck by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey to expand background checks to gun shows and Internet sales infringed on Second Amendment rights and wouldn’t go far enough to prevent gun violence.

It was offered as an amendment to an underlying package of proposals and needed 60 votes to pass. It received 54.

Giffords stood alongside President Barack Obama at the White House after the Senate vote. Obama sharply criticized lawmakers for failing to pass the amendment, as Giffords nodded her head.

"Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown," she wrote in the op-ed.

"Some of the senators who voted ‘no’ have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, six of whom died.

“These senators have heard from their constituents – who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them," Giffords said.

- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Gabrielle Giffords • Gun control • Gun rights • Senate
soundoff (334 Responses)
  1. jack morris

    These senators are representing the people. The people as a whole didnt want gun control. It was the white house and the media who did. Today was a victory for constitutional freedom!

    April 17, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. CJPA

    Gabby is so right and so is President Obama - Shame on Them!! All this just to get re-elected and protect their donations and stipends from the NRA and the gun and ammo companies!! It makes me sick!! I don't suggest any of them walk in the Newtown shoes, but they obviously have no heart OR common sense!!

    April 17, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I am sick of our government being bought by lobbyists. This is shameful. I am appalled.

    April 17, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  4. Larry L

    Every Democrat must work to ensure that none of the Democrats who voted agains this logical and rational bill get any support from the Democratic Party towards re-election. They are selfish cowards who don't support the common sense values of the American people. The Republicans are expected to be gutless drones of the N.R.A. but Democrats must hold themselves to higher standards. Let's be certain the DINOs don't make it past the primary election.

    April 17, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  5. Danial Farooq

    This is wrong for a minority in the Senate to reject universal background checks for Gun violence control ! Of course this is victory of Special interests and influential gun lobbyists . Shame on those who failed today , and violated trusts of majority of people in our system , particularly of Sandy Hook Elementary School Gun Violence tragedy victims , families and 92 percent of people in their support . Resulting in 26 innocent people including 20 children dead and others across U. S. This should not be acceptable . What a huge gap of expectations for victims of Gun violence !

    April 17, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. Perry

    Maybe she and her husband should practice what they preach by first giving up their high capacity magazines and AR-15s before lecturing to us.

    April 17, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  7. toby hill

    Everyone knows this was nothing but a precursor to National Registry. The Feds would have kept the records under seal until Obama declares a national emergency and then use an Executive Order to force the Feds to create the registry using the names they already gathered.

    April 17, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. Namejimmy mac

    This country will never be serious on gun control.... to many special interest. Groups on both sides....

    April 17, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. MaryM

    Thank you Mark and Gabby for your continued fight against gun violence. This vote was just round one. The will be more and the 90% of Americans that support this expanded background check bill will vote in 2014

    April 17, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. Fla-Gun-Owner

    These polls everyone keeps referring too only account for 1500-2000 individuals, while I and 100,000's of individuals personally contacted our state reps imploring them to vote against any gun control. Get the facts straight before you start blaming OUR reps for not voting the way YOU wished. Remember the collective out weighs the individual. Oh by the way, you have now had your VOTE Obama implored for and the measures where defeated. Now let's move on to REAL problems to address!!!

    April 17, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  11. Steve

    How in God's name does getting a background check to see if you have a criminal history or history of mental illness violate your Second Amendment rights?? If you're a law abiding citizen, you have nothing to worry about. For people that are worried about "losing their rights", your screaming at a phantom that doesn't's only in your mind.

    April 17, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  12. Howard

    The liberals didn't get their way, so now they will pout. They need to stop trying to restrict our rights and start trying to enforce existing laws before introducing news laws.

    April 17, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein

    I can understand her frustration. Her injuries could have been prevented if the shooter's mental illness would have prevented his purchace of weapons and large capcity clips.

    April 17, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  14. just sayin

    no, shame on you for attacking the constitutional rights of every american citizen.

    April 17, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  15. Dantes

    I am sorry for Ms. Gifford and her injuries, but the Senate voted on facts, not emotion...and the facts won.

    April 17, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |

    The NRA and it's supports are terrorist, what do they do to terrorist.

    April 17, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  17. Jim

    Shame on Gabby She voted to repeal a District of Columbia very tough anti gun law. Her vote was in the majority and the residents of Washington DC had their anti gun law repealed.
    She is two faced.

    April 17, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  18. drachenx

    So it gets a majoriry of votes, but now we need a supermajority to get things passed? Civics class never covered that, but that was back before we were so divided

    April 17, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  19. whta

    Apparently her parents never told her that she wont always get what she wants. Same with Obama, come to think of it, too much whining from their end.

    April 17, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  20. Rob

    "I will not rest..."

    You will be up for a long time Gabby.

    April 18, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  21. AZ Woman

    Dear Gabby, I agree. Today, democracy took a HUGE hit. Universal backgrounds and the moderate, COMPROMISE amendment that was voted upon would not have taken away any rights to gun owners. If this MODERATE amendment would have had just ONE person not able to get a gun, it would have been worth it. But, the people that represent us SOLD US OUT for money into their reelection efforts.

    I have been raised with guns in my home, I have owned both a .22 and .38, I shoot 98% on the target range for gosh sakes, and I see NO reason not to have universal background checks!

    Today our "mis-representatives" did every American a disservice, or at least the MAJORITY of Americans that wanted change to come about. I said it before, and I will say it again, they turned their collective backs on the American people and let special interests and lobbyists "evacuate" all over us.

    Good thing is that this is a wake up call. As one of those "moderate" "socially progressive" LEFTIES, who works, pays taxes, wants govt out of my house and out of my bedroom, I challenge each and EVERY one of us to contribute at least $20 to a political PAC to get these slackers OUT of office.

    April 18, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  22. Mike Gibbs

    Shame on those who purport to make our children and public safer, but only trample our second amendment rights. Get down to the real business of making society safer, and get off the gun-grabbing B.S. The NRA is not a single entity, It is the millions of members that make it up. And today the senate, elected in part by millions of responsible gun-owners, declined to let Obama's agenda move any further. And shame on using the victims of violent crime as tools to advance the anti-gun agenda. Take note politicians, the "polls" that the White House has been claiming in support of his anti-gun plans are NOT accurate. Again, please all of you left-wing would-be gun-grabbers, get down to the business of addressing mental health needs and strengthening school security and get OFF arbitrary magazine capacity limits and other nonsense.

    April 18, 2013 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  23. tom in spokane

    it's not the guns that kill people. it's the idiot's that have ill will and malise towards man in their hearts that do.... background checks are STILL not going to get the guns out of criminals hands. HELLO operation fast and furious.... you morons purposely LET thousands of firearms escape into them system yet you hipocrites whine and complain about checking up on honest law abiding citizens with guns and make it impossible to obtain them to defend ourselves or recreationally shoot.

    April 18, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  24. fernace

    I think we need to recall this vote! Get a petition going online! Let these congress people "meet," all the people killed & injured by gun violence in the last 5 years! They are not a "statistic" but humans, loved & missed! Then, if they still vote "wrong", we just have to fire the lot of 'em!!

    April 18, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  25. Robert E

    We have gun laws but no one will enforce them in south Los Angeles.

    April 18, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14