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. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    While America has tried to disarm Iraq and Afghanistan and currently trying to disarm Iran and North Korea and the rest of the world, the GOPT/D's deceitful and shameful vote yesterday told the rest of the world that it is the norm for Americans to stockpile WMDs in their home, become their own police and citizens of armament. Can any one see through the outrageous hypocrisy and irony of this shameful society? Is this the message a civilized society and world power wants to convey to the rest of the world? How can we tell terrorists and rogue states to put down their arms while we tell Americans to stockpile WMDs? What a modern day travesty or historic proportion.

    April 18, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. As-if

    The deer and turkey hunters were not the ones responsible for the mass shootings. The black inner city gang-bangers were not the ones who committed them. Not even the recipients of the botched government ill concieved if not frankly illegal gun running ring were involved. It was the criminally insane. The bill does nothing to address that issue but "could" have infringed on peoples second ammendment right to purchase a gun, basically, it would have done nothing to solve the issue and add a burden to lawful citizens. It was stupid, pointless, and I am glad this particular bill did not pass.

    April 18, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. ig88a

    Fog rider's post is not represented of reality. We would like to have a sensible discussion on the matter. But the self serving democrats want to enact laws first that infringe on the 2nd amendment without good critical thought(they are rushed to vote without care for loss of civil rights). We should talk first and determine good strategies to self regulate. What he have instead are knee jerk reactions from politicians for measures that they hope get them reelected. They lack the critical though because they take liberties from people and at the same time do not cause anything to be safer but as I said take the liberties(various abilities to arm oneself, even in your own home) people have to arm themselves. All the while the police forces of the various state/local governments have no ability to be there when you need them.

    April 18, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. rep

    i'm kinda glad some a lot of these Senators voted down this bill, not because i think they did the right thing...they didn't. i'm just a little glad because they have show their true faces, and have fueled more anger and resentment towards them that will hopefully help to sweep them out of their offices in 2014. late in October 2014 would be a great time to re-introduce these proposals in fact....just so the anger is rekindled and the peoples' resolve is assured.

    April 18, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. ig88a

    They keep lying about the polls. Another article talks about trumping public opinion vs the NRA lobby. I'm tired of people villifying the NRA. We have all kinds of public interest rights groups in this country. NRA doesn't make politicians vote one way or another. The politicians can vote any way they want. NRA just helps advocate for us by showing them that they are keeping track of their decisions and letting the public know. Politicians don't have to kowtow to it in any way.

    April 18, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. GaryS

    Gabby I'm glad you survived and have recovered so well. However your experience does not make you an authority on gun control. It's not the guns its access.
    You really need to fix the part of the current NICS system that's broken to effect any meaning full change.
    Push for proper reporting of the mentally ill and Felons. Currently this system is running at 44%, it needs to be brought up to a minimum of 75% to see any reduction in prohibited persons getting access to guns.

    April 18, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Nota

    How about we look at the fact that too much time and money is spent on legistation and legistlators as opposed to putting some of that money to use towards the investment of our children, their education and their well-being. There will ALWAYS be guns and pressure cookers – we can't change that. What we can change is the values we offer our children, their work ethic, their self-confidence, their compassion, their self-perceived worth. Kneejerk impositions to our liberties don't fix the problem....they only shift it; and if you look at history, the mesopotamians, the mayans, the egyptians, the romans, the germans – this idea of handing all the power to the Government is represented by the enevitable fall of our country.

    April 18, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. v_mag

    I went to a gun show at the auditorium in Austin years ago. I bought a shotgun, easy as pie. I never showed a driver's license or anything. I gave cash, and nobody in the world knew I owned a gun. It was a little creepy to think that anybody could do the same thing.

    If I were a crazy person or criminal, that's how I'd buy a gun. Since I'm not, I would not have minded much showing my license and even waiting a couple of days to get my shotgun. Living in the city, I didn't have much opportunity to use it, anyway.

    Do you know, no one has ever tried to confiscate my shotgun, and I really don't believe anyone ever will.

    April 18, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. It's Me

    Shame on you, your husband, Mr. Obama, Biden, Malloy, Bloomberg, Hickenlooper and any others that are attacking OUR rights. Now go away.

    April 18, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. Gman

    Don't get me wrong while I think some things needs to change specially automatic weapons this new law doesn't address the issue is just a smoke curtain from this administration.
    We always had access to guns in this country from the day one. So what changed?
    Do a research on how many mass shootings were committed back when morals ethics and religion was taught in schools
    People and family took care of their sick and support them. Now is always left to some one else, and most of the time their family tried to hide it unfortunately this is what leads to disaster; not well guided kids sometimes will turn to crime and theses are the ones getting or buying guns illegally (no background check). So please some one explain to me how more extensive background checks are going to help, you don't even have to say that you have a sick person in your family that is cover under a different law of privacy
    This is not a solution, we need to start looking back and correct what is wrong or left out of our kid’s education and the care for the mentally ill.

    April 18, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Zenger Folkman

    @LG88a – "They keep lying about the polls" So what do the polls actually say then? Have you even looked at them, or are LaPierre and Hannity and Limbaugh telling you "they" are lying??

    April 18, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Shane

    It is really sad to see the same people who willingly gave away their privacy rights to Bush by letting them listen to ALL of your phone calls, read ALL of your emails and any other electronic communication you might partake in and then claim that checking everyone to see if they should be able to purchase and own is somehow a taking away of your freedoms. Most of you who blindly chant the NRA mantra don'e have eny idea what the 2nd amendment was even for but that won't stop you from parrotting what Faux News says. More guns = More gun deaths in almost all situations.

    April 18, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Billilion

    police support more money for enforcement of current laws, not more laws. Stop the lies. Stop treading on the 2nd Amendment. Fix the problems in enforcement and mental health, then come back and we'll talk some more.

    April 18, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Zenger Folkman

    Gman–You guys crack me up. Conservatives never gave a crap about education or mental illness until you dragged them out to point fingers at as the REAL, true, only cause of gun violence.

    April 18, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. MesaMax

    Shame on GIffords for using gun control as a means to get back into the public spotlight.

    April 18, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. MesaMax

    All of the recent mass shootings had two things in common: guns and mental illness. Why did the president concentrate on the guns? Now when will he concentrate on the mental illness aspect?

    April 18, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. sly

    Murdering little children helps reduce the world population growth, and Republicans feel that is a more important long term goal. So ... on occasion we will slaughter some school kids as part of the good Republican policies.

    What's so bad about that? Ever hear of global warming? The NRA is just doing it's part to reduce human-caused global warming, and I admire them for this.

    April 18, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. mogran

    Sorry Giffords...freedom is more important than your gun control desires

    April 18, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. coyotes2000

    Too bad there's the Bill of Rights and that pesky 2nd amendment.

    April 18, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. m123

    Funny how making a person show id to vote is taboo, and called "racist"
    Yet, gun purchasers show id, fill out forms, pay fees, etc.
    NO disconnect there
    Regulation is fine, but silly to think that willl stop these massacres.

    April 18, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. The fact of the matter

    "Speaking is physically difficult for me," Giffords wrote..." There's an easy fix for that, dear.

    April 18, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. v_mag

    Paranoia is a symptom of mental illness. That explains why the gun nuts are against background checks that might uncover their paranoia and keep them from stockpiling murder weapons.

    Education might help. We could start by teaching gun nuts that the NRA is a lobbying group determined to make more money for its gun industry owners. It is not a source of news or facts.

    April 18, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. tlc1948

    Debra what you don,t understand is, the majority of Americans did get what they wanted. Don't believe the lie that 90% of the people wanted change. The system worked just like it should have.

    April 18, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. Will_NOT_Give_My_Rights_Away

    Nice to see someone who would rather feed billions to oil companies than feed billions to the people of her own country....

    April 18, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. daveinla

    90% of Americans are in favor of background checks. The question that the polls do not ask is,"who should do the background checks, the state or federal government." The vast majority of Americans felt Conn. handled the problem their way. Remember...the Congress is the face of federal government in washington D.C. and 90% of Americans do not trust them.

    April 18, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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