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. Kevin

    See, people like her can't except the vote if it's not in her favor, that makes me think about what her thoughts were when she was in office and running her own agenda. She's not thinking straight.

    April 18, 2013 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  2. biglio

    She said it all:"shame on them!" Unfortunately she was taking with shameless people, the faster they are out of office, the better.....

    April 18, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  3. Mike Coster

    When we want an objective, sane, thoughtful group of decision makers for a jury, we EXCLUDE the victims of that or similar crimes. But, when legislating, we seek out and, for some reason, give more weight to testimony of those victimized? Giffords should stay the hell out of Washington. At best, she is biased, uninformed, and grandstanding.
    And how much paid time has Spaceshot Kelly put into his lobbying and propaganda campaign. Its harder to be sympathic with their tragedy when they are trying to make many, many more unarmed/under armed victims.

    April 18, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  4. Pocono Shooting

    Gun Control is Unconstitutional

    Shall not be Infringed = Not limited, Not restricted, Not Controlled.

    Well Regulated = Well manned and Equipped. (not govt controlled)

    Militia = All gun owners capable and willing to fighting. (not enlisted men under contract)

    Arms = Ordinary Military Equipment (not crew operated)

    These definitions came out of the 1939 United States vs Miller Supreme Court case.

    Liberty is worth the Risk of DEATH !!!

    April 18, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  5. Pocono Shooting

    Expanded background checks will be abused.

    First instance of abuse is where the background checks are used to create in illegal national gun registry.

    In Pennsylvania it is illegal to have a gun registry... yet one exists !!!!
    In PA the argument for the registry is that it is really not a registry because it is not 100 % complete, because it only includes new gun purchases. This violates the intent of the law.

    Illegal registries already exist out of the abuse of background checks. Govt breaks the law. They find tricks to get around the laws.

    Democrats have already banned or heavily restricted gun in cities that they control... Why would anybody think that their agenda for the rest of the nation is any different???

    April 18, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  6. freedom

    These senators did not create the madmen and women who go around shooting people. Let's go after the real issues. These gun control laws are not it.

    April 18, 2013 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  7. Kraken

    It's a Constitutional Republic, not a statist-democracy.
    The "Shame" is on those that would legislate away other's liberty & rights, in order to secure a false sense of security for themselves in their statist utopia.

    April 18, 2013 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  8. pokey5735

    None of the gun control bills would affect criminals or the mentally ill who are determined to commit mayhem on the citizens of this country. When the entire content of these bills are exposed, the American people will be proud of the fact that the Senate did not pass them. The trouble is that these bills are always so loaded with overboard BS that does nothing but make them feel good and infringes on the 2nd Amendment.
    Did Gabby and Mark and Obama actually read the entire bill? I doubt it. And yet they are furious that it didn't pass. The parents and family of those Sandy Hook victims should never have been paraded out and used for political purposes. Of course, Gabby and all the victims have the sympathy of the American citizens but gun control would not have changed a thing. There were plenty of laws in place and they didn't stop this assault.

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
    ― Thomas Jefferson

    April 18, 2013 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  9. ngiotta

    Yes, they heard from their constituents. That's why they voted no. This had nothing to do with the gun lobby and everything to do with listening to their constituents. Constantly citing a "90%" statistic with a 1,000 person sample means nothing when there are 300,000,000+ Americans.

    April 18, 2013 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  10. KEN

    Sounds like a sore looser who thinks we all live like her with 5 body gaurds and see what that got her.

    April 18, 2013 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  11. ST

    This is too bad to be true. How can those senators who voted against, tell the vast majority of the population, and especially parents of little angels who perished, plus other victims of misuse of guns: "go to wherever you want to go and don't come to us 46 senators". Their votes have really opened wider the wounds.

    April 18, 2013 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  12. give us a break

    this woman needs to move on.
    bad people do bad things.

    it doesnt change our constitution, it doesnt change the fact that we fear her and the man who shot her alike, and nothing, especially not tantrums, changes any of that.

    April 18, 2013 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  13. andrew

    Reid was a 'NO' vote.

    sic gabby on him

    April 18, 2013 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  14. NameBIGxGAME

    No, shame on her. She opted to hold office, then when she gets her brains blown out she tries to shame her cohorts into forcing me to forego my families defense.

    April 18, 2013 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  15. Rick

    You are a politician which makes you a liar by association. It's as much your fault that gun owners don't trust the government and that is why they won't budge. They know if they give an inch the government will take a mile and it won't be long before America is disarmed. Just like Germany back in the thirties.

    April 18, 2013 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  16. It's my country and I'll laugh at it if I want to

    They are only representing their constituents:
    "Romney's people too", the soul of the GOP, the corporations and whoever owns them, foreign or domestic.

    April 18, 2013 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  17. Name Uche Agonsi

    What tends to separate the honest politicians from chaffs is sycophancy......political dignity has a product of mass acceptances from honesty, justice & stiff resistance to unpleasant attractions earthly lucre. It abhors deceits. Any gain from unfair political manoeuvres are most times temporary.

    April 18, 2013 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  18. Hamlet

    And these senators who voted no realized looking into my eyes and the eyes of the families of Newtown that nothing in this bill would have prevented either scenario.

    April 18, 2013 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  19. The Elephant in the Room

    Ms. Gifford –

    You and other are niaeve. You should hardly be disappointed or surprised. These are politicians, and in particular, REPUBLICAN politicians – the lowest of the low. They have no honor, no morals, no ethics, no principles. They are selfish and believe in NOTHING. You must make them dance to your own tune because they are NEVER to be trusted to make smart, informed, rational decisions.

    Let the world never forget: the Gifford`s shooting ended when the shooter tried to reload and people jumped him . . . so don`t ever accept the NRA LIE that smaller magazines would not save lives. They WILL!

    April 18, 2013 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  20. Jim

    Hey Gabby I am sorry you were injured by a firearm and are of diminished mental capacity. It doesn't give you the right to strip a country of their rights just so you will be more comfortable.

    April 18, 2013 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  21. basedonfact

    Go Gabby! You are an inspiration to my fiance as she goes through physical therapy.

    April 18, 2013 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  22. RP

    Obama and his media allies simply don't have the power they think they do. Ultimately, it's still the voters that move senators, not a threatening, crying, whining liberal President. The anti-Amercian anti-gun-right crowd that used the deaths of the Newtown children to further a political cause that actually had nothing to do with Newtown LOST. They lost because they deserved to lose. Get over it. At least now they will have time to figure out how to exploit the Boston victims to further some other rights-infringing agenda. Democrats pray for mass murders to move their sickening liberal agendas.

    April 18, 2013 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  23. Nicholas Smith

    I'm sorry for the Giffords, but they do not have the right, either one of them, to violate their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

    April 18, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  24. acdcguy

    Shame on you Giffords and Obama for making Sandy Hook political...........

    April 18, 2013 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  25. Marie MD

    We The People can vote these mutants out., Simple as that. No violence except at the ballot box. They don't have the guts to go against the nra, their 4 million members and a mere $21M of campaign contributions (out of almost $4B) we can and should do it!

    April 18, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
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