Giffords on senators: 'Shame on them'
April 17th, 2013
10:03 PM ET
12 months 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. Name Carl

    Shame on the Republicans.

    April 18, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  2. Ted van Tol

    Guns rules a country that calles itself a bright and shiny star!
    The USA a leading country on democracy and moral integrety?
    No way, shame on you America!

    April 18, 2013 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  3. Maestra730

    Dear Dems: Please stop parading this poor woman out in front of the public every time you want to win an argument. It's very simple . . . criminals will NOT follow gun regulations and will obtain guns regardless. Only law abiding citizens will be affected and restricted by them, making us all more vulnerable.

    April 18, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  4. GI Joe

    Not a penny of my money will go to support the people that voted against the gun safety bill. In fact, I'll lobby my friends and even strangers to vote against them.

    April 18, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  5. thomase

    I'm not sure whether it's sad or hilarious that we cannot even have a discussion regarding a topic such as universal background checks after a thorough compromise between both sides has been reached. How can we expect there to be any conversation about anything at all meaningful?

    You won't discuss a budget after compromise, you won't discuss guns after compromise, you won't discuss anything important so what use are you?

    April 18, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  6. nuclearmike

    It is hard to be critical of a victim...but in this case she is just wrong in her views on gun control.

    April 18, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  7. John Powers

    AGREED – What the hell are these senators thinking? More Americans want check on backgrounds on firearms. Maybe we don't need motor-vehicle licenses too.

    April 18, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  8. Name lynn

    Gifford dont worrie about the senators the mailcarrier still delivering white letters, an them senators just might get a letter. Its time for the senators to do something right not wrong.

    April 18, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  9. lista de email

    really an amazing article to read. lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email

    April 18, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  10. Tony

    Cowards, and liers derail commonsense gun laws, that has a mostly republican tone to it even though some dems voted against it.

    April 18, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  11. Bill

    Senators that vote away Americans right to bear arms have to look themselves in the eye as well congresswoman Gifford. The high road in the fight is the road that defends individual liberty against government restrictions.
    Can someone explain how this mandate on gun shows would have stopped any of these high profile shootings?
    Meanwhile we can only hope that Americans continue to vote against gun control by buying record amounts of firearms.

    April 18, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    SHAME ON YOU U.S. SENATE. Election Day can't get here fast enough. A lot of you have got to go. You made your bed, now sleep in it.

    April 18, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  13. nancya

    Maybe gun control advocates should stoop to the level of the NRA and start spreading blatant lies (like the NRA) that the NRA is controlled by organized crime in partnership with the drug cartels.

    April 18, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  14. Brent

    Get over it!! Sorry about what happened to you Cathy but you cant step on our rights to make you feel better.

    April 18, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  15. Tony in Maine

    Until the voters turn off DWTS, NASCAR and Honey Boo and begin to pay attention to the cowards they have elected to govern them, what happened yesterday will be repeated. The first thing voters need to do is single issue vote in 2014. Send the cowards home so they can hide under their own beds.

    April 18, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  16. Sadie Boyd

    Since the economy is in the dumpster thanks to sending our jobs overseas...our largest gnp is guns. Since we have no money to put back in economy, we have time on our hands. This time will be used to make sure every paid NRA Senator is done with governance. None of the nays will even be voted for city council. Defeating each nay voter is a great life goal and a way to commemorate the dead in Sandy Hook.

    April 18, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  17. Dar

    If Gabby hadn't been shot and her state was against the bill, SHE would have said NAY also. Don't kid yourself, it is all about votes and nothing else matters to these liers. Nothing!

    April 18, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  18. George Dixon

    "Giffords Furious"

    Ut-o...

    Mark Kelly better hide the family 9mm Glock, good thing he got his money refunded on the assault rifle he bought.

    April 18, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  19. Jinx9to88

    These senators are gonna pay a price come 2014 since they have the names of who voted "no". Why do you think they didnt want to vote on this bill that 90% of the "American people" wanted? Oh well Dems will get their 60 seats back and push the bill thru then.

    April 18, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  20. Al

    Giffords, I'm glad that you survived what happened to you. But does your party not say to forgive and forget. Your actions are of anger, to restrict and make harder a good persons right to have a weapon of their choosing. If you and your party were to get tougher on the criminals and take away their rights to breath so that they can't violate the current gun laws or terrorize anyone with the guns they carry without permits or serial number on the weapon. No, you find it more satisfying to punish the good but yet give to the criminals. Make the law to protect the good citizen and punish those that violate the law and morality.

    April 18, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  21. mattski

    I think Dems made a mistake by presenting a whole suite of reforms. I think if they had focused only on the background checks without all the other bills in the mix, it might have passed.

    April 18, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  22. chill

    The 46 bought and paid for Senatorrial lapdogs of the gun lobby- and let's not pretend that the NRA in any way represents gun OWNERS- should be emblazoned with a scarlet letter C for cowards. Don't let them get away with this travesty. It's time to take them down at the polls and go after anyone with dirty NRA money in their coffers.

    April 18, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  23. Dale Knight

    Would it be any different if some of these senators had been shot in the head or anywhere else? I can't help but think it would.

    April 18, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  24. v_mag

    I would like to see the President go on TV and read out the names of each senator who voted against the gun violence bill. I would like to hear him say something like, "The next time someone is murdered by a crazy person with a gun, remember these senators who wouldn't take even the smallest step to prevent it. They sat by and did absolutely nothing. These senators will be partially responsible for all gun murders from now on, and they are doing it for the money and support of the lying, criminal NRA."

    April 18, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  25. Charlie Daniels

    And -----– The puppet continues to dance.

    April 18, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
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