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. T. E. Lawrence O. A.

    No Filibuster Reform is responsible; Democrats are responsible for that lack of Reform.

    The entire Congress are bought-and-paid for and no longer represent the American Public. Only extremists with enough money get their way (NRA) and the rest of us just keep sucking on it with no end in sight.

    We have NEVER been more disgusted or ashamed of Congress – all of them.

    April 18, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. Mike

    Proof that corporate money and lobbyists are more important then the voice and will of the American electorate.
    Elections have Consequences, we need to stay Engaged still Educated...DO NOT forget this...that what they hope..they hope some time will go by and We will forget.. Hold these cowards accountable at the polls.. VOTE!
    The NRA can't buy my vote...can they Buy Yours?

    April 18, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. Southern Yank

    The only "winners" in this pathetic spectacle are the munitions industry and their tool, the National Rifle Association. Give them credit. By stoking paranoia and fear while pretending to be "safeguarding" the rights of individuals, they have brilliantly masked the fact that their real objective is nothing more than keeping the cash registers ringing across America. This has never been about guns or rights. It's always been about money and using that money to buy influence and votes.

    April 18, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. Harry 101

    Well so much for respect for the process when the vote does not go your way. Funny when it does the system works just fine. Same noice form both sides of any issue.

    April 18, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. Tony

    The gun lobby has blackmailed 46 senators and those 46 senators will be remembered in 2014 elections.

    April 18, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. Mike

    I feel for you, Gabby. But you have to accept that most Americans are not stupid enough to buy the argument that inanimate objects commit crimes. By the way, you do recall the person who shot you and those other people is an avowed liberal democrat, right? You should.

    April 18, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Danny Hunt

    "Journal Entry April 18, 2013 Canada, Police, Secret Police

    In Canada the secret police and police are linked to a criminal harassment network in public locations, participants, the use of technology on targeted citizens, the HSS and LRAD focused ultrasound technologies used to sleep deprive targeted citizens, threaten them in their own homes, give them instructions, and to inflict damages "bursting blood vessels" in the brain. The other technology is different types of powerful radar that they use to inflict damage through repetitive assaults in public locations, grocery stores, etc, and in their own homes, court house, aimed at inflicting deadly cancers.

    The practice of the police is to do a police psychiatric intervention that leads to incarceration at a psychiatric ward for anyone victims who claim to be assaulted.

    They have combined this practice with false allegations, participating defense lawyers, and non-criminal responsibility before trial. Non-criminal responsibility before trial circumvents the right to a trial and finds the defendant guilty of having committed the crime but not guilty due to mental illness, .. escape false allegations, charter of rights violations, unlawful seizures, the seizures become legal, etc.

    The assaults and false allegations are combined with subjugation attempts "you have to turn" aka be subjugated by this organized crime "or die of cancer". .. become homeless, which is their other practice.

    The point for the current U.S. Gun Debate, in Canada it is a bit tyrannical and involves subjugating the population through organized crime, controlling citizens of interest, the heads of different organizations and murdering targeted citizens through cancer, hiding the causes of rampages and rage shootings that they cause through their practices, and advocating a defenseless population, "low homicide rate"."

    April 18, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. John Brown

    Giffords attack and wounds are a deplorable incident that should have never happened. Hope she has a full recovery. However, I must say that her driving influence, background drops for Obama, and her husbands approach to getting their way by stepping on my rights really sucks. My tax dollars paid for all of the Sandy Hook parents to fly on Air Force One to DC to confront the senators and representatives which I say is illegal and wrong. The President of the U.S. should now fly in the same number of people that are against gun control measures to confront our congress.

    April 18, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. J

    I really do not care what she thinks. I am ex federal LEO, and Vetran. I obey the laws and this was a push by the gun control groups to errode my "rights" to keep and bear arms. If this was about free speach this would be a mute issue. We need to ENFORCE the laws which are already on the books. Increase penatlies, lock the offenders up and throw away the keys. Whu should I have to give an inch for something protected by the constitution?

    April 18, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. Anton

    Shame on the Gifford with all that gun talk and taking pictures holding guns.

    Her husband is a coward who stands up for nothing unless it is politically correct for the NRA.

    April 18, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  11. Just a thought

    Gabby, These GOP Senators don't feel shame. They just accept checks from the NRA and lead around a bunch of insecure people who need to sleep with an AK=47 on the next pillow. The really good thing about that is they can't pro-create...as far as I know.

    April 18, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. Tom1940

    My heart goes out to Rep. Giffords and her husband. Just as it did (and does still) to Sarah Brady. However, In supporting this legislation she has mis-directed her anger, frustration and ire, against the wrong thing. People kill people. Firearms may be the "inanimate" item of choice – but there was a human being behind the weapon(s) being fired in all of these incidents. Be they insane, criminal, mental cases, or on a "trip" – they committed horrific, horrible criminal acts against society. First, they should be stopped before the fact. In Rep. Giffords attack, there were many, many "incidents" leading up to attack, that should have been "trip-wires", for authorities to have prevented this from happening. The authorities were hampered or stopped from intervening in many of these prior incidents – which, if they had been allowed to enter his name into the National Background Check System, he would not have purchased firearms.
    (This is the system as it now exists, not the one just defeated in the Senate). Likewise, intervention and prevention
    by healthcare professionals would have gotten this man help before his criminal act was committed. These are the issues that must be addressed. Not firearms control. There are enough "un-enforced" laws on the books already, that did not prevent this incident from happening. Gun Control will not be the answer. School security, going after the individuals who are isolated loners that their communities "know are like a hand grenade – "They are going to go off!, we just don't know where or when!" Every community knows them and yet fails to get them help. This has got to stop.

    April 18, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. Brenda

    Can't shame people with no morals who; if there is justice, suffer horribly, as well as their familes. May their "GOD" strike them down.

    April 18, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. Diablo

    Sorry for your experience but gun control can't stop things like this. Enforcement and education. Not limiting legal gun owners.

    April 18, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Rob

    No, shame on you for suggesting politicos govern by polls and not by the Constitution. The constituents of the Senators who voted no will have the last say on whether they appreciate their Senator's vote. This was a universal gun registration act. The first step in taking guns away. Her shooter obtained his gun legally with a background check. In a free society, we can't end these types of evil acts. I guess the Senate can now work on a bill for background checks to buy a crockpot and limit the size of crockpot one can buy.

    April 18, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. Getalife

    Oh shock – your blatant attempt to manipulate the political outcome in Washington failed? – Now you are unhappy?

    April 18, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. kevin

    Time to head to Washington with some torches and pitchforks!

    April 18, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. JeffersonLives

    Shame on Giffords for attaching herself to an old antigun, gun grabber sociallist agenda.

    April 18, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. miss muji

    Screw these liberals and their warped agenda...... the PUBLIC has spoken and CNN is trying to make it look otherwise !!!

    April 18, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Ridculegan

    Out fundraise the NRA. If you're for gun control talk with your money not your fingers on a keyboard. (irony noted)

    April 18, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. Bob

    Did she and her husband receive mental related therapy and would that negate them from owning guns? If you were a high profile politician wouldn't you want a gun to protect yourself? Would you want the world to know your carrying a gun and what type? Being listed makes you a target for those whom don't agree with your ideal. Creating law that goes against your ideal and hide from being listed and grouped makes you outlaw.

    April 18, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. buccakenji

    Has any one examined the Gun Bill to discover what all the amendments covered. Just about all of them has absolutely nothing to do with gun control, but spending money on pork projects. This is so typical of out political "leaders". Rhaum Emanuel – "can't let a good crisis go to waste".

    Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

    Have you ever wondered if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

    Have you ever wondered if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

    One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

    What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

    It seems inconceivable that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted - by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

    Any questions ??

    April 18, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  23. scott

    shame on the Giffords.

    April 18, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. todesjaeger00

    How about shame on those that would trample the Constitution and the rights of 300 million plus Americans just to satisfy the cries of a few? Obama asked the other day, dont they have a vote? yes, as do all of the other law abiding citizens. And they voted...don't cry foul when things don't go your way.

    April 18, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. Say What?

    No, SHAME ON YOU GIFFORDS.

    DONT TREAD ON ME!

    Dont know what it means? it means stop trying to take away my rights

    April 18, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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