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. Roger

    What is a shame is that none of the bills proposed would have done ANYTHING to prevent her tragedy, the sandy hook tragedy or any other. They were a hollow gesture by the democratic party to try to score some political victories.

    April 18, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. JW

    Shame on you for NOT upholding your OATH to defend and PROTECT the Constitution. I, one of millions, will not sit by idly while you over paid lazy good for, not much, people sit there and try to usurp the Constitution. The main reason you want this next step is for a national registry. Why? Because both you and I know hat pretty soon you'l have to double taxes to pay the deficit that the Government created to begin with. Only by doubling taxes can you stay in your cushy lives. Yes, I feel for you that you got shot but hat is NO excuse for trying to usurp the Constitution. We can and will always stand up against tyranny. Just like what we are doing to North Korea and Iran.

    April 18, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. C. Sheeder

    I , like so many others, are furious with the latest developments. I am particularly angry with Sen. Rand Paul. Calling the Newtown parents "props" is the most disrespectful thing I can think of. These people lost their CHILDREN, and want changes to avoid this type of thing happening again. Will it stop all gun violence? No, of course not. But if it saves one child from being brutally gunned down, isn't it worth it? Sen Paul is the most selfish, self promoting fool in a party of well funded (by the NRA) fools. He is not fit to serve the people that he looks down upon.

    April 18, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. Jerry

    The Giffords need to melt away. It's time for people have no business trying to make policy on weapons,for others to follow, to go back to the hole the live in. These people have tried to make policy for others, a policy they do not follow themselves. Stay away from the public, practice what you try to preach. You are an embarassment to this country.

    April 18, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  5. Cindy

    Like we've been told many times by Obama supporters about the pres. election, you lost get over it. Anyone with half a brain would know these new laws wouldn't help. Criminals do not obey the law!! That's why they are called criminals. They will always be able to get whatever weapons they want to. Let's start by enforcing laws already on the books instead of making more new ones.
    If I thought for one second these laws would prevent more tragedies I'd be all for them.

    April 18, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. jim

    Oh cry me a river.

    April 18, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. John from Brooklyn

    Agree with Gabby. 46 senators voted THEIR wallets...not the interests of their constituents. We need to target them as aggressively as the Tea Party has targeted sane public leaders.

    April 18, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. pliny

    The NRA and it's supporters are doomed.

    Another school shooting will occur.

    And then another.

    And what will they do then? Keep on passing out ammo? Keep on spreading paranoid lies about 'gun confiscation' to their idiot membership?

    And what will the cowards in congress do, when 99% of Americans support expanded background checks? Will they continue to cringe in fear of the gun lobby and the hillbillies who confuse their guns with their genitals?

    April 18, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Charles

    Neither Sandy Hook, Columbine, nor any other mass shooting would have been prevented by the legislation voted down by the Senate yesterday because criminals, by their very definition, do not obey the law. This v was merely political grandstanding of the highest order by the President, Congresswoman Giffords, and the rest of those in favor of this legislation.

    April 18, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. TonyGa

    Glad it didn't pass. It's hard to get liberty back, once it is taken away.

    April 18, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Anonymous

    The man (imbecile) who shot Gabby Giffords passed a background check.

    April 18, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. DaveinFlorida

    The NRA have these politicians in their pockets. It's all about money, not people. There is absolutely no reason anyone should be able to buy a firearm without a backround check. The argument that criminals won't do it is a moot point. People drive without a license too, should we get rid of drivers licenses all together? No, because we want people in the future to know how to drive, just as we want future gun owners to be responsible people. These senators need to leave Washington, and the NRA needs to kiss it's butt goodbye and leave this country.

    April 18, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Wildman

    Shame on you, your husband and Bloomberg for trying to twist your situation into an assault on the rights of law abiding citizens. Spend your time and money on fixing our mental health system and establishing some 'common sense' family values.

    April 18, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Guest

    Would Newtown really have been averted by background checking the mother, who owned and bought the weapons? She had no criminal history; there was no reason not to sell her a gun.

    Unless the families of potential threats are also going to get denied gun ownership, I don't see how it would have changed anything...

    April 18, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Not a Lobby - A People

    I'm pretty sure that the people of Georgia didn't write their congress people asking for more onerous regulations surrounding gun ownership. If you want to stop bad guys from getting guns, tattoo "NUT" or "FELON" on their foreheads as appropriate. Leave law abiding people alone.

    April 18, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Pete

    MsGiffords is right, shame on republicans and some democrates for not passing a more comprehensive gun bill..It won't happen till one of these extremists meaning the reps or their loved ones,close friends are victims themselves of gun violence and then they'll finally come to their senses but not until then I regretfully say...One poster says gun control makes it harder for law abidding citizens to purchase guns but it stops the unlawful ones doesn't it and if you're a law abidding citizen what difference what it takes because in the end you'll get what you want ,the weapon of your dreams right!

    April 18, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. Jim

    Well of course they're angry/furious! They're liberals! Aren't they always about everything? Duhhhhh!

    April 18, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. kv

    How much were they paid to vote no. These senators should be shaved off and removed from government's seven layers of protection and then see.

    April 18, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. oneluvsurfer

    When she turns in the glock and high capacity magazine that she is fighting against maybe some people will take her and her husband seriously. Untill then, just more political jokes.

    April 18, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. American

    I am ashamed of these politicals trying to force usless laws. we need to vote them out office. we need laws that work and they saw that yesterday and voted down a useless law.

    April 18, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Truth

    They have lost all credibility in my eyes. Mark should have known that when he bought 2 guns at a shop, one of them an AR-15, regardless of the reason he gave for purchasing it, that it would cause a backlash...
    It is sad what happended to her, but it does not give her or anyone else the right to level such punitive laws against those who are complying with EXISTING laws that agencies don't simply enforce against CRIMINALS.
    Try enforcing laws already in existence and I even daresay to remove laws that don't work first before writing any new ones...

    April 18, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. NC_Right

    Finally the NRA is doing its job. I will now rejoin.

    April 18, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. M Leo

    It is shameful that these Senators put their own political ambitions and careers ahead of the wellbieng of their constituents and of the people of this country. Increasing the stringency of background checks does not restrict the rights of citizens to bear arms it ensures that citizens can safetly bear arms.

    April 18, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. CG

    Proof that the elected people have their own agenda and follow the lead of the lobbyists, not the lead of the elected people.

    April 18, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Jason

    I understand her disappoinment, but that is how democracy works. Thankfully, civil rights (the second ammendment is still a civil right) won the day.

    April 18, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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