Giffords on senators: 'Shame on them'
April 17th, 2013
10:03 PM ET
10 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. oldvet10

    They do nothing with the people that violate the gun laws now. The Federal judge gave probation to 5 people convicted/plead guilty to strawbuying here in AL. Check us when we buy and destroy the record and I don't trust the current administration to do that.

    April 18, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. jj

    Agree, shame on the gun nuts

    April 18, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. darrell

    The Giffords themselves own assault weapons. Hypocrites!

    April 18, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  4. Surthurfurd

    I guess the NRA is concerned that private owners will loose their opportunity to sell guns to criminals and terrorists.

    April 18, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. Jim g

    The will of the majority of the American people was not followed again. These guys get in office and all they want is money and re-election. This was a basic background system so a name could be type in an any negative information would show up ec record, mental issues. This was not about registering any guns or taking guns from anyone. This was common sense. When you drive and get pulled over, they look up your driving history and record and bingo, they have it. I am a hunter and own guns but in this case these week kneed Senators sold us down the drain and went for re election and money. The Patriot Act is much scarier than this new background check is. They can arrest you, take everything you have and put you away without any rights. If you are afraid of the background check affecting your guns, which they would not know you had, the Patriot Act ought to terrify you. No lawyers, no trials no rights.

    April 18, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  6. 4 trillion

    CNN broadcast a "trip" to local gun shows in various, mainly southern, states.....the seller would not even ask for an ID or a name, he did not even want to know if you were mentally unbalanced, and yet these GOP senators thought that this is APPROPRIATE ............would they let their own children be left alone with these unidentified gun buyers>

    April 18, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  7. Martin

    Sorry Ms. Giffords, you are completely wrong. Thinking the people in large urban centers can dictate to the rest of us how to live, is the reason we have the representation we have. I can guarantee you that the people of Kansas aren't part of "who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks." Furthermore, as much as I empathize with you for your experience and the experiences of those others at Sandy Hook, we do not react out of an outpouring of emotion. We can't. We have to use our heads and reason out what the problem is. The real facts are that the overwhelming majority of gun violence comes at the hands of those who aren't supposed to have guns under current law. Criminals have as much trouble getting their hands on guns as they do on crack, marijuana, and meth. Laws do absolutely nothing to stop them. Thank God we have the system we do, or else the people living in states like Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Idaho, etc. would be trampled on by the idiots in New York, Kalifornia, Konnecticut and Kolorado.

    April 18, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  8. coolstorybro

    Anyone with a half a brain would know the bill was hollow.

    April 19, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  9. ron

    i don,t understand why these her and her husband got some much attention on this gun bill...mark kelly is , in my book, a extremnist....if he does not get his way,,,,hes like a bully.....and has threatened senators with a vow to have them defeated if they do not support the gun bill...the elected official are in washington to repesent the people from there states.....senator flake , arizona., is from one the most pro-gun states in the country, and kelly wanted flake to vote for the gun bill...not he mentioned to vow to get flake out of office....see how this guy is

    April 19, 2013 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
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