Gabby Giffords SLAMS Cowardly Pro-Gun Senators

Gabby Giffords; image @NewsBusters

Gabby Giffords; image @NewsBusters

The Senate chambers had hardly been locked for the night when Gabrielle Giffords’ op-ed appeared in the New York Times online. I first heard about it as Rachel Maddow signed off last night: she read a little of it before tossing to Lawrence O’Donnell and I knew I had to go read the rest.

Like most of us yesterday, after we watched bill after bill addressing gun laws go down in flames, Gabby Giffords was furious. And she has a greater right to be than most of us, having been the victim of gun violence herself. But she has channeled her righteous anger and used her bully pulpit to make a few points:

“On Wednesday, a minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms — a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count.” (Source)

Some of those Senators, she writes, looked her right in the eyes as she related her story of being shot point-blank in the head two years ago. They looked into the eyes of parents who lost their precious children just months ago. They heard the stories and, I’m guessing, nodded in sympathy all the while, shining all of them on. They had no intention of even thinking about voting for any of these bills. They are cowards and, as Giffords writes:

“We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like ‘tough vote’ and ‘complicated issue.’ I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association, which in the last election cycle spent around $25 million on contributions, lobbying and outside spending.” (Source)

We all know who the NRA and those senators they have on their payroll care about: the gun manufacturers. The gun lobby, with its fear and disinformation, making sure that they don’t lose a damned penny by having any restrictions placed on their product. It’s not enough that they can’t be held responsible in a court of law for the harm that product does. That no research can be conducted on what their product does to people, to families, to communities. To our country. Selfishness and greed. That’s what they love, not this country. They haven’t the courage to do the right thing. Giffords writes about true courage, as she sees it:

“Gabe Zimmerman, my friend and staff member in whose honor we dedicated a room in the United States Capitol this week, saw me shot in the head and saw the shooter turn his gunfire on others. Gabe ran toward me as I lay bleeding. Toward gunfire. And then the gunman shot him, and then Gabe died. His body lay on the pavement in front of the Safeway for hours.” (Source)

Gabe ran toward the gunfire. Toward his boss and friend. Doing his job. Something the senators who killed these bills did not do. They have a relatively simple job, too, when it comes down to it. They are supposed to make laws and run the country according to the wishes of their constituents. You know – we, the People. Well, we, the People are speaking out loud and clear. We want background checks. We want the gun show loophole closed. We want stricter punishment for straw purchases. We want our children to be safe at school and everyone to be safe at events, malls and at work.

So let’s do what Gabby Giffords says she will do: keep working. Keep calling, writing and raising hell. The NRA does not have the power that they think they do. After all, less than 1% of the candidates they backed last year got elected! But they will continue to lie and stoke fear so they can sell more guns for the people they really represent. Let’s make sure that we have a different Congress next year. One that won’t hide behind the gun lobby, cowering in fear. Make your voice heard – we are with you, Gabby!

Photobucket      T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…