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Gabby Giffords Speaks, NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Forced to Listen

“Thank you for inviting me here today. This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans. Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard but the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Thank you.” – Gabby Giffords

GUN VIOLENCE survivor, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, spoke today in front of the Senate hearing on gun safety and control. Her husband Mark Kelly was by her side. The effort it took for her to speak brought the horror of what’s happening in America back into stark view.

Wayne LaPierre waited and listened in the audience for his turn at the microphone.

But gun safety advocacy has its price, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is finding today. Quinnipiac:

Republican disapproval of New York’s tough new gun-control law could be taking a toll on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose all-time high 74 – 13 percent job approval rating last month drops to a still-solid 59 – 28 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters in non-gun homes approve of the governor 68 – 19 percent. Voters in households with a gun disapprove 50 – 40 percent.

It’s one reason why former President Bill Clinton got it wrong. Because it doesn’t matter how you talk about gun safety or gun control. All conservative gun owners, Democratic and Republican, take any conversation about new laws very personally.

It’s one reason why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is not endorsing Senator Diane Feinstein’s assault weapons ban. An assault weapons ban is something I never favored, because assault weapons are not the actual problem, though I understand and respect the cause Feinstein is fighting for.

Universal background checks are the prize, including at all gun shows and any sale. Knowing who owns guns and forcing sellers to be responsible is the big ticket item here.

A national database to connect law enforcement to the information will continue to grow, with the possibility of new technology on bullet identification, and fully staffing the ATF and putting the spine back in our gun laws is important.

Gabby Giffords is a powerful symbol and gun safety advocacy now has their new James Brady. That the Giffords are a gun owning family, not to mention a former Republican, doesn’t hurt.

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3 Responses to Gabby Giffords Speaks, NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Forced to Listen

  1. spincitysd January 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    The weapons used in the mass killings, semi-automatic rifes are an issue. There is no other way to slice it Taylor. An AR-15 has only one real use, to kill as many people in as short amount of time as possible. Linked as it was in Aurora, Colorado with a high capacity drum, an AR-15 is a killing machine. The only thing that prevented a worse slaughter at Aurora was the AR-15′s tendency to jam in rapid fire scenarios. That AR-15 failed via a jam, saving lives.

    We have to deal with these weapons and all small arms with an understanding to their purpose. We have to deal with the inherent danger to life and limb they present. It’s more than a little cold to tell the victims of Aurora that a semi-automatic rife is not an actual problem. In the wrong hands a semi-automatic rife is a huge problem. While mass slaughter via an “Assault Weapon” is a very rare occurrence, and statistically speaking is not a major cause of gun violence or gun deaths, statistics don’t matter much if you lost a loved one to a Aurora type killer.

    Like it or not the AR-15 and it’s ilk have become the charismatic focal point of this debate. Maybe it’s because of the bad-ass rep of the weapon. It does focus the mind on the issue in a way that a 9mm Baretta does not.The AR 15 is a great visual which makes it great T.V. fodder and T.V. is how most people still get there news.

    The term “Assault Weapon” is also a nice way for T.V. to dumb-down the conversation. Who is going to bother with the more accurate “Downscaled Military Service Rifle” or “Civilianized Military Service Rife?” That wording is not going to sell newspapers or draw in eyeballs or be click-bait. Now “Assault Weapon” that is a daily double– super sexy. You got “assault” indicating violence and mayhem and then you have “weapon” something that kills and maims. Now we are selling fish wrap. Now we are selling thirty second slots. Now we are drawing people to our web presence. Who needs accuracy when we can inject passion into the narrative?

    Politically I do see some usefulness to an Assault Weapons Ban if Obama is smart enough to use it as a bargaining chip. Trading the ban to get votes on 100% compliance on background checks is good politics and good policy. Swapping and Assault Weapons ban for a ban on high capacity clips is also a win. But past being prologue, I don’t see Obama being that deft. I see him caving on that point and getting nothing in return.

  2. spincitysd January 30, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    One other thing. Gabby Gifford is now my heart throb and hero. I love her with the intensity of a thousand white-hot suns. She is the personification of grit, determination, bravery, and fortitude. And her husband is a stand out too. You go Gabby!

  3. angels81 January 31, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Wow! Thanks spincitysd for giving a intelligent, thoughtful response to what is really the issue concerning military style weapons. I also agree with everything you’ve said about Gabby Gifford, she also has become one of my hero’s. May she have a long happy life, with no more pain and suffering.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
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