Gabrielle Giffords | Guns | News

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords Tells Senate Panel 'We Must Do Something' About Gun Violence: VIDEO

Giffords

With the assistance of her husband Mark Kelly, Gabby Giffords traveled to D.C. to deliver a profoundly powerful opening statement at the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on gun violence.

Said Giffords:

"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."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. If only our elected officials had as much tenacity & courage as Ms. Giffords ... I hope they were listening but I fear not.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 30, 2013 11:54:39 AM


  2. Sadly, they pay no attention to what she said. Maybe a few did, but it will largely fall on deaf ears.

    Posted by: beef and fur | Jan 30, 2013 11:58:14 AM


  3. I've been hearing so many "we need more mental health blah-blah-blahs, not gun control!" from folks who....and let's be real here...oppose most (all?) forms of universal healthcare.

    ok, so you want better ....um...like, detections and care and checkups for mental illness....how? under what policy? under what plan? do y'all think it's free?

    at this point i'm frankly stunned that we still have people defending their right to own semi-automatic assault rifles with those big@ss magazines.
    why not stronger checks? stronger regulation? if you're one of those so-called "responsible gun owners" then you'd have no issues, right?

    the number of gun-related deaths SINCE Newtown...well...it's disgusting.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 30, 2013 11:59:16 AM


  4. That is right we need to do something about the people who use guns to kill others and if you do the research you will find that a lot of these kids and people who get guns and kill others are on psychotropic drugs or seeing some psychotherapist who loads them up with these psychotropic drugs that cause them to go crazy and kill people. Fifty years ago they did not have all of the psychotropic drugs they have today and people had a lot of guns nut they did not have these drugs that make them snap and kill others. The difference is that today the doctors are making a lot of money off of people by telling them they have problems and need to take these psychotropic drugs which makes the pill companies rich but the drugs make the people who take them snap and get a gun and then kill people.

    Posted by: Lou | Jan 30, 2013 11:59:20 AM


  5. I had to do a double take. At first I thought it was Cheri Oteri.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jan 30, 2013 12:00:39 PM


  6. Question:

    Gun violence as we know it today was far less commonplace in the not so distant past than it is today. Why? What has CULTURALLY changed? Stuff like these mass shootings, especially at schools was VERY rare prior to the 90s, and in fact are still statistically rare today. I understand population increases, demographics [large numbers of young people,for example] and all that, but that doesn't full explain.

    My opinion is there's a lot of social disconnect and social isolation today, even with smart phones and the internet, and this breeds mental illness and ultimately violence, homicidal and suicidal. I also think there's too much use of powerful psychiatric drugs in use, and mis-used, especially among kids, teens and young adults. You really won't see this seriously addressed because so much big $ is involved, far larger than the firearms industry. And out mental health system and care is bad, not to mention most seriously mentally ill people are given at best only out patient 'community' care and are simply drugged up.

    Everything I wrote above is commonsense, but doesn't fit ideological, political and financial interests narratives.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 30, 2013 12:12:36 PM


  7. What an amazingly heartfelt and sincere statement. Sadly, you are right Mike & Beef and Fur, that committee wasn't listening - they just wanted her out of there. BUT!!! - I hope this is shown over & over on news programs and posted on you-tube. Gun control is not going to come from inside Congress, it will only come from massive and unrelenting public demand - this is the kind of thing needed to get that rolling.

    Posted by: Rob | Jan 30, 2013 12:13:10 PM


  8. ...so...will a "responsible gun owner" who owns assault weapons but has, let's say, a child with some associative-disorder be banned from having assault weapons in the house?

    when people say "we need better mental-health screenings" what do they specifically MEAN? specifically, what kind of screenings in relation to what kind of regulation?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 30, 2013 12:17:59 PM


  9. My awesome gun plan:

    1. Database of all legal guns.
    2. Inventory control with full accountability for companies that make guns. Cars are easier to track than guns...
    3. Unwaveable fee for shooting someone. Accidentally discharge your gun at someone? Fee, no matter what the situation. Cops are involved and you made a big stink by shooting a gun. The only excuse could be self defense but screw that.
    4. Get rid of gun show loophole.
    5. State privatized firearm sales, no mom and pop or walmart.

    Assault rifles need to be gotten rid of, but so does crack. Neither can ever go away until society outgrows its need/lust for it. So keep it legal and accessible so you don't let black markets and shady dealings obscure your control and sight over the situation.

    Posted by: Fensox | Jan 30, 2013 12:47:07 PM


  10. not bad, Fensox.

    what's your thinking on "family structures" of gun owners?

    we keep seeing these cases where the gun used in the crime was legally purchased under some other family member's name.

    i wouldn't mind holding the registered owner as accountable for the crime as the person who committed it.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 30, 2013 1:13:20 PM


  11. Mental Illness and the Mental Healthcare 'Industry'

    People effed up on psychotropic psychiatric 'meds'

    Social isolation

    THESE are the primary causes of the mass shootings that have occurred especially since the 90s.

    The remainder and vast bulk of violent gun crime and murders occur in dysfunctional and 'poor' neighborhoods, cities and towns, often involve gangs and/or drug trafficking, and illicit drug use.

    There is NO EPIDEMIC of violence and gun related murders or even suicides among legal law abiding firearm owners, never has been.

    Extensive and convoluted Firearms Laws, restrictions, even outright bans are about nothing more than CONTROL. Some 'progressives' especially consider all firearms owners and anyone interested in firearms as being 'right wingnuts', and this is a good way to control, stifle, and denigrate them. And of course MANY firearms owners and those in favor of the second amendment are nor right wingnuts and aren't homophobic or haters.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 30, 2013 1:23:27 PM


  12. So moving. Especially her last flourish.

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | Jan 30, 2013 1:26:55 PM


  13. Ratbastard, these things you've listed exist in all industrialized nations:
    Mental Illness and the Mental Healthcare 'Industry'
    People effed up on psychotropic psychiatric 'meds'
    Social isolation

    What does *not* exist in the rest of all industrialized nations is the high rate of mass shootings and other gun violence that we have in the US.

    Explain, please.

    Posted by: RyanInWyo | Jan 30, 2013 1:32:23 PM


  14. Ryan,

    Are you in Wyoming? If so, how bad is the violent crime rate on a yearly basis in Wyoming and where you live? I bet it's NOTHING like, say, Chicago, or Philly, or our nation's capital, D.C. Why? How's the violent crime rate, including gun crime and murders committed in the average U.S. town, suburb [removing the high violent crime rates in many urban areas, which affect the over-all curve]? I'll answer my own question: it's not bad at all.

    Ryan, if you really studied statistics, including where, why and how most violent crimes are committed, and who are mostly or disproportionately responsible, you'd have a much clearer picture and understanding about what's really going on. What I just suggested is what is done when studying any problem or issue. But there are many on TR and elsewhere who don't want to do this and consistently try to deflect any deeper discussion about violence, 'gun crime', etc., away from what I suggested above and onto ONLY the issue of gun control. They even mock any attempt to probe more deeply into the issue. Why? What scares them away?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 30, 2013 1:41:42 PM


  15. Ratbastard- Alaska and Wyoming, two of our most rural states, have the 2nd and 4th highest firearms death rate.

    See: http://www.statemaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-death-rate-per-100-000

    Note that the top 20 states are all western or southern states.

    Having a firearm in your home vastly increases the likelihood that a family member or friend will be shot during an argument. It also dramatically increases the rate of suicide- many people survive other suicide attempts, but a bullet through the brain is usually fatal.

    Posted by: jht | Jan 30, 2013 1:55:32 PM


  16. Ratbastard, Wyoming has the lowest density population of nearly any state in the union. 450,000 people (about the population of Sacramento, CA) are spread across nearly 100,000 square miles. It is ranked 49th for population density in the 50 states. So, you want to know about violence here? Well, it's about the same as anywhere except that just about no one lives here... that kind of acts as its own deterrent, doesn't it?

    At any rate, you were just going on about these three factors (which can be found listed in comment boards all over the Internet ever since the Newtown massacre):
    Mental Illness and the Mental Healthcare 'Industry'
    People effed up on psychotropic psychiatric 'meds'
    Social isolation (by the way, Wyoming has this one IN SPADES)

    Now you think *geography* is the main driver of violence? Do you always change your argument mid-stream or do you just do it when you think it might be useful, based upon someone's screen name?

    You still haven't explained why industrialized countries, that have all the same factors you've listed, don't have the gun violence that we have. I suspect you're not going to explain it because you can't. And the reason that you can't is that there is absolutely no proof – unless you think anonymous comments on the Internet count as proof – that those factors that you listed have anything to do with our gun violence problem.

    Posted by: RyanInWyo | Jan 30, 2013 1:55:42 PM


  17. Kiwi, Probably a huge fine or felony for not properly registering the gun. All you would have to do is just change the name and have the new person go through all the checks. Compound that if the gun was fired while not registered.

    Make firing a gun not worth it.

    Posted by: Fensox | Jan 30, 2013 2:01:06 PM


  18. i've heard many suggest something, that i'm sure many anti-regulation folks would consider too invasive and overreaching, which would require either inspection or regulated "gun storage", if you will.

    as in, what weapons do you have, how are they stored, and who would potentially have access to them.

    i dunno. you wanna own assault rifles? you claim to be a responsible owner? prove it. and prove that your entire family is going to be responsible, too.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 30, 2013 2:05:53 PM


  19. I have a great idea. Let's just ban murders.

    Posted by: Richard Harney | Jan 30, 2013 2:22:21 PM


  20. Thanks, JHT & RYANINWYO. So, even folks who are not in the inner-city (those of the darker variety) will commit gun violence if they have guns.

    Who'd of ever thunk it, Ratbastard? Violence with such...such...well, DEMOGRAPHICS (if I never hear that word again I'll be just fine)

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 30, 2013 2:50:55 PM


  21. @JHT,

    What is there OVERALL murder rate? Proportionate to the population? Is Wyoming a 'dangerous ' state like , say, Chicago has some VERY dangerous neighborhoods?

    That they have a high rate of deaths caused by firearms is just a part of a bigger picture; it's like when someone points out that suicide is the highest or second highest form of death among a certain demographic, what they usually don't point out is that demographic has an overall very low death rate from diseases, violence, accidents, and so-on. And suicides are still far from the norm for any demographic in the U.S.

    Also, yes, geography in a way does matter, because certain demographics prone to have unusually high rates of violence, violent gun related crime, are also prone to congregating in high n umbers in certain geographical areas. CT is less than 100 miles from where I am right now. CT is one of the wealthiest if not the wealthiest overall state in the country, certainly in the top 3. It's a 'progressive' state, and was often derogatorily referred to has a state full of 'limousine liberals' in the past before liberals re-branded themselves as 'progressives'. CT has beautiful suburbs and small wealthy towns...and it's urban areas and cities are all pits, with terrible violent crime rates.

    @FENSOX,

    Good luck with that. You obviously don't have a firm grasp on reality if you think we can turn the U.S. into a huge version of England.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 30, 2013 3:01:54 PM


  22. Require gun owners to carry insurance for each firearm, just like cars. Then the insurance companies will make sure the dangerous folks will be priced out of the market and everyone will be more thoughtful about buying more and more.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 30, 2013 3:04:49 PM


  23. oohhhh gun insurance. me like.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 30, 2013 3:09:14 PM


  24. @Derrick from Philly,

    YES, of course non-black people can and do commit violence, crime and murder people using firearms. I NEVER made any claim otherwise. What I have pointed out is, violence is OFF THE HOOK proportionate to other areas of the country and among other demographics, in 'inner city' urban majority minority neighborhoods, even whole cities. Please...don't try and debate this or deny it, it's a FACT. There are many reasons why this is the case, but at the end of the day, it's a hard fact. Mass shootings like at Sandy Hook are not the norm by any stretch, and are even in 2012 - 2013 still statistically rate and a blip on the overall violent crime radar screen.

    Most of the violence the U.S is know for especially since the 1960s is based on broken and dysfunctional homes, lousy economic prospects for people poorly educated or those who don't apply themselves, a broken mental health system, a multi-generational 'lifestyle' that revolves around ignorance, violence, and crime, and a society that tolerates it as long as it doesn't directly affect them, and a society that has overall grown more coarse and anti-social.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 30, 2013 3:10:20 PM


  25. breaking news: old white man with gun goes on shooting spree in Arizona.

    today.

    http://rt.com/usa/news/three-people-shot-phoenix-112/

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 30, 2013 3:34:43 PM


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