Gabby Giffords slams senators for gun control scuttle
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords authored a scathing op-ed in The New York Times on Wednesday, blasting the 46 senators who voted against a measure to expand gun background checks.
"Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious," wrote the Arizona Democrat, who was gravely wounded in a 2011 shooting.
In the article, Giffords called on Americans to express their disappointment in Congress for failing to pass the measure, which would have extended existing background check rules to gun sales made online and at gun shows.
She also called on supporters to remember their frustration on Election Day.
"I am asking for mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You’ve lost my vote. I am asking activists to unsubscribe from these senators’ e-mail lists and to stop giving them money. I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences," she wrote.
After the background check compromise failed to get the necessary 60 votes to move ahead, Giffords appeared with President Barack Obama and parents of victims of last year's Newtown school shooting to admonish Congress for failing to move forward legislation meant to decrease gun violence.
"Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby," Giffords wrote. "But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets."
The former congresswoman was shot in the head in January 2011 during an attack in Tucson, Ariz., that took the lives of six others. Faced with a lengthy recovery, she was forced to resign from Congress, and she and husband Mark Kelly have become leading voices in the effort to curb the nation's gun laws.
Earlier this year the couple announced the start of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a political action committee aimed at preventing gun violence while protecting responsible gun ownership.
Wednesday's vote, which was seen as the best chance for comprehensive changes to laws that govern who is able to purchase a firearm, was a major blow for advocates of stricter gun control.
"Our democracy’s history is littered with names we neither remember nor celebrate — people who stood in the way of progress while protecting the powerful. On Wednesday, a number of senators voted to join that list," Giffords wrote.