Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 1, 2014

Gabby Giffords Takes Another Uphill Run at Gun Control

Another grass-roots lobbying push for gun control legislation is being staged today by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. But there is no sign at all that the Arizona Democrat and her former astronaut husband will gain any new support at the Capitol.

The couple are delivering a blunt letter to every member of Congress signed by 100,000 members of American for Responsible Solutions, the advocacy group they started after the Giffords resigned in January 2012, a year after she was severely wounded and six others were shot dead at a constituent meet-and-great in Tucson.

“We have disturbing problems — gun crime, mental illness, and the easy access that dangerous people have to guns. But our public officials seem more interested in political theater and special interest threats than in leadership. Congress, you must lead. Come together, take a sober look at the problem, and pass laws that protect our families and communities.”

They said they were prompted to draft the petition after last month’s Navy Yard shooting, and decided to release the letter after this week’s incident in which a 12-year-old Nevada boy fatally shot his math teacher, a Marine veteran of Afghanistan, and wounded two schoolmates before turning the gun on himself.

Asked about that incident at Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney described President Barack Obama as “heartbroken” and declared that he “remains committed” to reviving his moribund legislative campaign.

Nothing visible has happened in Congress since March, three months after the mass slaying at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, when the Senate voted to shelve legislation to expand background checks on would-be gun buyers, restrict sales of some semi-automatic weapons and limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.

“We made no secret of the fact that the president was very disappointed in the Senate’s failure to pass a bill,” Carney said. “He’s going to keep at it and keep looking at ways we can take these common-sense steps.”

Among the signers of the letter are eight retired Army and Marine generals, former Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles of Alaska and former GOP Rep. Joe Schwarz of Michigan.

None of the senators who were instrumental to writing the bipartisan measures rejected by the Senate — the background check plan got 54 votes, six fewer than needed — have suggested they are anywhere close to  growing those vote totals.

And Republican leaders in the House have been totally resistant to debating any sort of similar situation. Since the climactic Senate votes, meanwhile, the National Association for Gun Rights and the National Rifle Association and its subsidiaries have spent almost $4 million on lobbying to make sure their victories are not reversed

  • TopCat_Texas

    When people push laws that they know would not have made any difference in the events that they use for justification, they do not have good intentions. Just another way to obtain power and money from the anti-gun wealthy.

  • HerpDerp

    let me make this as clear as I possibly can for the Mark Kelly and his Potato. NO. No new laws,no more rules, no more fees no more licenses, and we wont tolerate even ONE MORE INCH.

  • Liberty: Coercion’s Absence

    Revolutionary Marxism failed, in part, because it deprived human aggression of the internal channel of private property, redirected aggression outward, and thus gave rise to the most ruthless dictators.

  • Santiago Alemedia

    If the Brady Bill had been enforced, many of the mass shootings that have occurred might have been prevented. But since few of the current gun laws (or immigration laws, or banking laws) are enforced, it’s foolish to think more laws are the answer.

  • spencer60

    This is sick. Kelly is just trying to ride the Bloomberg, gun control money train and dragging his half-incapacitated wife along with him. He should be ashamed.

  • Jack Swagger

    Scrambled Eggs and Ham..

  • fedupwithgungrabbers

    Just sickening. The “common sense steps” they’re pushing now are just a means to an end. If we let them win here it’s only a matter of time before the really draconian stuff comes down the pike: sweeping bans on entire classes of firearms, registration and confiscation.

  • Sam Spade

    This is NOT a grass roots effort. It is the epitome of an astro turf movement and likely will be just like their other “Faux” Profit group which got millions in donations from Bloomer.

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