TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) – Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, returning to the site of the shooting rampage where she was gravely wounded, on Wednesday urged senators to “be courageous” and support background checks for all gun buyers.
Standing just a few feet from where a gunman more than two years ago put a bullet through Giffords’ head and then opened fire on constituents, Giffords and husband Mark Kelly urged Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans, to support a universal background check system.
“Be bold. Be courageous. Be for background checks,” said Giffords, who is a Democrat. The shooting left her with speech difficulties, a pronounced limp and a partially paralyzed right arm, which she cradled in her left as she spoke. Six people were killed and 13 others wounded in the attack….
In the wake of an assault-rifle attack that left 26 people – including 20 elementary school children – dead at a Newtown, Connecticut, school in December, Giffords and Kelly founded a new group aimed at curbing gun violence and challenging the political clout of the well-funded gun lobby.
The group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, urges actions including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and seeks to raise $20 million for the 2014 congressional elections, matching the National Rifle Association’s spending in last November’s election….
Dog-whistling, grandstanding gutlessness:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pushed back against efforts to limit the availability of assault weapons during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday by echoing the paranoia of the National Rifle Association and insisting that Americans would need access to AR-15s to protect themselves from “roaming gangs” during natural disasters….
GRAHAM: Let me give an example. That you have a lawless environment where you have a natural disaster or some catastrophic event and those things, unfortunately, do happen. And law and order breaks down because the police can’t travel, there’s no communication. And there are armed gangs roaming around neighborhoods. Can you envision a situation where if your home happens to be in the cross-hairs of this group that a better self-defense weapon may be a semiautomatic AR-15 versus a double-barrel shotgun?
HOLDER: I think we’re dealing there with a hypothetical in a world…
GRAHAM: Well, I’m afraid that world does exist. I think it existed in New Orleans, to some exist in Long Island, it could exist tomorrow if there’s a cyber attack against the country and the power grid goes down and the dams are released and chemical plants are discharges…
ThinkProgress has video at the link, if your stomach is strong enough. The only “armed gangs” I remember shooting innocent citizens post-Katrina were police officers, but then, I’m a DFH. Oh, and style points to Graham for conflating the recent scare talk about cyberspying with traditional Amurkin paranoia about Brown Thug Gangs with huge weapons, too also.