Archive for category Gabrielle Giffords

Gun Safety: ‘Shame On You!’

Gun Lobby

Tucson shooting survivor Patricia Maisch spoke for 90 percent of Americans today. After the Republicans stopped a weak firearm background check bill with a silent filibuster that required a 60-vote super-majority, she called out “Shame on you!” from the Senate gallery. The bill failed despite the support of 54 senators. Only four Republicans voted to break the filibuster (Utah senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee voted to kill the bill).

President Obama commented on the absurdity of this vote:

I’m going to speak plainly and honestly about what’s happened here because the American people are trying to figure out how can something have 90 percent support and yet not happen. We had a Democrat and a Republican -– both gun owners, both fierce defenders of our Second Amendment, with “A” grades from the NRA — come together and worked together to write a common-sense compromise on background checks. And I want to thank Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey for their courage in doing that. That was not easy given their traditional strong support for Second Amendment rights.

As they said, nobody could honestly claim that the package they put together infringed on our Second Amendment rights. All it did was extend the same background check rules that already apply to guns purchased from a dealer to guns purchased at gun shows or over the Internet.

Broadcast and cable networks interrupted regular programming to bring viewers Obama’s remarks, except for the Faux News Channel.

Four Democratic senators voted against the baby-step background check bill, but the filibuster was 100 percent Republican – so they get the blame. Must be used to wearing the black hats by now, anyway.

More info:
Gabrielle Giffords: A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip

I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear…

UPDATE: Gun Violence Victims Detained, Put Through Background Check For Yelling ‘Shame On You’ At Senators. Imagine that, a background check.

UPDATE: Gun Control Defeat Shows Washington Is Where Change Goes To Die

UPDATE: Heartless Right Wing Response to Gun Victims Demonstrates Emptiness of Their Arguments


National Rifle Association Has Turned the Second Amendment Into a Cruel and Deadly Hoax

The NRA is the enabler of death-paranoid, delusional and as venomous as a scorpion. With the weak-kneed acquiescence of our politicians, the National Rifle Association has turned the Second Amendment of the Constitution into a cruel and deadly hoax. – Bill Moyers

NRA Enabler of death

NRA Enabler of death

Bill Moyers Essay: Living Under the Gun from on Vimeo.

The procession of funerals of innocent children under the casual gaze of the gun lobby and 2nd Amendment zealots, reminds us that our public spaces are no longer safe. This is the antithesis of freedom and civic life. Americans must rise up now against this terror and demand basic security for unarmed people.

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Tea-GOP Sore Winners

I need to laugh about this so I can keep going. Jon Stewart chides the Tea-GOP for being sore winners:

You control less than half of one chamber of Congress, and yet have somehow convinced everybody they’ve got to slash trillions in spending because of the “deficit crisis,” when Republicans supported the largest contributing piece of it — the Bush tax cuts! TAKE THE WIN. What are you still angry about? Yes, government still exists. We still have traffic lights. We’re sorry. Not everybody defines freedom as the ability to not pay taxes. Government isn’t perfect, but some people wish it was better, not GONE. This whole process has been like, you’re in a bank, it’s a negotiation where you’ve got some hostages, and after getting everything you wanted, you’re still going, ‘Oh, and one last demand: I still get to kill the hostages, right?’ This is the part where they all come after you and they go, ‘You won the debate, what are you going to do now?’ And you go, ‘We’re going to Disney… Colonial Williamsburg.’

I can’t get over the horror of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) showing up at last on the House floor… and voting to screw the American middle class. We’ve done nothing to her. We were on her side!

UPDATE: Welcome to the Tea Party’s Austerity Recession

UPDATE: Matt Taibbi: Debt Ceiling Deal: The Democrats Take a Dive

Now, Barack Obama has surrendered control of the budget to the Tea Party, whose operatives in congress used the same suicide-bomber tactic, threatening a catastrophic default unless the Democrats committed to a regime of steep spending cuts without any tax increases on the wealthy…

The Democrats aren’t failing to stand up to Republicans and failing to enact sensible reforms that benefit the middle class because they genuinely believe there’s political hay to be made moving to the right. They’re doing it because they do not represent any actual voters. I know I’ve said this before, but they are not a progressive political party, not even secretly, deep inside. They just play one on television.

For evidence, all you have to do is look at this latest fiasco.

UPDATE: The Age of Austerity is Here. Final Senate vote: Aye 74, Nay 26.

UPDATE: The White House says that President Obama has signed the bill into law.


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Shot; four to six others reported dead (updated)

According to MSNBC, Rep. Giffords was shot point blank in the head at a public event in Tucson.

There are few details at this point.

NPR and MSNBC are reporting the congresswoman is dead, as are six others.  The shooter is in custody.

UPDATE 12:50 p.m. – MSNBC is now reporting the congresswoman is in surgery – she’s not dead but she is very critical.


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