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Gabby Giffords Spoke and Some of Us Listened

 

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords appeared at the Senate judiciary hearing on gun violence yesterday to try and convince lawmakers that we have a major problem with guns in this country and gun control must be addressed.  This is what she said, in its entirety:

"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."

 Seventy two words.  Most people could say what Gabby said in about 30 seconds (I timed myself doing it. Thirty two seconds.)  But because Gabby was shot in the head two years ago in Tucson by an assassin who killed six people, including a Federal judge and a nine-year-old girl, and injured 16 others, giving that 72-word speech required hours of rehearsal so that every word would come out exactly the way she hoped it would.

This is how Gabby looked and sounded when she spoke at that hearing:

 

 

 

 

I watched that video at least eight times yesterday and I'll watch it again and again, and then again.  I wish I could tell Gabby that it doesn't matter if Wayne LaPierre, the NRA, or the committee members planning to vote against any new gun laws were moved by her words and her efforts to speak them.  What matters is that she did it. It was hard but she did it, and she did it for us. Not for them.

She showed us what courage is all about, but beyond that, she reminded us of the realities behind a single act of gun violence--the long haul to recover, the probability that full recovery is not possible, the willingness to overcome the nightmarish horror and the anguished aftermath and move on.

I put her words and her video on my page not simply because I admire her so completely--I do--but to remind me that the way we fight for something as obvious as universal background checks and total banning of assault weapons is to never claim victimhood. 

We just get out there and work to get this thing fixed.

Because NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, also invited to testify at the hearing, is neither a victim nor a hero.  He is a paid shill for an industry that pushes its weight around in order to keep producing and selling military-style weapons designed solely to kill or maim human beings.

And because the millions of pawns who follow the NRA and help to spread the lies about Second Amendment protections need to see what courage in the face of that kind of opposition to common sense gun laws looks like.

(Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices)

Ramona,  Thank you for posting this. 

With reference to the hearings and media coverage - I believe that every time an elected official speaks on this issue, whether on TV or quoted/referenced in print media, there needs to be full disclosure of how much monies they have received by the media from the NRA and like sources.  Without exception.

 

I believe that every time an elected official speaks on this issue, whether on TV or quoted/referenced in print media, there needs to be full disclosure of how much monies they have received by the media from the NRA and like sources.  Without exception.

I agree, Aunt Sam.  That's the kind of thing good journalists should be champing at the bit to do.  So where are they?

The one place we know they're NOT is FOX (couldn't help myself - mea culpa!).

Hear, hear!

Giffords is a living, breathing (thank God) reminder of how serious this problem really is. It's easy to forget about the children at Sandy Hook or the various people shot in shootings throughout the country, since they are gone and buried or injured but anonymous. Giffords is a prominent figure who bears the scars of this sick society.

I have been quite taken by her husband also. The  Captain's ability to speak is flawless and he shows up from time to time on cable.

Between this couple and some of the parents who lost children in Newtown; I know we have a shot to really do something on gun control.

Lindsey and his charts and the other NRA spokesmen just look worse and worse because of these brave victims who step forward.

Rhetoric does not always win out!

The real problem to tackle is people with alot of guns who haven't committed any crimes. They own them out of paranoia - paranoia that might be valid on some level - but you can't really argue or rationalize that sort of paranoia.

There's a statistic of about 80 billion guns in circulation - when you count ones owned in houses, in the military, among police, etc. etc. You'd have to have an epic police state to get those under control.

It's all really terrifying.

Dead men tell no tales.

Fortunately, Gabby Giffords didn't die.

"Gabby Giffords didn't die".

Right, but her life is ruined. A promising career in Congress over.

She paid a horribly high price-- for the apparent need to allow insane people full, easy access to deadly weapons-- and as the diarist points out, "some" people are listening.. many are not.

 

Her life is not ruined. Her life is different now.

Thank you flower.

"Her life is different now".

Well, yeah. The point is this change from the life she had, to being crippled for life and unable to work in her previous capacity, was NOT her choice. I'm not clear as to what the upside is here.

I continue to be astonished by the seeming lack of empathy in Bloggo world for the violence/abuse/poverty etc., experienced by our fellow human beings.

Yes, Ms. Giffords is still able to go down the same path as Sarah and Jim Brady-- advocate strongly for stricter gun regulations. However, the fact is the result of the Brady's effort was not successful-- the obvious evidence being our nation's gun violence/death statistics which continue to pile up.

I continue to be astonished by the seeming lack of empathy in Bloggo world for the violence/abuse/poverty etc., experienced by our fellow human beings.

I doubt you'll find that here.  Flowerchild was simply saying Gabby Gifford's life is not "ruined", in the sense that that's all there is and all there ever will be.  Gabby is trying like hell to make her life as meaningful as it once was, but obviously it's "different" now.

Agree. And when Ronnie was shot he was surrounded by armed, trained Secret Service agents. So much for good guys with guns flawlessly protecting one from a bad guy with a gun.

.

Unlike you, I am no longer astonished by the "seeming lack of empathy" in the world and haven't been for quite some time. This does not mean that I don't have empathy. I do. It just means that I have learned I have no control over other people's compassion, or lack thereof, for humanity.

What does astonish me is the number of folks who feel free to use Gabby as an example of a "ruined" life in order to flesh out their argument against guns.

I don't know Gabby, but I reckon she'd be just thrilled to learn that you have declared her different life a now less than successful one. Talk about lack of empathy.

I tend to believe she's better pleased by the message of Ramona's piece than by being used as an example of a life gone to shit through no fault of her own.

My few good days have come to a close and I'm going back into hibernation like all the Nooke do. If you want to pick any more nits with me, demunchaned, you'll have to wait until Spring.
 

Nook e?

I just watched Lawrence O'Donnell tonight and he presented per video the testimony of the ER doctor in Newtown (Dr. Begg) begging for gun legislation.

What got to me is what got to Lawrence...for twenty years Dr. Begg never shed a tear.

This is called structural distance.

But Dr. Begg could not stop the tears after attempting to treat the little children killed in the Newtown massacre.

I was quite taken by this man's testimony.

http://tv.msnbc.com/shows/the-last-word/

Quite a performance,

and she did it for us. Not for them.

Whose us and whose them?

I don’t think there’s anybody, who didn’t feel sadness, for what has become of this beautiful person.

But it pisses me off, that her handlers, put this poor victim, before the cameras, in a promotion scheme.

(Probably hired the same PR company "You need a reverse mortgage to protect you and your loved ones  Don't delay, call today)  

NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, ……is neither a victim nor a hero. He is a paid shill

That’s it, we're either a victim or a hero? 

Wayne LaPierre is not a victim or a hero nor did he ever try to be.

He speaks for millions of other law abiding citizens, who DONT want to be a victim and they don’t want to be blamed and used as scapegoats, to promote a scheme.

What’s next; Jews and gun owners are the motherlands enemies?

How would you feel, if the NRA trotted out before the cameras; to extract every ounce of tears, for the victims of attacks, and the only thing that saved them; the victims had been armed and were able to defend themselves?

Or maybe for those who died at the hands of murderers, they could put caskets out for display and for dramatic effect; drape them with the American flag, with a sign saying; “If they had been armed when attacked; they still might be alive today”.

Would you say that would be pandering?

Disgusting?

Seeing Gabby, being used as a prop and the only thing missing; children with angel wings behind her, to also be used as props, in a scheme to shame lawful citizens.

Rhetorically,  if you cant see that; are you one of us or them?

Sounds very much like you need to read up on what kind of brain damage she has. Nobody is making her do any of this, she is doing it because she wants to. She is the one running this "promotion machine," as you put it.

You presume I don't know the extent of her brain damage? One would have had to have been out of the country to not know. Many prayed for her and the other victims.

Where was the poor woman who defended herself against the rapist?  Did you see her? Did you see her all cut up or beaten nearly to death? Maybe that's too graphic?

Did you see the woman of a domestic violence incident with the order of protection who had to defend herself  and the kids?   

NO you didn't; because the shows sponsors, wouldn't allow it. It wasn't a part of the program. It would go contrary to the agenda, contrary to the scheme. Contrary to what they were promoting.

"Come on up here Gabby, we can USE you"

Resistance, you are trolling.  TROLLING. 

You are trolling and I hope everybody here ignores what you've written here.

It is not my intention to demonize any group, because it usually leads to war.  

Sorry I spoke up?  

PS  I don't see how expressing a different view or standing up to methods used as Trolling?

Remove my comments,  but know this; there are many other law abiding citizens who listened and saw it differently than you.  

 

One last time, Resistance.  Your comments aren't meant to add to the conversation but rather to instigate and annoy.  That is trolling. 

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