It was “political fear” and “cold calculations” that drove a Senate minority to block a gun background-check measure yesterday. But “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,” writes Gabrielle Giffords in a blistering New York Times op-ed. Some of those senators have met with Newtown victims, “have looked into my eyes” as Giffords discussed her own shooting. Yet, despite polls showing overwhelming support for the measure, “then they looked over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby—and brought shame on themselves by choosing to do nothing.” Read more on Newser…
Over the weekend, beloved Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords announced she will leave Congress to focus on her health. Her resignation comes nearly a year to the day after Giffords was shot in the head during a deadly shooting rampage that claimed the lives of six people at an event in Tucson, Arizona. In the video announcement, Giffords admitted, “I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. I have more work to do on my recovery. So to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week.”
Giffords’ incredible post-shooting recovery — and the love affair between she and her astronaut husband Mark Kelly — was pretty tearjerking. Not that we were crying while watching this video or anything. [YouTube]
After a devastating breakup with her longtime boyfriend, Jackie plunged into a deep despair. “I was in a fog – a fog that wouldn’t lift,” said the 29-year old marketing manager. There were times Jackie said she didn’t know if she was alive or dead, awake or asleep, coming or going. The acute pain pervaded every moment, every molecule.
That is until one day in August, when Jackie – like millions of rapt Americans – watched incredulously as Gabrielle Giffords climbed those Capitol Hill steps and telegraphed to the world without saying a single world what the congressional representative really represents: indomitable resolve. Keep reading »
Last night, something unexpected happened as the House of Representatives voted on the debt-ceiling compromise. (If you haven’t been following, here is the very short story: Democrats and Republicans have been in a deadlock for months over how to handle our debt load, and the government’s ability to borrow money expires at midnight tonight.) With two minutes left to go in the House’s vote, a side door of the chamber opened and a woman walked in. It was Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who has been missing from the proceedings since January, when she was shot in the head at point-blank range. While Giffords was a touch unsteady on her feet and didn’t speak much, she had a big smile on her face as she waved to the members of the House. She was greeted with a standing ovation and a flurry of hugs. Her presence appeared to have a palpable effect. While the vote in favor of the compromise bill had been stalled at 200, after Giffords entered her ‘yes’ vote, it shot up to 216 in favor. In the end, the bill passed with 269 votes—sending it to the Senate this morning.
“The Capitol looks beautiful tonight and I am honored to be at work,” Giffords Tweeted. Keep reading »
For the past two weeks, many of you, like myself, have probably clicked on numerous stories about Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Congresswoman who was shot in the head, along with six others, in a supermarket parking lot earlier this month. Many of the headlines sound encouraging, though we all know that recovery will be a very long road. The latest is that Giffords was able to stand up with assistance, and will be leaving the intensive care unit and moving to a rehabilitation hospital tomorrow. [AZ Central]
I was especially struck by the New York Post‘s headline on this today. The large type at the top of the page read, “Gabby Stands,” as if talking about someone we all know personally. Because yesterday evening, I read an essay at CNN.com written by someone who does actually know Giffords well, journalist and author Tom Zoellner. Keep reading »
“[After Saturday's shooting in Arizona, when Sarah Palin and other conservatives were criticized for using at-times violent political rehtoric, a Time magazine reporter] said, well they should have just turned the other cheek and stopped defending themselves, and they would have shut this thing all down. So yeah, just, that’s what they used to tell women who were raped, wasn’t it? Just sit back and enjoy it, put some ice on it, like Clinton said, put some ice on the lip, you asked for it, your dress asked for it, just sit back and enjoy it. Isn’t that how they used to tell raped women to deal with it?”
— Radio host Rush Limbaugh is sensitive as always while talking about the Gabrielle Giffords shooting and subsequent criticisms against politicians like Sarah Palin and shock jocks like him. Seriously, dude, there is never a tasteful occasion to compare oneself to rape victims. Make your point some other way, OK? And don’t forget, everyone, this insensitive comment comes from the same guy who suggested the TSA “grope” the Obama daughters. Ick, ick, ick. [Media Matters For America] Keep reading »
Sarah Palin has lashed out at critics who say her at-times violence-tinged political rhetoric influenced Jared Lee Loughner, the man who shot 14 people this weekend in Tuscon, Arizona, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. “After the shocking tragedy, I listened puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements of those attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event,” Palin said. “President Reagan said we must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing district used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their first amendment rights at campaign rallies, and not with those who proudly voted in the last election.” Keep reading »
On last night’s “Daily Show,”
Jon Stewart spoke eloquently about the devastating shooting
that occurred in Arizona over the weekend, and the current dangerous political climate. Said Stewart, “We shouldn’t conflate our political opponents with enemies, if for no other reason than to draw a better distinction between the manifestos of paranoid madmen and what passes for political and pundit speak. it would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn’t in any way resemble how we actually talk to each other on TV.” Please watch. [Comedy Central
] Keep reading »