UPDATED: Gabby Giffords Lectures Trump on Guns After NRA Speech
Let’s get this straight: Every person of good will wishes former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) continued good health and happiness. Further, every freedom-loving American also supports the Congresswoman exercising her God-given, natural right to free speech.
That being said, we likewise can and should examine, analyze and critique the former Congresswoman’s speech regarding the Second Amendment as an exercise of our First Amendment rights.
Why is that important?
It’s important because, today, Gabby issued a statement on President Donald Trump’s speech to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Trump is the first sitting president since President Ronald Reagan to address the group. According to NBC News,
“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” Trump told the members of the National Rifle Association, assuring them that they now “have a true friend and champion in the White House.”
“I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Trump said. “Never ever.”
“It is possible to build a safer America, where the rights of law-abiding gun owners are protected and where everyone lives without fear of gun violence. But to do that, we need a president who is serious about finding solutions that will save lives and address the gun violence crisis that’s plaguing our nation. Unfortunately, that’s not the president we saw on stage this afternoon in Atlanta. An overwhelming majority of Americans — including the majority of gun owners — believe we should work together to take commonsense steps to prevent gun violence. It’s time for our elected officials to listen to the American people, protect our communities, and reject the gun lobby’s extreme agenda.”
Gabby’s discussion of “majority of gun owners” deserves further scrutiny. Two years following the awful 2011 Tucson incident in which the former Congresswoman was shot in the head (and six people were killed), Gabby founded the anti-violence-gun PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), with her husband, Navy combat veteran and former NASA astronaut, Mark Kelly.
Just in time for the NRA meet, ARS commissioned a poll from Public Policy Polling of 661 gun owners. The former Congresswoman’s comments about the “majority of gun owners” refer to various responses by the persons polled. Although both Giffords and Kelly are gun owners and claim to support the Second Amendment, their organization is at odds not only with the NRA, but also with what most gun-owning Americans believe is their constitutionally-protected right.
As proof, in February of this year Gabby and her PAC offered their support to two Democrat-sponsored pieces of legislation in New Mexico. One would have required near-universal background checks on all firearms transactions, except limited transactions between relatives, or in the cases of lending firearms for hunting or sporting events. Both bills were supported by Michael Bloomberg’s gun-control advocacy group, Everytown for Gun Safety, which in 2016 spent nearly $220,000 in New Mexico, outstripping the amount spent by the NRA in the state by $210,000. That’s right; the NRA spent just $10,000 that year in New Mexico.
Showing how out of touch the former Congresswoman and Americans for Responsible Solutions are, all 33 sheriffs in the New Mexico opposed both bills, and the expanded background check bill was voted down by the New Mexico House Judiciary Committee this February.
And that’s it. Only one poll, by one biased Political Action Committee, promoted by one of its out-of-touch founders, and just in time for Trump’s speech. While we thank both Giffords and Kelly for their service to our nation, we must likewise recognize their gift for gab.
UPDATE April 29, 2016:
In a late-night email, Organizing for Action, the pro-Obama successor organization to Organization for America and the Obama political campaigns, sent this out, basically rehashing the results of ARS poll. If anything, this shows one how closely aligned these liberal groups are:
Today, this administration made it clear where it stands on gun violence prevention: against the desires of a majority of Americans, including gun owners.
Instead, they cast their lot with the gun lobby — and a group that 67 percent of gun owners say has been “overtaken by lobbyists and gun manufacturers.” In today’s speech, they touched on a lot of things: the election from five months ago, the unfunded border wall, the Electoral College, Charlton Heston.
But here’s what they didn’t speak about — at all: gun violence prevention.
We didn’t hear about the 88 percent of gun owners who support requiring a permit to carry a concealed gun in public. We didn’t hear about the 80 percent of gun owners who support a mandatory background check for all gun purchases.
Most of all, we didn’t hear the truth: When it comes to protecting our communities from gun violence, there are no more party lines. There are just millions of Americans who believe in a common-sense approach, and are tired of seeing preventable tragedies.
OFA volunteers are working hard to bring this majority together — organizing to make sure these common-sense policies have the support they need.