7 years later, Ariz. continues disrespect of Gabby Giffords
In his State of the State address Monday, Gov. Doug Ducey spoke about how, in Arizona, “we are blessed to stand on the shoulders of giants.” He mentioned names like Barry Goldwater, Mo Udall, John McCain and Sandra Day O’Connor.
And — on what was the seventh anniversary of the assassination attempt that nearly killed her – “Gabby Giffords’ resilience against all odds.” That last part is true. Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, have proved to be resilient against all odds.
They have to be, given the fact that lawmakers from the state that she has called home, that sent her to Congress, and where she nearly died, have done nothing but ignore and disrespect her from the moment she regained consciousness after the near-fatal shooting.
Oh, there are always the nice words. Like Ducey’s “resilience against all odds.”
But when it comes to taking action to prevent gun violence or institute commonsense firearms regulations … nothing.
If anything, lawmakers in Arizona have done just the opposite.
It began shortly after gunman north of Tucson used a weapon with a highcapacity magazine to fire 31 shots in 15 seconds, killing six people and wounding 13, including Giffords.
A bill was filed in the Legislature to limit gun clips to 10 rounds.
Kelly O’Brien, the fiancee of murdered Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman, said at the time, “Extended magazine clips are currently an easily accessible weapon for troubled individuals to use in mass murder. That is what happened on Jan. 8 . ... This must not be allowed to happen again.”
Dallas Green, former Philadelphia Phillies manager and grandfather of murdered 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, added, “I don’t have a Glock or whatever it is, and I don’t have a magazine with 33 bullets in it. That doesn’t make sense, for me, to be able to sell those kinds of things. I guess I never thought about it until this happened. What reason is there to have those kinds of guns, other than to kill people?”
That bill did not pass. However, a month or so after the mass shooting, 40 Arizona legislators signed on as sponsors for a bill to designate the Colt Single Action Army revolver as the state’s firearm. It passed, and Gov. Jan Brewer signed it.
It’s been like that ever since. Nothing has been done to close the gun-show loophole or to make it more difficult for those who shouldn’t possess weapons to get them. If anything, lawmakers have done just the opposite, making it easier.
It’s an insult to Giffords.
An insult to the dead and the other wounded.
An insult to their families, and the families of all the victims of gun violence since them.
Giffords was in Tucson on Monday for the seventh anniversary of the attack. Efforts are ongoing there to create a memorial to those lost. The hope is to have something finished by 2020.
At the event, Giffords said, “January 8, 2011, changed my life forever. And the lives of so many others,” Giffords said. “We honor those who lost, those who lost their lives and those who were hurt. And the lives of so many others.
“Tucson is strong. Tucson is my place. I love it a lot.” Resilience.
Reach Montini at 602-444-8978 or firstname.lastname@example.org.