Best wishes to Giffords, Kelly

January 12, 2013

On the second anniversary of the massacre that gravely wounded her and changed her life, the inspiring and extraordinary former U. S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has joined her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, in launching a political action committee, Americans for Responsible Solutions, which seeks to impose reasonable restrictions on gun ownership and registration and background check requirements. Could there be any more effective and powerful spokesperson for this cause than someone whose life was shattered by one of the many perpetrators of our gun homicide epidemic?

The couple wrote, “Special interests purporting to represent gun owners but really advancing the interests of an ideological fringe have used big money and influence to cow Congress into submission.

Rather than working to find the balance between our rights and the regulation of a dangerous product, these groups have cast simple protections for our communities as existential threats to individual liberties. Rather than conducting a dialogue, they threaten those who divert from their orthodoxy with political extinction.

Until now, the gun lobby’s political contributions, advertising and lobbying have dwarfed spending from anti-gun violence groups. No longer. With Americans for Responsible Solutions engaging millions of people about ways to reduce gun violence and funding political activity nationwide, legislators will no longer have reason to fear the gun lobby.”

I agree with the couple completely, and how I hope they are right that this is a new era in how we look at the proliferation of guns which facilitate massive carnage within seconds.

On the agenda of Rep. Giffords are meetings with members of Congress, her friends, whom she dares to tell her “no”.

The couple recognizes the sad facts that the mass murderer and child-killer in the incident in which “Gabby” suffered devastating injuries was able to mow down 19 people in a span of 25 seconds, and that 85 percent of the murders of children occur in our uniquely violent United States.

It is important to note that the couple are gun owners and Second Amendment advocates, but they question why it must be made easy for those with evil intent to secure the tools of wholesale slaughter.

The National Rifle Association is a tool of gun manufacturers. Its power, like its belief in the Second Amendment, has been absolute. Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, President Obama, and others who wish to take a wide-ranging and balanced approach to protect us, will have the fight of their life on their hands against what is perhaps the most powerful entrenched special interest that uses its muscle and money to command Congress. I wish them Godspeed.

Oren Spiegler

Upper St. Clair


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