'Furious' Giffords: Senate Shamed Itself

Background-check bill was not a tough vote, and some kowtowed to gun lobby

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 18, 2013 6:26 AM CDT | Updated Apr 18, 2013 7:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – 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."

They may call the matter "complicated," but "I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither," Giffords writes. "Our democracy’s history is littered with names we neither remember nor celebrate—people who stood in the way of progress while protecting the powerful. On Wednesday, a number of senators voted to join that list." She calls on supporters to take a stand with her. "Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious." And if this Congress won't take action, she vows "every means available" to elect a new one. Click for Giffords' full column.

President Barack Obama, right, puts his arm around former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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