Tag Archives: Gabrielle Giffords

Gabrielle Giffords Honored With John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Award

Finally, some  good news.

Not only does Gabrielle Giffords deserve the award for her fight against irresponsible gun laws but also because she fought her way back from a horrific battle for her life after being one of several victims shot at an outdoor town hall she was about to conduct.  Honorable mention goes to Gabby’s devoted husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly who has stood by her side and encouraged her all the way back from what appeared to be a very long rehabilitation.

The Huffington Post

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Sunday, asking the U.S. Congress to act more courageously on the issue of gun control.

“We all have courage inside,” Giffords, who herself survived being shot in 2011, said at the Kennedy Library in Boston. “I wish there was more courage in Congress. Sometimes it’s hard to express it.”

The remarks come just a few weeks after the U.S. Senate voted down a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers, a step favored by U.S. President Barack Obama and most Americans.

An online Reuters/Ipsos poll released in January showed that 86 percent of those surveyed favored expanded background checks of all gun buyers.

Giffords, a Democrat, was shot in the head when a gunman opened fire on a congressional outreach event in Tucson in January 2011, killing six people and wounding a dozen others. She resigned from Congress a year after the shooting to focus on her recovery.

Following the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 26 people at an elementary school in December, Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, founded a lobby group aimed at curbing gun violence and challenging the political clout of the well-funded gun lobby.

Before the awards ceremony on Sunday, Giffords and Kelly visited victims of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing who are recovering at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

The award, named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Profiles in Courage,” was presented to Giffords by foundation president Caroline Kennedy. (Reporting by Aaron Pressman; Editing by Chris Reese)


Filed under Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly

Kelly Ayotte’s Approval Rating Plunges After Vote Against Gun Background Checks

Kelly Ayotte Approval

I’d call this revelation an excellent example of just desserts

The Huffington Post

A new poll has New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte down a total of 15 points from her previous approval rating in a survey that followed her vote against requiring background checks for firearms purchases.

Ayotte’s plunge underscores the changing politics around gun control and gun safety. In years past, lawmakers worried that a vote for gun control would bring the anger of the National Rifle Association. In the new reality, votes against gun control also carry a political risk, as the Ayotte (R) poll indicates.

A full three-quarters of New Hampshire voters support such background checks, along with 56 percent of Republicans, according to Public Policy Polling. A WMUR Granite State Poll taken in January and February found that more than 9 in 10 state residents supported implementing background checks at gun shows.

It’s not entirely clear yet how opposition to background checks will play out at the polls, but there are signs Ayotte’s vote may have taken a toll.

In October, the last time that PPP surveyed voters about Ayotte, she had a 48-35 approval rating. She has now tumbled underwater, with 46 percent disapproving and 44 percent approving. The 11-point surge in disapproval threatens Ayotte’s 2016 reelection, when she could face popular Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. Ayotte won her 2010 race by 23 points, but in a hypothetical matchup against Hassan trails 46-44.

Forty-five percent of independents in the state disapproved of Ayotte, up 13 points since October. Half of voters said her vote on background checks made them less inclined to vote for her, with only a quarter saying it made them more likely to support her.

Among the critical third of voters who described themselves as moderates, disapproval of Ayotte increased by 21 points, with two-thirds saying her vote against background checks made them less likely to vote for her. Only 13 percent said it made them more likely to back her, an overwhelming 5-1 margin.

Local coverage has not been friendly to Ayotte. Sunday’s Portsmouth Herald headlined its editorial: “If you want gun control, vote Ayotte out of office.”

“New Hampshire voters who care passionately about sensible gun legislation can contribute to the effort by defeating U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the only senator in New England to vote against the Toomey-Manchin bill. Ayotte justified her vote by parroting the NRA, saying the measure would ‘place unnecessary burdens on law-abiding gun owners and allow for potential overreach by the federal government into private gun sales.’”

The Concord Monitor was flooded with angry letters and ran a rough cartoon of her. The editorial page called it a “double abomination.” She was hit by a tough ad paid for by Gabby Giffords’ group — the kind of on-the-ground spending that is helping to alter the political dynamic.

Dean Debnam, president of PPP, sees it as trouble for Ayotte. “New Hampshire is a good bellwether for fallout from the gun vote,” he said. “There’s serious backlash from voters toward Kelly Ayotte for how she handled this issue.”

The PPP poll surveyed 933 New Hampshire voters using automated phone calls between April 19 and 21.



Filed under Gun Background Checks

James Holmes offers guilty plea to avoid death penalty


USA Today

Attorneys for Denver-area theater shooting suspect James Holmes have offered to have him plead guilty and be jailed for life to avoid the death penalty, KUSA-TV is reporting.

The prosecution has not yet responded to the offer, which came in a court filing Wednesday.

“Mr. Holmes is currently willing to resolve the case to bring the proceedings to a speedy and definite conclusion,” the filing reads.

The defense team said the case could end Monday if the Arapahoe County district attorney accepts the deal. Prosecutors planned to announce Monday whether they would seek the death penalty.

Holmes, 25, is charged with first-degree murder for the July 20 rampage that killed 12 moviegoers and wounded nearly 60 others at the premiere of the latest Batman film at a multiplex in Aurora.

On March 12, a judge entered a not guilty plea on Holmes’ behalf but said Holmes could enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity later.

Trial is set for Aug. 5.

KUSA, a Denver TV station owned by Gannett, USA TODAY’s parent company, notes that a similar plea deal was offered to Jared Loughner, the man charged in a Tuscon mass shooting. The federal government withdrew the death penalty after he pleaded guilty to killing six and wounding 13, including former U.S. congresswoman Gabby Giffords, in January 2011.

Loughner was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms and an additional 140 years.

Arizona authorities have just released crime reports from the case, which had been sealed by court order.

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Filed under James Holmes

Gun shop blocks Mark Kelly’s right to buy AR-15, citing political ‘intent’

Official NASA photo of Kelly

Mark Kelly is married to  former AZ Congress woman Gabby Giffords.  He is an accomplished man in his own right and he is a responsible gun owner.

Naval career        NASA career

The Raw Story

The owner of a gun shop in Tucson, Arizona on Monday refused to hand over an AR-15 military-style rifle that Mark Kelly purchased in order to demonstrate how easy it was to obtain assault weapons.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Diamondback Police Supply owner Doug MacKinlay said that he was blocking the former astronaut’s Second Amendment right because he questioned the political “intent” behind the purchase.

“While I support and respect Mark Kelly’s 2nd Amendment rights to purchase, possess, and use firearms in a safe and responsible manner, his recent statements to the media made it clear that his intent in purchasing the Sig Sauer M400 5.56mm rifle from us was for reasons other then for his personal use,” MacKinlay wrote.

Kelly, who is the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), said that he had purchased the rifle to show how easy it was to pass a background check. The effort was part of his push for more gun control in response to his wife’s shooting and other recent mass shootings.

A weapon similar to the Sig Sauer M400 was used last year to gun down 20 elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut.

MacKinlay promised to refund all of Kelly’s money and raffle the weapon off to support the Arizona Tactical Officers Association.


Filed under Gun Control, Gun Violence

Behind the Scenes with Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly: January 30th 2013

Gabby and Capt. Mark Kelly are the epitome of the term: power couple.  Not in the colloquial version of the term but in the literal interpretation.  This couple intends to have a voice in the gun control debate.  I personally support them and their Americans for Responsible Solutions effort 100%.



Filed under Gabrielle Giffords' Progress, Gun Violence

An Emotional Call to Action on Gun Violence (TFC Evening Wrap-up)

What Gabby Said

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in the head two years ago this month in a shooting that also left six of her constituents dead, including a nine year-old girl. In the wake of the Newtown gun massacre, Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, a group that “will encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.”

Today the Senate Senate Judiciary Committee, which is expected to begin formal work on a gun violence prevention bill in the next month, held a hearing that opened with a statement from Giffords. Giffords told the senators that “the time is now,” they “must act,” and must “be bold.”

Watch Giffords challenge senators to deal with America’s gun violence epidemic:

Giffords’ handwritten testimony:

BOTTOM LINE: Gabby Giffords is right. Americans are counting on our political leaders to summon the courage to take commonsense steps to address the gun violence epidemic that results in 33 Americans being murdered each and every day.

The Progress Report

The study the NRA’s top Washington lobbyist hopes you won’t actually look up.

Teenager who performed at the Inauguration last week was gunned down yesterday in Chicago.

Senator catches the NRA’s top Washington lobbyist in an epic flip-flop on background checks.

GOP senator: people need to arm themselves because GOP-forced budget cuts will mean fewer cops.

Missouri bill would force all first-graders to take NRA-sponsored gun class.

Communism, polygamy, and human cloning are more popular than NRA lobbyists’ position on gun violence.

Republican witness claims mothers need an AR-15 assault rifle to defend their children.

Meet the nine year-old girl who would likely still be alive today if high-capacity magazines were illegal.

Another shooting happened as the Senate held its hearing on gun violence.


Filed under Evening News Wrap-up

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Opening Statement (C-SPAN)

Gabby Gifford’s compelling statement in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on gun violence, today:

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Filed under Gun Violence

Wednesday Blog Round Up 1-30-2013

Big Shakeup At CNN

Shake Up at CNN
Carville and Erickson out at CNN .

Death Star Woulda Been a Bargain
GOP Rep. says ‘path to citizenship’ will cost country $2.7 trillion.

This week in Serious Republicanism
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Clinton: ‘I am out of politics right now’
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Video: For Republicans on immigration, first stop digging
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2nd secret GOP “how to talk immigration” memo uncovered
A 2nd GOP sensitivity-training memo on how to talk about immigration without insultin..

Google Releases Detailed Map of North Korea, Gulags and All
Until Tuesday, North Korea appeared on Google Maps as a near-total white space &m..

Gabrielle Giffords to testify at Senate hearing on gun violence
Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) is expected to testify Wednesday a..

Kerry wins 94-3 Senate vote to become Obama’s 2nd-term secretar..
With only three ?no? votes, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed veteran lawmaker and for..

Transcript: Hillary Clinton’s Final Television Interview as Secretary ..
The following is a transcript of “Nightline” anchor Cynthia McFadden’s interview with..

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Filed under U.S. Politics

Jesse Kelly Calls Gabrielle Giffords ‘A Hero Of Nothing’ In New Democratic Ad

Gabrielle Giffords

The Huffington Post

A Democratic super PAC is airing a new ad in the special election race to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) that features Republican Jesse Kelly calling her a “hero of nothing.”

“And now she stands there with that smile and pretends to be some type of hometown hero,” Kelly says in the clip, which began airing Monday. “She’s a hero of nothing.”

Kelly made the comment at a campaign event in August 2010, less than half a year before the Tucson shooting rampage that left six dead and 13 wounded, including Giffords.

A call to Kelly’s campaign regarding the comments was not immediately returned.

The ad marks the first time in this election cycle that Democrats have sought to highlight Kelly’s past comments regarding Giffords, to whom he lost in 2010 by fewer than 2 percentage points.

The clip also highlights Kelly supporting a zero percent corporate tax rate and the abolition of a minimum wage, as well as his characterization of Medicare and Social Security as ponzi schemes.

Kelly is currently locked in a tight race with Democrat Ron Barber to finish Giffords’ term. Giffords will make a rare public appearance with Barber, a former aide whom she explicitly asked to run, at an event on Saturday.

The six-figure ad campaign, spearheaded by House Majority PAC, will run through election day.

Watch the ad here:

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Filed under Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Thursday Blog Round Up

Gabby Giffords gives America moment of unity

A Frosty Meeting for Obama and Brewer

The 20 Most Dangerous Conservatives And Their Organizations : politics

Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews Disagree Over Mitch Daniels’ State Of The Union Response

New York Bill Would Make SAT Cheating A Felony

Gingrich Pledges To Establish Permanent Base On The Moon

Santorum: Rape Babies are Gifts from God

Video: Romney on the wrong side at the wrong time

Video: Politifact, you’re fired

U.S. Commandos Free 2 Hostages From Somali Pirates

Who are the SEALs?

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Filed under Uncategorized