ARIZONA NEWS

Former Rep. Giffords tells Congress ‘be bold’ on gun reform

Jun 7, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: 4:02 pm
Former congresswoman and gun violence survivor Gabby Giffords stands among vases of flowers that ma...

Former congresswoman and gun violence survivor Gabby Giffords stands among vases of flowers that make up the Gun Violence Memorial installation near the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. The flowers are meant to represent the number of Americans who die from gun violence each year. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eleven years after her own life was massively altered by gun violence, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords stood in front of the Washington Monument Tuesday and lobbied anew for stricter gun laws after yet another string of mass shootings in America.

“Stopping gun violence takes courage, the courage to do what’s right,” Giffords said, surrounded by more than 45,000 small vases of white and orange flowers representing each of the Americans killed by gun violence each year. “We must never stop fighting. Be bold. Be courageous. The nation is counting on you.”

Giffords, was shot in the head in 2011 while speaking to constituents in a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six people. Her injuries from the assassination attempt left her with difficulty walking and occasional difficulty speaking.

She has emerged as an advocate for nationwide gun control laws; the foundation she created placed the flowers around the Washington Monument.

Giffords’ long-standing cause has been given fresh momentum by a new string of mass shootings around the country, from an elementary school in Texas to a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and a medical clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The violence has spurred a flurry of activity in the nation’s capital, with Democrats in Congress pushing for sweeping reforms that include raising the national age limit to purchase a gun and banning automatic weapons. Families of the victims in the most recent mass shootings spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, with more hearings planned in advance of mass marches this weekend in Washington and other cities.

But whatever reform package passes the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is in danger of being watered down by the Republicans in the Senate. Tuesday’s press conference was part of a campaign to build pressure on Congress and argue that American public opinion favors serious reform of gun laws at a national level.

“We know what the solutions are. We’ve seen them work in some states and we’ve certainly seen it in other countries,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Raising the national age limit to 21, “would be a major game changer in a lot of these shootings,” she said.

Sen. Chris Murphy, whose home state of Connecticut was the site of the murder of 20 schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary a decade ago, is one of the leaders of bipartisan congressional negotiations seeking an acceptable deal.

Senators have been meeting privately in a small bipartisan group headed by Murphy, a Democrat, and Republican Sen. John Cornyn, trying to hash out a compromise that could actually become law.

But lawmakers have been here before — unable to pass any substantial gun safety laws in decades in the face of steep objections from Republicans in Congress, some conservative Democrats, and the fierce lobby of gun owners and the National Rifle Association. No major legislation has made it into law since the 1994 assault weapons ban, which has since expired.

On Tuesday, Murphy warned Senate Republicans that the time for symbolic gestures had passed and shifting American public opinion now favors serious nationwide gun control measures.

“We’re not going to settle for a piece of legislation that just checks a box,” he said. “We need to put pressure on the United States Senate to do the right thing.”

___

Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri and Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(YouTube Screenshot/Governor Ned Lamont)...
Danny Shapiro

Connecticut woos Arizona businesses unhappy with state’s abortion law

Connecticut’s top politicians are inviting Arizona businesses to relocate if they are unhappy with the Grand Canyon State’s restrictive abortion laws following the overturning of Roe vs. Wade.
13 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Police exchange late-night gunfire with man on Phoenix street

Police in Phoenix exchanged gunfire with a man late Thursday and later found him wounded at a home, where they took him into custody.
13 hours ago
The late Sen. John McCain and former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords were selected to receive the Presiden...
Kevin Stone

John McCain, Gabby Giffords to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

A prominent pair of Arizona political figures, the late Sen. John McCain and former Rep. Gabby Giffords, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom next week.
13 hours ago
(National Park Service Photo)...
KTAR.com

Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest national parks ease fire restrictions

Increased monsoon activity in the state has resulted in a pair of national parks easing fire restrictions.
13 hours ago
(Banner–University Medical Center Phoenix Photo)...
Colton Krolak

Valley COVID survivor returns to hospital to thank doctors and nurses

A 49-year-old Valley man who survived COVID-19 returned to the hospital to thank the doctors and nurses who helped him beat the disease that almost took his life.
13 hours ago
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
Torrence Dunham

Hance Park in Phoenix to host free festival leading up to the Super Bowl

People will be able to enjoy a free festival at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, the host committee announced this week.
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Former Rep. Giffords tells Congress ‘be bold’ on gun reform