Gabrielle Giffords is furious. The former Arizona representative who was shot in the head by a gunman at a political event two years ago has penned an impassioned -- and angry -- response to the Senate’s refusal to pass a new gun control bill. In Giffords’ own words in a new op-ed for the New York Times: “I’m furious.”
On Wednesday, the Senate killed a bipartisan bill that would have expanded background checks for those purchasing guns. Under the new regulations, anyone purchasing a gun -- even at a gun show or online -- would need to undergo criminal and mental health background checks. Ultimately, the bill failed in the Senate, which many have blamed on lobbying by the gun industry.
For Gabrielle Giffords, an outspoken gun control advocate, this news was simply unacceptable. In the op-ed, Giffords explained exactly how she felt about the Senate’s failure to pass the gun control bill.
"Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I'm furious," Giffords wrote. "I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep our children safe."
While Giffords is furious about the Senate’s handling of the gun control bill, she has vowed not to give up the fight for stronger gun control laws across America.
“Mark my words: if we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s. To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way,” Giffords wrote.
Giffords was shot in the head at point-blank range while speaking to her constituents at a supermarket in January 2011. In 2012, Giffords resigned from her Congressional post due to medical issues. Since then, Giffords and her husband -- former astronaut Mark Kelly -- have founded a super PAC named Americans for Responsible Solutions to raise money and lobby for stricter gun control laws across the country.
This isn’t the first time Giffords has skewered her fellow politicians for shooting down gun control legislation. On Wednesday, she wrote an equally scathing response to the vote in a fundraising email sent out by pro-gun control PAC Americans for Responsible Solutions.
"Over two years ago, when I was shot point-blank in the head, the U.S. Senate chose to do nothing,” Giffords wrote in the email, according to Arizona Central. “Four months ago, 20 first-graders lost their lives in a brutal attack on their school, and the U.S. Senate chose to do nothing. It's clear to me that if members of the U.S. Senate refuse to change the laws to reduce gun violence, then we need to change the members of the U.S. Senate."
Read Giffords’ full op-ed for the New York Times here.