Giffords Testimony Moving, But Applicable?


Gabrielle Gifford’s testimony at yesterday’s Congressional hearing was indeed moving.  Who couldn’t be touched by the fact the once young and vibrant Representative has a difficult time forming a sentence.  Her husband, retired Navy Captain and Space Shuttle Astronaut Mark E. Kelly sat by her side.  Kelly reminded the Senators that a recent Phoenix office building shooting had left one dead and two injured, pointing to the epidemic of gun violence in the country.  Gifford’s statement was brief but emotional, “Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important.  Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something.”  She concluded, “It would be hard, but the time is now. You must act.”  The issue with her testimony, however, is it was more theater than fact based.  Yes violence is a problem.  Crazy, unstable people will always be a threat, regardless of what method of violence they choose.  But former Congresswoman Giffords was shot with Glock 9mm handgun.  Under any ban, this weapon would still be legal.  Even if the clip is limited to 7 shots, it only takes one to injure or kill.  In the case of Giffords, she was a specific target.  Jared Lee Loughner drew a pistol and shot her in the head before firing on others in the crowd.  In total, nineteen people, including Giffords were shot.  Loughner was obsessed with Giffords and targeted her for assassination.  There is nothing anyone could have done to prevent it.  No law would have made a difference.  Even if 7 shot clips become the law, changing clips, for a trained shooter, is not difficult.  Again, we must deal with the real problem; unstable mentally deranged individuals, who are able to obtain weapons.  We must be tougher on violent people with violent tendencies.  Laws are too liberal where they should be strict and too strict where they should be liberal.   Anyone convicted of a violent crime, should never again be allowed to walk the streets.  They don’t deserve a second chance to hurt anyone else.  The idea they can be rehabilitated is a farce.  On the other hand, all those in prison for pot possession and other victimless crimes, should be released.  If that was to happen, the prison population would halve and we could end the fictional “war on drugs”.  Law enforcement could then stop wasting time and spend it protecting innocent people from the real bad guys.

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