Gabby Giffords appeals for action vs. gun violence at senate hearing
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Gun shooting victim and former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords appealed to senators to protect children against gun violence during a senate hearing on gun control policy on Wednesday.
“Violence is a big problem, too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now. You must act. Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you. Thank you,” Giffords told the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?” The hearing was triggered by the Newtown, Connecticut massacre that killed 20 schoolchildren and six adults last month.
Giffords, who have difficulty in speaking due to a brain injury she suffered after being shot by a gunman in 2011, was accompanied by her husband, Kelly, who was also among those invited to testify in the hearing.
Kelly admitted the he and his wife are gun owners, but urged Congress to make the country safe by requiring gun sellers to require background checks on buyers and by limiting access to high capacity magazines.
National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, whose group opposes new gun control laws and universal background checks, urged legislators not to blame legal gun owners for violence caused by deranged criminals.
LaPierre said the government should not dictate what people can lawfully own and use to protect their families. He also said that universal background checks cannot be universal because criminals will not submit to such checks.
The solution to gun violence, according to LaPierre, is to get violent criminals off the streets. He also proposed arming security guards in school to protect children from gunmen.
Another gun advocate, Attorney Gayle Trotter, said women need assault weapons like the one used in the Newtown massacre to protect themselves and their homes against criminals and intruders.
Also testifying before the senate panel were Professor David Kopel of Denver University’s Strum College of Law and Baltimore Chief of Police James Johnson.