WASHINGTON, DC – People waited in a long line to watch Washington`s latest round in the national gun control debate.
Without a doubt, former congresswoman and gunshot victim Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly were the stars of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that brought together a host of witnesses representing just about all sides of issue.
Giffords and Kelly, as victims of gun violence and advocates of gun ownership, stayed away from rhetoric designed to score political points, and instead asked for reasoned discussion and immediate action.
“This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans,’ said Giffords, reading from a short, prepared statement. ‘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. It will be hard but the time is now! You must act! Be bold, be courageous. Americans are counting on you.”
‘Gabby and I are pro-gun ownership,’ said Kelly. ‘We are also anti-gun violence and we believe that in this debate Congress should look not toward special interest in ideology which pushes apart. But look toward compromise which brings us together. We believe whether you call yourself pro-gun or anti-gun violence or both, that you can work together to pass laws that save lives.’
And, in another twist to the gun violence story, a gunman walked into a phoenix office building and shot three people, one critically.
The shooting occurred shortly after Giffords spoke, and just over two years after a gunman in Tucson shot her and killed six others.
Murder was never intended to be a constitutional right.