TUCSON, AZ – Two years ago, Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords spoke to her constituents outside a Tucson supermarket. Wednesday she spoke outside that same store where she and 18 others were shot, but she had a very different message.
Standing next to her husband Mark Kelly, Giffords said all of a dozen words, “Be bold. Be courageous. Please support background checks. Thank you very much.”
Giffords and Kelly’s point is simple: Keep your guns, but keep them out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
Kelly said, “It is clear that this legislation could do a very common sense thing.”
He said his newly formed gun control organization is sending a letter to U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, urging them to support background check legislation.
Senator Flake is already spearheading a similar proposal. He and Senators Lindsey Graham and Mark Pryor are introducing legislation that would prevent those deemed mentally ill by a court from having guns.
Graham said, “I am hopeful this is one area we can find tremendous bipartisan support to fix what I think is a gaping gap in our law.”
While background checks are a start, what good are they if failed ones don’t get checked out?
Texas’ U.S. Senator John Cornyn called out Attorney General Eric Holder on just that. He said, “Out of 76,000 failed background checks, your department pursued a guilty plea or a guilty verdict in just 13 cases.”
Holder response was, “Well, we have limited resources.”
What’s really limited is our lawmakers’ ability to agree on anything.