President Barack Obama’s attempts to tighten gun-control laws failed Wednesday, struck down by the Senate, which did not support his plan to expand background checks for gun purchases.
But former representative Gabrielle Giffords isn’t letting those who voted down the law off easily. In an opinion article published in The New York Times Thursday, Giffords — who was shot in the head during an attack in an Arizona parking lot in 2011 — called out those who voted against the law. She writes that it is difficult for her to speak, but she is “furious”:
Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.
Giffords writes that polls show Americans support increased background checks before gun purchases, but that Senators who voted against the law were more concerned with the powerful — and wealthy — gun lobby, which contributed $25 million during the last election. She vows to continue pushing for tougher gun control and asks “every reasonable American to help me tell the truth about the cowardice these senators demonstrated.”
Obama also vowed to continue with efforts for gun control. Speaking at a press conference at the White House Wednesday, where he was flanked by Giffords and families whose children were killed in the Newtown shooting, the president called it “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
“I see this as just Round One,” Obama said. “Sooner or later, we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it.”