The Rights And Responsibilities Tour


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Gabby and Mark Kick Off the Rights and Responsibilities Tour

 

Published on Jul 1, 2013

Join Gabby and Mark as they visit seven states in seven days to call for passage of common-sense gun safety legislation. Visit http://www.RightsandResponsibilitiesTour.com to see the full schedule.

 

 

 

 

Rights and Responsibilities Tour Volume 1: Nevada and Alaska

 

Published on Jul 3, 2013

Join Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly on the Rights and Responsibilities Tour. While visiting the states of Nevada and Alaska, Gabby and Mark hope to call for passage of common-sense gun safety legislation. Visit http://www.RightsandResponsibilitesTour.com to see the full schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

Rights and Responsibilities Tour Volume 2: North Dakota and Ohio

 

Published on Jul 5, 2013

Join Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly on the Rights and Responsibilities Tour. While visiting the states of North Dakota and Ohio, Gabby and Mark hope to call for passage of common-sense gun safety legislation. Visit http://www.RightsandResponsibilitesTour.com to see the full schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

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ABOUT

Hosted by Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Rights and Responsibilities Tour is a week-long, seven-state tour that mobilizes an unlikely coalition of supporters to call for the immediate passage of common-sense gun safety laws – that 90 percent of Americans support – at the state and federal levels. The tour reminds us the week of Independence Day that with rights come equally important responsibilities: we can celebrate responsible gun ownership and promote common-sense gun safety laws that protect our communities from gun violence.

 

On January 8, 2013 – the second anniversary of the horrific Tucson shooting where a mentally ill young man shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in the head, killing six of her constituents and wounding 12 others – Gabby and her husband, retired Navy Captain and astronaut Mark Kelly, launched Americans for Responsible Solutions – a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization and political action committee – to encourage elected officials to stand up for common-sense solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.

 

Until now, the gun lobby’s political contributions, advertising and lobbying have dwarfed the influence of average, law abiding citizens. No longer. Americans for Responsible Solutions is engaging millions of people who are committed to finding sensible ways to reduce gun violence and supporting lawmakers who are willing to take a stand for responsible policies.

 

Research shows that gun owners can support gun safety, and Americans without guns can support gun owners so we must demand more since doing nothing while others are in danger is not the American way. During the tour, Gabby and Mark will join supporters in states to thank senators who voted in favor of the Manchin-Toomey bill – and to show those who voted against it that there is broad public support in their states for them to change their votes. The tour will involve a diverse collection of local stakeholders in events, including visits to shooting ranges, roundtable discussions about gun safety legislation, appearances at public events and press conferences to promote the efforts.

 

 

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBLITIES TOUR SCHEDULE

  • Monday, July 1 – Las Vegas, NV
  • Tuesday, July 2 – Anchorage, AK
  • Wednesday, July 3 – Bismarck & Fargo, ND
  • Thursday, July 4 – Cincinnati, OH
  • Friday, July 5 – Manchester, NH
  • Saturday, July 6 – Portland, ME
  • Sunday, July 7– Raleigh, NC

 

 

What is Americans for Responsible Solutions?

On January 8, 2011, a mentally ill young man shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in the head, killing six of her constituents and wounding 12 others. Since that tragedy in Tucson, America has seen too many more mass shootings – but no response from Congress. This inaction on gun violence was thrown into even starker contrast after the massacre of 20 children and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

 

On the second anniversary of the horrific Tucson shooting, as America mourned the dead in Newtown, CT, Gabby and her husband, retired Navy Captain and astronaut Mark Kelly, launched Americans for Responsible Solutions – a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization and political action committee – to encourage elected officials to stand up for common-sense solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.

 

Until now, the gun lobby’s political contributions, advertising and lobbying have dwarfed the influence of average, law abiding citizens. No longer. Americans for Responsible Solutions is engaging millions of people who are committed to finding sensible ways to reduce gun violence and supporting lawmakers who are willing to take a stand for responsible policies.

 

 

What is the Rights and Responsibilities Tour?

Hosted by Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Rights and Responsibilities Tour is week-long, seven-state tour that mobilizes an unlikely coalition of supporters to call for the immediate passage of common-sense gun safety laws – that 90 percent of Americans support – at the state and federal levels. The tour reminds us the week of Independence Day that with rights come equally important responsibilities: we can celebrate responsible gun ownership and promote common-sense gun safety laws that protect our communities from gun violence.

 

During the tour, Gabby and Mark will join an unlikely coalition of supporters in states where senators voted for and against the Manchin-Toomey bill to expand background checks on gun purchases in order to remind the American public that this issue requires urgent attention. The tour will involve a diverse collection of local stakeholders in events, including visits to shooting ranges, roundtable discussions about gun safety legislation, appearances at public events and press conferences to promote the efforts.

 

 

Why is the Rights and Responsibilities Tour visiting seven states?

The tour will visit Nevada, Alaska, North Dakota, Ohio, New Hampshire, Maine and North Carolina from July 1-7, 2013. Americans for Responsible Solutions is mobilizing an unlikely coalition of supporters in these states to thank senators who voted in favor of the Manchin-Toomey bill – and to show those who voted against it that there is broad public support in their states for them to change their votes. Research shows that gun owners can support gun safety, and Americans without guns can support gun owners so we must demand more since doing nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.

 

 

Why was the tour hosted during the week of Independence Day?

The Rights and Responsibilities Tour is a celebration of America’s heritage and the values that make our nation great. At Americans for Responsible Solutions, we are strong supporters of the Second Amendment and believe that the right to bear arms is a definitive American value – in the past and in the future. The week of Independence Day, we celebrate responsible gun ownership. We know that with that right comes an equally important responsibility: Common sense gun laws that will help keep our communities, our families and our children safe. Responsible gun ownership is part of what makes us Americans, but recent tragedies are evidence that America is not doing enough to keep its citizens safe. It’s clear that we must work together to fight for sensible measures that will help to prevent gun violence and save lives.

 

 

Will expanded background checks infringe on Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights?

We know that expanding background checks will level the playing field for all people looking to purchase a gun. Some estimates have found that 40 percent of gun sales in this country currently occur with no background check – at gun shows, on the Internet and through other unregulated transactions. And we know that 80 percent of criminals who used a gun to commit their crimes reported getting their guns with no background checks. The passage of expanded background check legislation would pave the way for reducing gun violence while protecting responsible gun ownership. This is a common-sense measure that can save lives.

 

Americans for Responsible Solutions are strong supporters of the Second Amendment and believe that the right to bear arms is a definitive American value – in the past and in the future. As gun owners, Gabby and Mark would not support a bill that infringed on Americans’ Second Amendment rights or led to the creation of a registry of guns and gun owners.

 

 

Why do the majority of Americans support background checks?

It’s simple: Americans are a reasonable, compassionate people. There are several common-sense gun safety measures that the majority of Americans – those who own guns and those who don’t – support because they can help save lives and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill who intend to do harm. Research shows that gun owners can support gun safety, and Americans without guns can support gun owners so we must demand more since doing nothing while others are in danger is not the American way. We are confident that Americans will not give up in pursuit of background check legislation, and the Rights and Responsibilities Tour provides an opportunity for those people who support common-sense gun safety legislation to stand up and show elected officials that this fight is far from over.

 

 

What will it take from here to get another vote on background check legislation in the U.S. Senate?

Gabby and Mark are excited to travel around the country and talk to Americans who are still fired up about this issue – like they are. Americans are disappointed in the elected officials who voted against common-sense gun safety laws, but they are by no means rattled by the April vote – rather further determined to push for change. During the Rights and Responsibilities Tour, we will harness the building energy and create a ground swell at the local level to get another vote on expanded background checks in the Senate on the table. To do so, we will be mobilizing for action and letting elected officials know that a failure to represent the interests of the majority of Americans will come with consequences at the polls in 2014 and beyond.

 

 

What’s more important – action at the federal or state level?

Both are equally important. History has taught us that sometimes real change starts in the states, and we will continue to build and sustain momentum to realize the change that we seek. Organizing bodies will be coming together in the weeks and months following the tour so that we have a sustainable presence at the local level to push for the passage of common-sense laws that protect responsible gun ownership and reduce gun violence.

 

 

What is the best way for people to get involved and/or take action?

There are many ways for people to demonstrate their support for common-sense gun safety laws. Americans for Responsible Solutions is asking supporters to contact their local elected officials, spread the word by asking friends and family to get involved and sign a petition to call on Congress to enact expanded background checks on gun purchases. As local organizing bodies in states come together, Americans for Responsible Solutions will be calling on supporters to help sustain the energy at the local level and push for the eventual passage of laws that protect responsible gun ownership and reduce gun violence.

 

 

What will happen after the tour has concluded?

Following a successful Rights and Responsibilities Tour, Americans for Responsible Solutions plans to continue building grassroots momentum by sustaining activity and driving action to make sure the diverse collection of advocates that support common-sense gun safety legislation are heard here in tour states, in Washington and throughout the country. Organizing bodies will be coming together in the weeks and months following the tour so that Americans for Responsible Solutions will have a sustainable presence at the local level in order to push for the eventual passage of laws that protect responsible gun ownership and reduce gun violence. Our goal is to formalize these organizing forces so that conversation and momentum will continue long after the tour has passed through town. We hope that people who share our belief and want to take action will work to involve more supporters, raise their voices with elected officials and advocate for the change that we seek.

 

 

TWITTER FEED #RandRTour

 

 

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OFA: A Conversation With Senator Flake By Ms. Pam Simon


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

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A conversation with Senator Flake

 

By Pam Simon on May 9, 2013

 

 

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As a former member of Gabrielle Giffords’ staff and a survivor of the Tucson shooting, I’m on Capitol Hill today with a great group of fellow Organizing for Action volunteers, delivering petitions from supporters all across the country in support of common-sense gun violence prevention. We’ve been making the rounds, including meetings with Senator Dick Durbin and Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Mike Thompson.

 

It had been a really productive morning and we were on our way down the escalators out of the Capitol when I saw my senator, Jeff Flake, walking up the stairs right in front of us.

 

We already know each other, because he was very supportive of Congresswoman Giffords’ office. However, people in Arizona have been unhappy about his ‘no’ vote on the amendment that would have expanded background checks for gun sales. There’s been a lot of action on this issue in Arizona, so it was rather interesting running into him.

 

I was standing there in front of him with two other survivors of gun violence who introduced themselves–and to his credit he stopped and engaged in conversation with us for five or six minutes. We told him we were there to deliver 1.4 million petition signatures in favor of background checks for gun sales, and that the will of the people is behind us. The sense we got from him is that we’re still working on this. It’s not a closed door, so let’s engage. We said we’d love to sit down with him, look at the bill and talk about his concerns.

 

The bottom line is that he knows we’re out there and he knows we’re not going away. He’s taken a tremendous hit in polling—he even joked that he’s now less popular than ‘pond scum.’ But we told him, ‘We don’t think you’re pond scum—we think you can come around to something that’s reasonable.’

 

The people who signed this petition are part of making the difference. When that many signatures are gathered, it shows how important this issue is to people. These people are working hard to represent us, and it absolutely shores them up. We said ‘We’ve got your back’ to members of Congress several times today, and they were all very welcoming, thanking us.

 

In fact, on a train below the Capitol, Senator John McCain rushed to board with us and I had the chance to say “Thank you!” for his courageous ‘yes’ vote on background checks for gun sales. Many of the folks on the train agreed, giving him a nice round of applause.

 

But we’re only delivering the petitions—it’s all across America that people are signing them. There is tremendous political will behind this, and these signatures are part of making a change.

 

 

 

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Pam Simon worked part-time as an Outreach Coordinator for Arizona State Representative to Congress, Gabby Giffords, who was the main target of The Tucson Arizonia Shooting,January 8, 2011. Pam was helping coordinate the event at Safeway and was shot twice, once in the wrist and once in the chest. The chest bullet traveled downward and lodged in her hip, but amazingly did not damage major organs on the way.

 

 

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Courtesy of the Office of Gabrielle Giffords Pam Simon sits with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in her hospital room at University Medical Center

 

 

feat-2Pam Simon with her family and Barack and Michelle Obama at UMC. – Courtesy of the Office of Gabrielle Gifford

 

 

 

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This Mother’s Day: Make The Sandy Hook Promise.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

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Happy Mother’s Day. Hold your children extra close every chance you get. Bask in their smiles.

 

There have been nearly four thousand gun related deaths since Newtown. Too many mothers are spending too much time talking to their children in heaven instead of across the kitchen table. We draw support from the tens of thousands of letters and cards we’ve received from those of you who stand with us. We are emboldened by the courage of victims like Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who have committed their lives to achieve meaningful change. We soldier on, because like all movements, there are tipping points, and we believe this is ours. It is time, as six-year-old Ana Marquez-Greene once said, to “let love win.” There are 150 million parents in this country and it’s our goal to unite them in a place of common ground. This is the Sandy Hook Promise.

 

This Mother’s Day, we encourage you to make the Sandy Hook Promise with us. Today is not about guns, laws or politics; it is about mothers and love.

 

As “Sandy Hook Moms,” we often hear the phrase “I can’t imagine what you are going through.” Well, please imagine it. Imagine what it’s like to lose a son or daughter to gun violence and encourage your elected officials to do the same. We never thought our school, our community or these innocent children would ever face the unspeakable. The more we as parents expand the boundaries of our love beyond our family and to all children, the more likely a tragedy like the one that broke our hearts will never happen again.

 

To join us in making the Sandy Hook Promise, please visit: Sandy Hook Promise

 

 

THIS TIME THERE WILL BE CHANGE

or Text IPROMISE to +12039893549 to sign

 

 

 

The Sandy Hook Promise….

 

I Promise to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

 

I Promise to do everything I can to encourage and support common sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence.

 

 

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Our Effort Isn’t Over: The Daily Word From Barack & Michelle’s Home


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

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 The President and the First Lady delivered remarks today at Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service dedicated to those who were wounded or killed in Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon.

 

 

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Our Effort Isn’t Over

 

Surrounded by Americans whose lives and families have been forever changed by gun violence, President Obama spoke from the Rose Garden about yesterday’s Senate vote to block expanded background checks for gun sales:

I believe we’re going to be able to get this done. Sooner or later, we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it. And so do the American people.

 

 

Watch the President’s remarks here:

 

President Obama Speaks on Common-Sense Measures to Reduce Gun Violence

 

Published on Apr 17, 2013

President Obama makes a statement from the Rose Garden following the Senate’s vote to block common-sense measures to reduce gun violence. April 17, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

Surrounded by Americans whose lives and families had been forever changed by gun violence, President Obama spoke from the Rose Garden about today’s Senate vote on expanded background checks for gun sales.

 

A few months ago, in response to too many tragedies — including the shootings of a United States Congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, who’s here today, and the murder of 20 innocent schoolchildren and their teachers –- this country took up the cause of protecting more of our people from gun violence.

Families that know unspeakable grief summoned the courage to petition their elected leaders –- not just to honor the memory of their children, but to protect the lives of all our children. And a few minutes ago, a minority in the United States Senate decided it wasn’t worth it. They blocked common-sense gun reforms even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery.

 

“A majority of senators voted “yes” to protecting more of our citizens with smarter background checks,” President Obama said. “But by this continuing distortion of Senate rules, a minority was able to block it from moving forward.”

 

The President said that the legislation showed respect for victims of gun violence and gun owners alike. “Nobody could honestly claim that this legislation infringed on our Second Amendment rights,” he said. “All it did was extend the same background check rules that already apply to guns purchased from a dealer to guns purchased at gun shows or over the Internet.”

But the fact is most of these senators could not offer any good reason why we wouldn’t want to make it harder for criminals and those with severe mental illnesses to buy a gun.  There were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn’t do this.  It came down to politics — the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections.

 

“All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,” President Obama said. “But this effort isn’t over.  I want to make it clear to the American people that we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence, so long as you don’t give up. “

 

He promised that his administration would keep doing everything it can to protect our kids and communities. “But we can do more if Congress gets its act together,” he said.

 

“Those who care deeply about preventing more and more gun violence will have to be as passionate, and as organized, and as vocal as those who blocked these common-sense steps to help keep our kids safe.”

 

The President said that he sees today’s vote as the end of round one.

I believe we’re going to be able to get this done. Sooner or later, we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it. And so do the American people.

 

Make your voice heard. Speak out if you support common-sense steps to reduce gun violence

 

 

In Case You Missed It

 

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Here are some of the top stories from the White House blog:

 

States Step Up to Help Veterans and Spouses Get Back to Work
Sixty percent of veterans who responded to a 2012 survey said they had trouble translating their military skills into civilian job experience, creating a significant barrier to employment. Find out what states are doing to help ease the transition to civilian life.

 

White House Hangout: Vice President Biden and Mayors Discuss Reducing Gun Violence
Vice President Biden hosts a virtual conversation with mayors around the country to discuss commonsense steps to reduce gun violence.

 

President Obama Hosts Wounded Warriors Taking Part in the “Soldier Ride” at the White House
Soldier Ride helps combat-wounded veterans use cycling and the bonds of service to overcome physical, mental, or emotional wounds of war.

 

 

Today’s Schedule

 

All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

 

8:00 AM: The Vice President hosts a breakfast meeting with Secretary of Defense Hagel.

 

 

8:20 AM: The President and the First Lady depart the White House en route Joint Base Andrews.

 

 

8:40 AM: The President and the First Lady depart Joint Base Andrews.

 

 

9:55 AM: The President and the First Lady arrive Boston, Massachusetts.

 

 

11:00 AM: The President and the First Lady delivers remarks atHealing Our City: An Interfaith Service dedicated to those who were gravely wounded or killed in Monday’s bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

 

 

2:55 PM: The President and the First Lady depart Boston, Massachusetts.

 

 

4:15 PM: The President and the First Lady arrive Joint Base Andrews.

 

 

4:30 PM: The President and the First Lady arrive the White House.

 

 

5:30 PM: The President hosts a reception for Greek Independence Day.

 

 

 

Statements and Releases

 

April 18, 2013

Statement from the President on the Explosion in West, Texas

 

Statement from the President on the Explosion in West, Texas

Today our prayers go out to the people of West, Texas in the aftermath of last night’s deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant.   A tight-knit community has been shaken, and good, hard-working people have lost their lives.  I want to thank the first responders who worked tirelessly through the night to contain the situation and treat the wounded.  My Administration, through FEMA and other agencies, is in close contact with our state and local partners on the ground to make sure there are no unmet needs as search and rescue and response operations continue.  West is a town that many Texans hold near and dear to their hearts, and as residents continue to respond to this tragedy, they will have the support of the American people.

 

 

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Ms. Gabrielle Giffords Writes For The New York Post


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

 

Barack Obama, Gabrielle Giffords

 

 

 

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR The New York Times.

A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip

By GABRIELLE GIFFORDS
Published: April 17, 2013

 

 

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SENATORS say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.

On Wednesday, a minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms — a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count.

Gun Control Congress

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.

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I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association, which in the last election cycle spent around $25 million on contributions, lobbying and outside spending.

Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo — desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation — to go on.

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I am asking every reasonable American to help me tell the truth about the cowardice these senators demonstrated. I am asking for mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You’ve lost my vote. I am asking activists to unsubscribe from these senators’ e-mail lists and to stop giving them money. I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences.

People have told me that I’m courageous, but I have seen greater courage. Gabe Zimmerman, my friend and staff member in whose honor we dedicated a room in the United States Capitol this week, saw me shot in the head and saw the shooter turn his gunfire on others. Gabe ran toward me as I lay bleeding. Toward gunfire. And then the gunman shot him, and then Gabe died. His body lay on the pavement in front of the Safeway for hours.

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I have thought a lot about why Gabe ran toward me when he could have run away. Service waspart of his life, but it was also his job. The senators who voted against background checks for online and gun-show sales, and those who voted against checks to screen out would-be gun buyers with mental illness, failed to do their job.

They looked at these most benign and practical of solutions, offered by moderates from each party, and then they looked over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby — and brought shame on themselves and our government itself by choosing to do nothing.

They will try to hide their decision behind grand talk, behind willfully false accounts of what the bill might have done — trust me, I know how politicians talk when they want to distract you — but their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest. I say misplaced, because to preserve their dignity and their legacy, they should have heeded the voices of their constituents. They should have honored the legacy of the thousands of victims of gun violence and their families, who have begged for action, not because it would bring their loved ones back, but so that others might be spared their agony.

This defeat is only the latest chapter of what I’ve always known would be a long, hard haul. Our democracy’s history is littered with names we neither remember nor celebrate — people who stood in the way of progress while protecting the powerful. On Wednesday, a number of senators voted to join that list.

Mark my words: if we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s. To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.

 

Gabrielle Giffords, a Democratic representative from Arizona from 2007 to 2012, is a founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, which focuses on gun violence.

 

 

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