Gabby Giffords Pens Emotional, Angry Op-Ed

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 18 2013 10:37 AM

Giffords Sums Up Her Disgust With Congress in a Scathing Op-Ed: "Shame on Them."

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Gabrielle Giffords arrives for a press conference where US President Barack Obama spoke on gun control and the vote at the US Senate on April 17, 2013 in the Rose Garden

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Wednesday evening, shortly after Senate Republicans used a filibuster to derail an already watered-down compromise on extending background checks, President Obama used a Rose Garden address to blast the lawmakers behind the effort, saying they "caved to the pressure" from the gun lobby, which itself "willfully lied" about the legislation. Surrounded by Newtown families and Gabby Giffords, it was as visibly angry as many have seen the president.

This morning, Giffords, who still struggles speaking aloud since being shot in the head in early 2011, had her say in an emotional op-ed in the New York Times. She didn't pull any punches either. Here's a snippet:

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. ...
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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Read the full thing here. It's worth your time.

***Read more on Slate about gun control, and follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.