On August 22 Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly praised Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) for caving on gun control. Giffords and Kelly subsequently announced that their gun control group–Americans for Responsible Solutions–is endorsing Toomey and Kirk in the November elections.
Writing on CNN.com, Giffords and Kelly highlighted Toomey and Kirk’s willingness to break with the Republican Party and support Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) post-Sandy Hook gun control push. Manchin pushed universal background checks in 2013, which Giffords and Kelly describe as one of many “lifesaving policies” they support.
Ironically, Giffords and Kelly do not mention that the man who shot and wounded Giffords on January 8, 2011, passed a background check to acquire his gun. Nor do they mention that the Orlando Pulse gunman (June 12, 2016), the Umpqua Community College gunman (October 1, 2015), the alleged Lafayette theater gunman (July 23, 2015), the Chattanooga gunman (July 16, 2015), the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal gunman (June 17, 2015), the Fort Hood gunman (April 2, 2014), the DC Navy Yard gunman (September 16, 2013), the Aurora movie theater gunman (July 20, 2012), the 2009 Fort Hood gunman (November 5, 2009), and nearly all other high-profile attackers of the last 15 years passed background checks as well. Perhaps mentioning these things would undercut the claim that background checks are a “lifesaving” policy.
Yet in spite of the fact that background checks pose no hindrance to determined attackers–and simply result in more gun control on the backs of law-abiding citizens–Toomey and Kirk supported Manchin’s push and now, Giffords and Kelly are supporting Toomey and Kirk.
Giffords and Kelly write that the months leading up to the 2016 elections have seen “Americans [speaking] out like never before, standing up to the gun lobby and demanding change from elected leaders.” They are counting on Toomey and Kirk to stand against to gun rights groups like the NRA and Gun Owners of America and fight for more gun control on law-abiding citizens.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.