Gabby Giffords was a member of the House of Representatives before a mentally unstable man with a fixation on her tried to kill her and shot a bunch of other people as well. It was a horrible incident that changed Giffords.
We can all get that.
But while Giffords would often try to portray herself as pro-gun before the incident, now she’s gone full-on anti-Second Amendment type. She formed a group named after herself and has worked to pass new gun control laws throughout the nation.
And part of her strategy is to trigger emotions, which is all her latest stunt is designed to do.
Fighting is something former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords of Arizona has been doing since she suffered a severe brain injury after being shot in the head while publicly speaking to her constituents in 2011.
At Exposition Park Tuesday, she unveiled a new memorial to bring awareness to the thousands of lives lost to gun violence every year. The display of well over 3,400 vases with white flowers represents a Californian who lost their life to gun violence in 2020.
The former Congresswoman made the stop in California as part of a national tour featuring a gun violence memorial installation from state to state.
She unveiled a memorial at the National Mall in Washington earlier this year, which displays 40,000 flowers in remembrance of those killed by guns in the U.S. each year.
Of course, Giffords won’t mention that two-thirds of those “killed by guns” are suicides, meaning they took their own lives by their own choices.
But that doesn’t really help the narrative. If folks found out that homicides were much, much lower than that, they’d likely be less inclined to support gun control, so Giffords just doesn’t mention that part out loud.
The annoying thing is, though, that this kind of thing works on some people. They see this display and it somehow makes it feel more personal. Gun control can’t win based on the facts, so it has to win based on emotion, and the anti-Second Amendment types are great at playing with emotions.
What the gun rights side needs to do is counter this with an installation of our own. One with something marking each defensive gun use that takes place in the United States each and every year.
Let people see just how many more times guns are used to defend life than to take it. Make an impact with just how much the Second Amendment matters when it comes to things like personal safety. Make it clear that guns aren’t just something criminals use, but that millions more ordinary Americans protect themselves than the handful of criminals who misuse firearms.
Do that and make it stick and see just how fast Giffords has to find a new tactic to elicit an emotional response.
Make no mistake, things like this do sway people. Maybe not a ton, but enough that we would do well to remember that and to work to counteract it.
Unless you want to eventually find yourself disarmed, that is.