Former Rep. Gabby Giffords saw her political career, as it was going, put to an end by a madman. No one thinks what happened to her was justified.
It’s not surprising that she recovered and started a gun control group. I don’t think anyone was overly shocked by that.
However, many of Giffords’ supporters have argued over and over again that people like her respect the Second Amendment and just want what they call “common sense” gun control.
The problem is Gabby didn’t get that memo.
As we wrap our interview in her office, I ask how she keeps coming back to a challenge so deeply ingrained in politics. She pauses for 12 pregnant seconds.
“No more guns,” she says.
Ambler, her aide and adviser, tries to clarify that she means no more gun violence, but Giffords is clear about what she’s saying. “No, no, no,” she says. “Lord, no.” She pauses another 32 seconds. “Guns, guns, guns. No more guns. Gone.”
An aide tried to say what she meant was something like Australia, but that’s not what Giffords said.
Further, based on quotes throughout the piece, her mind is sharp enough that if it were, she’d have said it. She didn’t. She never mentioned Australia. No, she said, “No more guns.”
In fact, she apparently said it twice.
What Giffords did was say the quiet part out loud.
We’ve long argued that gun control advocates’ endgame was the complete disarmament of the civilian population. They might not be advocating for that explicitly at the moment, but that’s where the incrementalism was going to inevitably lead.
We were called crazy, paranoid, and a few things not fit to print.
Yet here we are. One of the leading voices of the gun control debate – one held up as the perfect spokesperson due to her own personal experiences – says, “No more guns.”
That puts the Giffords organization in a bad spot. They either agree with “no more guns,” or they don’t. No one should accept the claim that the former congresswoman was talking about Australia when she clearly never mentioned it. They need to be pressed and pressed hard over this, and any talk of being like Australia should be questioned even harder.
They either need to defend Gabby’s comments or disavow them. It’s that simple.
But they won’t.
Further, it’s not like the media is interested in doing anything except covering for her, as the above-linked Time piece does. They merely accepted the aide’s explanation as if that was all that needed to be said. They were given an excuse, and they ran with it.
No one else should accept this, though, because either Giffords is cogent enough to speak on behalf of gun control, or she’s not. If she is, then her words should be taken at face value as anyone else’s would be.
If not, she probably doesn’t need to be making the rounds advocating for a policy that she’s not cogent enough to adequately define her position on before a member of the press.