A gun shot from Jared Lee Loughner, who legally was able to purchase a firearm, could have ended former Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ life. Instead, going through recovery, Giffords is now pushing for stronger, more comprehensive background checks.
On March 5, Giffords and her husband’s gun control group began airing. Now she is holding a lobby for this cause at the same site as the shooting, at a Tucson Safeway. Giffords, along with other survivors from the incident that occurred over two years ago, are pushing for the Senate to pass better legislation. The March 6 event had sheriff’s deputies providing improved security.
After the Tucson shooting, numerous efforts to improve gun background checks were proposed. At the time, this included addressing and ultimately closing the gun show background check loophole. Because of Loughner’s condition, mental health was further considered to have a greater role in these screenings.
Nevertheless, even with Giffords’ efforts, the bill is likely to stall in the Senate. While the legislation backed by President Obama has been receiving greater national attention, one Republican senator with a fair amount of clout is said to prevent the bill from passing.
Sen. Tom Coburn has been ambivalent about being a co-sponsor of the bill. What particularly keeps him from making a decision is the role of private gun records. Democrats supporting the legislation want better records of private gun sales kept, including enforcing gun background checks. In the event a crime is tied to a particular firearm, these records would assist police officers.
Instead of depending so heavily on Coburn, other co-sponsors are looking to get the bill passed without him.
Gun background checks after the Tucson shooting, and more recently after the Newtown massacre, have come under fire for being ineffective, and legislation, on a state and national level, could influence better regulation of sales. Where do you stand on this issue?
- Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Giffords, testifies for universal gun background checks (denverpost.com)
- Gabby Giffords takes gun control message to scene of Tucson shooting (scooprocket.com)
- Gabrielle Giffords speaks at Tucson shooting site (newsfixnow.com)