Mark Kelly: Gun rights demand responsibility
Husband of Gabrielle Giffords addresses Senate hearing
- Duration 6:51
- Date Jan 30, 2013
Husband of Gabrielle Giffords addresses Senate hearing
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Thank you chairman Leahy and ranking member Grassley for inviting me here today.
I look forward to a constructive dialogue.
With your committee.
I also want to take the opportunity to congratulate -- friend.
And much respected former colleague Jeff flake on his new role as Arizona's junior senator.
As you know our family has been in measurably affected by gun violence.
-- gift for speech.
Is a distant memory she struggles to walk and she is partially blind.
And a year ago she left a job she loves serving the people of Arizona.
But in the past two years we have watched -- -- determination.
And intellect conquer her disabilities.
We aren't here as victims were speaking to you today as Americans.
-- a lot like many of our fellow citizens following this debate about gun violence.
Daddy was a Republican long before she was a Democrat.
We're both gun owners and we take that right and the responsibilities.
That come with it very seriously.
And we watch with horror.
When the news breaks to yet another tragic shooting.
After twenty kids in six of their teachers were gunned down in their classrooms.
At sandy hook elementary.
This time must be different.
Something needs to be done.
We are simply too reasonable Americans.
Who have said.
On January 8 of 2011.
A young man walked up to Gabby and her constituent event in Tucson.
Leveled his gun and shot her through that bad.
He then turned down the line.
And continued firing.
In fifteen seconds.
He emptied his magazine.
It contained -- 33.
And there were 33 wounds.
As a shooter attempted to -- -- he fumbled a woman -- the next magazine and others restrained him.
-- was the first victim.
Christina Taylor Green nine years old.
Born on 9/11 of 2001.
Was shot with the thirteenth bullet or after.
And others follow.
The killer in the Tucson shooting suffered from severe mental illness but even after beamed to -- even after being deemed unqualified for service in the army.
And expulsion from pima community college he was never reported to mental health authorities.
On November 30 of 2010 he walked into a sporting goods store passed a background check and walked out with a semiautomatic handgun.
He had never been legally adjudicated as mentally ill and even if he had.
Arizona at that time had over.
Records of disqualifying.
Mental illness that it had not submitted -- to the system.
Looking back we can't say with certainly.
Only if we had done this this would have never happened.
There isn't just one thing that would have prevented the Tucson shooting from being written into the history books.
Gabby is one of roughly 100000.
Victims of gun violence in America.
Each and every year.
Behind every victim lazy matrix of failure and in -- -- in and in adequacy.
In our families in our communities.
In our values in our society's approach to poverty.
Violence and mental illness.
And yes also in our politics.
And in our gun laws.
One of our message is as simple the breath and complexity of gun violence is great but it is not an excuse for inaction.
There's another side to our story.
Gabby is a gun owner and -- a gun owner.
We have our firearms for the same reasons that millions of Americans.
Just like us have guns to defend ourselves.
To defend our families.
And for target shooting.
We believe wholly and completely in the Second Amendment.
And that it confers upon all Americans the right to own a firearm for protection collection.
We take that right very seriously.
And we would never ever give it up just like Gabby would never relinquish her gun and I would never relinquish mind.
But rights demand responsibility.
And this right does not extend to terrorists.
It does not extend to criminals.
And it does not extend to the mentally ill.
When dangerous people get guns we are all vulnerable.
At the movies at church conducting our everyday business meeting with a government official.
And time after time after time.
At school on our campuses.
And in our children's classrooms.
When dangerous people get dangerous guns we are all the more vulnerable.
Dangerous people with weapons specifically designed.
To inflict maximum what balloting upon others.
Have turned every single corner of our society.
Into places of carnage in gross human loss.
Our rights are Paramount.
But our responsibilities.
And as a nation we are not taking responsibility.
For the gun rights that our founding fathers have conferred upon us.
Now we have some ideas.
On how we can take responsibility.
First -- gun background checks the holes and our laws make a mockery.
Of the background check system.
Congress should close the private sales -- Paul and get dangerous people.
Entered into that system.
Second remove the limitations on collecting data in conducting scientific research on gun violence.
A -- and enact a tough federal gun trafficking statute.
This is really important.
Let's have a careful and civil conversation.
About the locality.
Of firearms we permit to be legally bought and sold in this country.
Gabby and I -- pro gun ownership.
We are also anti gun violence.
And we believe that in this debate.
Congress should look not towards special interest and ideology.
Which puts -- push -- apart.
But towards compromise.
Which brings us together.
We believe whether you call yourself pro gun or anti gun violence or ball.
That you can work together to pass laws that save lives and can thank him I think.