April 18th, 2013

Rare, clear, condemning opinion from a politician — Gabby Giffords on cowardly senators

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords wrote in a New York Times guest editorial forcefully about her feelings toward (46) U.S. Senators who voted against the gun control package of bills on April 17. Excerpts from her Op-Ed article are below.

We advocates for anti-bullying legislation are told to tiptoe around lawmakers lest we offend them. Meanwhile the business lobbyists lie about bullying and the specifics of our bill. We get crushed by remaining civil and polite. It’s time for a change.

But Giffords reminds us that elected officials work for us and can be fired when they make wrong decisions. When their self-interest in re-election funds overwhelm doing the right thing for public safety and they coddle the NRA and Gun Owners of America and do their bidding instead. Her remarks are not delicate. Candor from this former politician is welcome.

We take her words as inspiration for all who help the campaign to enact the Healthy Workplace Bill. Giffords is a one-issue advocate now, like us. She spares no wrath when telling the truth. We should be so bold.

Here is some of what she wrote:

Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.

I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” …

I am asking every reasonable American to help me tell the truth about the cowardice these senators demonstrated. …

I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences. …

They will try to hide their decision behind grand talk, behind willfully false accounts of what the bill might have done — trust me, I know how politicians talk when they want to distract you — but their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest.

Read the text of her full editorial.


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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 18th, 2013 at 11:51 am and is filed under Commentary by G. Namie, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), The New America, Workplace Bullying Laws. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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