Five years ago, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D–AZ) was nearly fatally shot. Specifically, “A deranged gunman killed six people and wounded about a dozen others, including Ms. Giffords, at one of her constituent events in Tucson in January 2011.” Certain things, like speaking, are still more difficult for Giffords, but she has said that her incident made her a “stronger, better, tougher” woman.
Since then, Giffords has promoted stricter gun control, continuing with her message even after she resigned from Congress in 2012 to focus on her recovery. With her husband Mark Kelly, she founded Americans for Responsible Solutions to “encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership by communicating directly with the constituents that elect them.” Now, she and her husband have been out showing their support for Hillary Clinton for President and Clinton’s proposed stricter gun laws.
Whether you agree with her or not, the fact is that Hillary Clinton wants to further restrict the rights given to us under the 2nd amendment of the Constitution. It seems common sense that Giffords, a woman who was shot in the head, would support this and she does. However, Giffords still appreciates the recreational use of guns, speaking to the press about how she likes shooting at a gun range near her home. She and her husband are avid gun owners. Her husband says, “There’s no reason why we can’t have our right to ownership and at the same time, do everything we possibly can to keep guns [away from certain people].”
That’s a tricky issue. One way to look at this is that Giffords and her husband promote the fact that Clinton wants to further dictate what others can do, but they find no need to follow the rules themselves. However, another view is that by controlling who can buy a gun, they are trying to save lives. In 2010, for example, 11,078 deaths were attributed to homicide by gun. But is the solution to simply take guns away from the people who are most likely to misuse them, like the mentally ill? Consider the fact that the number of people mortally wounded by guns is equal, for example, to that of motor vehicle accident death. (The number of deaths by gun fire also includes suicide, which is the largest cause of gun death. Motor vehicle accidents are much less likely to be suicides, so presumptively taking away guns from those inclined to commit suicide, simply means that those people would have to think of new ways to kill themselves. It would likely not save lives.)
In further restricting who is allowed to buy a gun, the government would be taking away guns from the many people who do not and would not misuse them. I see no comparable law or proposed law for motor vehicles. The opposing valid views on the same issue are specifically why gun control law has been a big issue in government since before I can remember, and it doesn’t look like it’s about to stop being one anytime soon.
Personally, I know that the “gun issue” has gotten a lot of press. People seem to think that restricting the use of guns will eliminate violence. Even though I have never shot a gun myself, I have family members who, just like Ms. Giffords and Mark Kelly, are avid hunters. My family members who do shoot are not, nor could they be, mistaken for terrorists, criminals, or mentally ill. The obvious issue with the law is that once government does not allow one person to buy a gun, what is to stop them from preventing more people, such as my family members, from buying a gun.
Regardless of my personal views on the “gun issue”, the fact that Giffords, after being shot in the head, still has the cognitive ability to go out and promote this law is remarkable. I think her recovery is an inspiration for every brain injured person, and really an inspiration to all people.