David Frum

01.30.13

Mark Kelly: 'Gabby and I are pro-gun ownership. We are anti-gun violence'

Official White House Photo/Pete Souza ()

At the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on gun violence, Capt. Mark Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords' husband, spoke on behalf of Giffords on reasonable gun control policies. Here is a summary of his remarks (video below):

"Gabby's 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."

“We are simply two reasonable Americans who realize we have a problem with gun violence, and we need Congress to act... Gabby and I are pro-gun ownership. We are anti-gun violence.”

"Behind every victim lies a matrix of failure...in our society's approach to poverty, violence and mental illness."

"When dangerous people get guns, we are all vulnerable."

"As a nation we are not taking responsibility for the gun rights that our founding fathers have conferred upon us."

“We believe whether you call yourself pro-gun or anti-gun violence, you can work together to pass laws that save lives."

Video screenshot

Kelly later said:

"Jared Loughner bought that gun with the intention of assassinating my wife.[Wayne] LaPierre tried to make the point that criminals do not subject to background checks, but the man who shot my wife was a criminal. My wife would not sitting where she is here today if we had stronger background checks....A universal background check is a common sense thing to do,"

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords also made an 82-word statement. While the remarks were short, it was the powerful moment of the day because of the visible effort required to deliver the speech.

Thank you for inviting me here today. This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats, and Republicans.

Speaking is difficult but I need to say something important.

Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying - too many children. We must do something.

It will be hard. But the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be Courageous. Americans are counting on you. Thank you."