Says he and Gabby are “angry” but focused on “getting this done.”
Following the Senate’s failure to pass the gun-control bill Wednesday, Mark Kelly—the husband of former representative Gabby Giffords—urged those fighting for stricter gun control to perservere. “What the Senate did yesterday was wrong. We’re angry, but we’re going to focus on getting this done,” he said. “This about building a more perfect union and protecting the general welfare.” Kelly said he was inspired not only by his wife, but “the passion of total strangers” who are standing behind them. Kelly insisted that he and his wife will not give up until stricter gun legislation is in place. Quoting Gabby, he said, “If Congress will not act, then we will have to change who is in Congress.”
The bipartisan push to tighten rules on gun purchases has failed in the face of fierce NRA opposition. Howard Kurtz on why the post-Newtown legislation fell short.
Despite the backing of longtime NRA backer Harry Reid and conservative Republican Pat Toomey, the Senate failed on Wednesday to muster enough support to pass a compromise measure tightening background checks for gun purchases.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) (R) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speak to the press about background checks for gun purchases, in the U.S. Capitol building April 10, 2013 in Washington DC. (Allison Shelley/Getty)
The vote was 54-46 in favor of the amendment, which is six votes short of the number needed to defeat any GOP delaying tactics.
The poisonous toxin reportedly mailed to President Obama is rare, deadly—and featured on ‘Breaking Bad.’ Caitlin Dickson on the key things to know about the mysterious substance.
Two days after twin bombs hit the Boston Marathon, leaving three dead and 183 others hospitalized, two suspicious-looking letters, one on its way to the Capitol Hill office of Sen. Roger Wicker and another addressed to President Obama, have been been intercepted and tested positive for the poison ricin.
Office manager Kristina Damico holds castor seeds at Sheffield's Seed Co. in Locke, N.Y., Thursday, April 15, 2004. The beans, also known by its scientific name of Ricinus communis, are the main ingredient in making the poison ricin. (Kevin Rivoli/AP)
Authorities say they see no connection between the suspicious letters and the Boston attacks. Still, the back-to-back events are unsettlingly reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks and the weeks that followed, during which several members of Congress and the news media received letters laced with the deadly bacteria anthrax.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon attacks the Westboro Baptist Church took to twitter to spew hate and threatened to picket victims’ funerals. Former member Lauren Drain, author of Banished, advocates finding peace in the face of their first amendment right to spread vitriol.
I am a 27-year-old woman. I am a daughter and a sister. I am a nurse. I am a competitive athlete, a runner. I am an American. I am a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church. I used to spew hate. I was the ultimate bully.
Mourners gather on the edge of the pond in the Boston Public Gardens for a candlelight vigil April 16, 2013 in Boston; Westboro Baptist Church members displaying signs while protesting a military funeral in Iowa, April 18, 2006. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty, Charlie Neibergall/AP)
When I learned about the senseless social media campaign that Westboro members began on Monday with messages like, “God Sent the Bombs,” I decided I couldn’t remain silent. The church feeds off publicity, so it feels dangerous to discuss them at all, but I think it’s important to stand up to them rather than remain silent, to speak out against their hate as silence does not deliver justice.
There were mean rants after the Boston attacks—but more voices urging restraint, sympathy, and cooperation. Lauren Ashburn on how social media has grown up.
It didn’t take long after the bombs exploded in Boston for the online haters and petty partisans to rear their ugly heads.
A woman takes a cellphone shot of a poster on Boylston and Arlington streets in Boston on April 16, a few blocks from where two explosions struck near the finish line of the Boston Marathon the day before. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty)
Radio host Alex Jones suggested on Twitter that the bombings may have been a “false flag” operation staged by the Obama administration itself.
In Washington to lobby for stricter gun laws, Mark Kelly talks about going up against the NRA and whether he’s planning to run for office. By Eleanor Clift.
After his wife, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was nearly assassinated two and a half years ago, former astronaut Mark Kelly became a gun-control activist who, with Giffords, founded a gun-safety organization called Americans for Responsible Gun Solutions. The couple is in Washington this week to lobby senators to support legislation to expand background checks for gun buyers. They have joined forces with another group activated by tragedy, the families of the Newtown victims, doubling down on the power of their collective experience in what history will record as the personalization of gun-control lobbying.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) (L) talks to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) before U.S. President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty)
Kelly says that in a series of one-on-one meetings with members of Congress, the lawmakers were cordial and respectful to Giffords, but too often noncommittal on support for gun legislation. Having the Newtown families in the room can be a first step in changing the dynamic, and can even seal the deal. “When you meet with parents who have lost a 6 year old, it’s difficult to look that person in the face and say you’re not going to do anything,” says Kelly.
Officials are reporting that the Boston bombs were placed in a pressure cooker, a tactic used by the terrorist group. That doesn’t prove a link, but it raises important questions, says Eli Lake
A key component of the bombs used yesterday in the attacks on the Boston Marathon resemble the kind of homemade bomb al Qaeda has encouraged English-speaking terrorists to use.
The Daily Beast has confirmed with U.S. counter-terrorism officials that the bombs placed Monday at the marathon were made from pressure cookers, a crude kind of explosive favored by insurgents in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A recipe for a bomb that uses the pressure cooker was part of the debut issue of Inspire, the English-language online magazine of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
People run from the scene of an explosion near the finish line at the Boston Marathon April 15, 2013. (David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe, via Getty)
The question is not whether the feds missed something. They did. The questions are what, and where, and why?
For years a simple message has been posted, in one form or another, all over public transport in Boston: “See Something. Say Something … Instincts tell you to do something? Do something. Call this number …” One sees much the same slogan in New York, in Washington, or for that matter in Paris and London. Public vigilance is an important part of preventing terrorist attacks. And if bystanders on Boylston Street in Boston near the marathon finish line on Monday had seen a couple of stray backpacks, or someone dumping too-large packages into garbage cans, and said “something,” maybe—just maybe—three people would be alive today and more than a hundred could have been saved from injury.
FBI agents talk with firefighters and investigators at the scene of the Boston Marathon explosions. (Charles Krupa/AP)
But the first, most important line of defense against terrorist attack is not the public, and it’s not even the cops. It’s not metal detectors or high-tech aerial surveillance. And it’s certainly not the threat of after-the-fact jail time for the bombers in this age of suicidal terrorism.
No doctor can truly prepare for a tragedy like this. Kent Sepkowitz, a former ER physician, on the prognosis for victims with missing limbs and how medical workers cope amid crisis.
As yesterday’s statistics in Boston—three dead, more than 100 seriously injured—turn into specific, heartbreaking human stories, the role of the emergency rooms scattered throughout Boston will fade quickly into the background. This is as it should be; emergency health care is the job of the emergency room, after all. But the roles of hundreds of doctors, nurses, and other staff will be forever traumatized by what they witnessed, as described so vividly in December after the Newtown shootings.
Medical workers aid an injured woman at the scene of the explosion near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. (Charles Krupa/AP)
I worked as an attending doctor in New York City ERs for four years, but I never had to deal with anything like what Boston's ERs handled yesterday. You just don’t see these types of injuries in an urban American hospital. In fact, ERs are usually boring places to work. Yes, there are moments of TV-worthy drama and tension, but in general, serviceable health care is delivered as quickly as possible with a forced smile.
In a rousing commencement speech at Morehouse College, the president urged the graduates to become the influential black men that this country needs. 'You now wield something even more powerful than the diploma you're about to collect, and that's the power of your example,' said Obama. 'Use that power for something larger than yourself.'