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Giffords pleads for gun curbs; NRA fights back

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From page A1 | January 31, 2013 | 8 Comments

WASHINGTON — Severely wounded and still recovering, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords begged lawmakers at an emotional hearing Wednesday to act quickly to curb firearms because “Americans are counting on you.” Not everyone agreed, underscoring the national political divide over gun control.

Giffords’ 80-word plea was the day’s most riveting moment, delivered in a hushed, halting voice two years after the Arizona Democrat suffered head wounds in a Tucson shooting spree that killed six people. The session also came two months after 20 first-graders and six women were slain by a gunman who invaded Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

At the same hearing, a top official of the National Rifle Association rejected Democratic proposals to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and said requiring background checks for all gun purchases would be ineffective because the Obama administration isn’t doing enough to enforce the law as it is.

Even if stronger background checks did identify a criminal, “as long as you let him go, you’re not keeping him from getting a gun and you’re not preventing him from getting to the next crime scene,” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president. He said poor enforcement is “a national disgrace.”

Giffords, who retired from Congress last year, focused during her brief appearance on the carnage from armed assailants.

“Too many children are dying,” she said at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now.”

Guiding her in and remaining to testify was Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut who is Giffords’ husband. The couple, who both owns guns, has formed a political action committee called Americans for Responsible Solutions that backs lawmakers who support gun restrictions.

“We’re simply two reasonable Americans who realize we have a problem with gun violence and we need Congress to act,” Kelly said.

Wednesday’s session played out in a hearing room packed to capacity. While both sides appealed to their followers beforehand to arrive early and fill the room, most in the public audience of around 150 appeared to be gun-control sympathizers, including relatives of the shootings at Virginia Tech.

“There should be gun control,” said Neeta Datt of Burtonsville, Md., who with Christa Burton of Silver Spring, Md., was first on line for public seats. Both are members of Organizing for Action, the Obama political organization that is now pushing his legislative agenda.

The hearing kicked off a year in which President Barack Obama and members of Congress are promising to make gun restrictions a top priority. Obama has already proposed requiring background checks for all gun sales and reviving both an assault weapons ban and a 10-round limit on the size of ammunition magazines, and several Democrats have introduced bills addressing those and other limitations.

After the hearing, Giffords and Kelly met privately with Obama at the White House.

At the Capitol, senators’ remarks during the hearing illustrated the gulf between the two parties.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined others in lauding Giffords but expressed little interest in curbing firearms.

“Unfortunately in Washington, emotion I think often leads to bad policies,” said Cruz, a freshman elected with strong tea-party backing. He said gun control efforts too often “restrain the liberties of law-abiding citizens,” not criminals.

Republicans blamed the nation’s gun troubles on a list of maladies including a lack of civility, violent video games and insufficient attention to people with mental problems. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, top Republican on the panel, said that while he welcomed the renewed focus on guns, “The deaths in Newtown should not be used to put forward any gun control proposal that’s been floating around for years.”

Democrats countered that a need to improve gun restrictions was obvious. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said omitting gun limits from the debate “is like not including cigarettes when discussing lung cancer.”

Republicans and the NRA are not the only hurdles Democrats face in trying to push gun legislation through Congress this year. It is also unclear what several Democratic senators facing re-election in GOP-leaning states in 2014 will do, such as including Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the committee’s chairman, said he hoped his panel would write gun control legislation next month, though he did not specify what it might contain. In his opening remarks, he voiced support for requiring broader background checks that would help keep criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining firearms, and he has also introduced legislation that would make it a federal crime for someone to purchase a gun for a person who would not be legally allowed to have one.

Reflecting the emotion that the gun issue taps into nationwide, Wednesday’s three-and-a-half-hour hearing featured numerous clashes between senators and some of the witnesses who testified.

“You are a large man,” Gayle Trotter, a senior fellow with the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, told Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., as he questioned her about gun curbs he favors. “You are not a young mother who has a young child” she might have to defend, she said.

At other points, Democrats on the panel contested LaPierre’s argument that criminals would simply ignore expanded requirements for background checks. Such checks are currently required for gun purchases from licensed dealers, but not some firearms bought in conjunction with gun shows or online.

“That’s the point. The criminals will not go to purchase the guns because there’ll be a background check. It will stop them from original purchase. You missed that point completely. It is basic,” said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Under questioning from Leahy, LaPierre said that in a reversal his organization no longer supports universal background checks for gun purchasers as it did years ago.

“Back in ’99 you said, ‘No loopholes, nowhere,’ ” said Leahy, referring to testimony delivered more than a decade ago. “Now you do not support background checks for all.”

Giffords, a surprise witness, was helped to her chair as the hearing began by committee Leahy and others. She’d been working on her remarks for a week, but decided to deliver them Tuesday evening, said Pia Carusone, her former chief of staff who is now executive director for Americans for Responsible Solutions.

Kelly recounted the January 2011 attack on Giffords and others and described her battle to regain basic skills.

“Gabby’s gift for speech is a distant memory,” he told the senators. “She struggles to walk, and she is partially blind. Her right arm is completely paralyzed. And a year ago she left a job she loved serving the people of Arizona.”

Toward the end of the hearing, Kelly said he had just gotten word of another Arizona shooting that occurred during Wednesday’s session. That shooting in a Phoenix office building left three people wounded, and the shooter was being hunted.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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Discussion | 8 comments

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  • Another NWO revenge PSYOPJanuary 31, 2013 - 7:13 am

    Gabrielle Giffords Was Not The Target ~ It Was U.S. Federal Judge John Roll: The Sheriff’s Judge Who Upheld The Constitution And Reversed Congress’s Brady Bill!

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  • Interesting...January 31, 2013 - 7:21 am

    •CIA/Homeland Security/Napolitano smuggling operation came to the attention of three individuals, two members of Congress and a federal judge. The three were Arizona Democratic Representatives Giffords, Republican Representative Mike Conaway from west Texas, and Judge Roll.............. •Federal Judge John McCarthy Roll was the Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona who this past Friday issued what is called a “preliminary ruling” in a case titled “United States of America v. $333,520.00 in United States Currency et al” [Case Number: 4:2010cv00703 Filed: November 30, 2010] wherein he stated he was preparing to rule against Obama’s power to seize American citizens money without clear and convincing evidence of a crime being committed.

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  • The Cover Up HmmmmmmmmJanuary 31, 2013 - 7:31 am

    1.The mainstream media spliced and aired the 911 calls to make it appear that there was only one shooter at the scene and avoided airing the entire 911 calls that would have revealed descriptions of shooter(s) that did not match Jared Lee Loughner as well as reports that at least two people got away.......... 2.September 2008 – Jared Loughner reported to Foothills Police Department that his identity has been stolen when a fake MySpace page was discovered. He claimed that he looked up on ‘PeekYou’ and found a page that had his ‘old picture’ when he had longer hair. He reported to the police that he thought his friend ‘Alex’ had done it. Interestingly, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp quickly sold the MySpace Company just over 5 months following the shooting, according to the NY Times. It was sold for $35 Million to a company called, Specific Media. Murdoch sold the MySpace Company for $545 Million less than what he paid! (2011, Steller; NY Times)............ 3.In a background check, Loughner’s shows a history of living in San Diego, CA 4.Loughner was NOT Jewish, he was Catholic according to an independent genealogy check compiled by Ron Kampeas, from Jewish World Review............ 5.Jared Lee Loughner never appeared on the Pima County Sheriff’s Department booking roster on the day of the shooting............. 6.One eyewitness claims that the man at the scene the day of the shooting did not look like the photo(s) of the man that has been shown to the public for over a year and a half. 7.No ‘live’ footage of Jared Lee Loughner has been shown to the public. Only courtroom drawings and alleged photoshopped mug shots have been shown to the public............... 8.Jared saw a psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Thomas Brittain in 2007. He had a private practice in Tucson and was sub-contracted by the Department of Defense (DOD). Dr. Brittain died earlier this year just two weeks prior to the death of Gabrielle Giffords’ author, Jeffrey Zaslow, columnist and former employee of Wall Street Journal and Sun Times............. 9.911 calls and eyewitness testimony suggests that 3, possibly 4, shooters were at the scene that day based on descriptions of the shooter........... 10.Initial reports from eyewitnesses claim the ‘shooter’ was shot dead at the scene and other witnesses claimed they heard more than one gun being fired........... 11.Jared Lee Loughner performed ‘magic’ at the scene and fired more bullets than his Glock 19 and extended magazine could hold............

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  • ContinuedJanuary 31, 2013 - 7:35 am

    12.Police dispatch tapes claim that the ‘gun’ was not found upon arrival at the scene and the “officers were looking for it in the grass that day.” These dispatch tapes do not coincide with the official story that the ‘heroes’ claimed they ‘took away his gun’ when they tacked him and secured the scene....... 13.No security was provided at the political rally at the Safeway store that day, which suggests that the police may have been given a stand-down order.......... 14.A witness claims ‘tents’ were being set-up at the scene two hours prior to the shooting. Police claim that the tents were brought in for forensic support following the shooting......... 15.Jared Lee Loughner listed a phone number on a Administrative Office of Courts, Arizona Superior Court (AOC) document in 2010 that came back under the name of ‘D. Green.’ Two people have come up in this case including Dallas Green, grandfather of Christina-Taylor Green and Dr. D. Lee Green who also did a studywith Dr. Lynne Fenton who was the psychiatrist for the recent alleged Aurora, Co shooter, James Holmes.......16.Jared was referred to the Juvenile system in Pima County following some teenage petty offenses and was hospitalized at Sonora Behavioral Center for treatment after a incident at school when he appeared drunk...............

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  • See over and over MK-ultra Mind ControlJanuary 31, 2013 - 7:42 am

    These shooters are on Psycotropic drugs and under the "care" of Dept. of Defense connected Psychiatrists. We are all being manipulated by corrupted "law enforcement", lying Main Stream media, High level Illuminati Government PSYOPS, Illuminati Politicians both Democrat and Republican.....So let us see all this gun suff including above was done on the Democratic Watch...Hmmmmmmmm currently be spearheaded by DIANE FEINSTEIN.....Also remember 911 was an inside job on the Republican watch. PRAY for yourself and our country we are in so much DANGER.

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  • ContinuedJanuary 31, 2013 - 7:55 am

    17.The Atlantic featured an article with a video on the day of the shooting that shows two vehicles. The Nova appears to have old plates on it and does not match the description of a yellow Nova in a police report in 1994. I also found it interesting that the plate color is not the current AZ plates. I searched the AZ DMV and found that none of the 2010-11 plates matched the plates shown in the AP Press released vehicles. Most interesting, a search of previous license plates in Arizona turned up a maroon plate was issued from 1980-1997. This plate shown on Loughner’s car was plates from this period. Why then did the officer not notice his plates were approximately 14 years old when he was pulled over the morning of the shooting? In another police report filed in 1996, Amy Loughner reported her tags were stolen off her 72’ chevy.........20. Bill Ayer’s wife, Bernadine Dohrn has connections to the Pima County juvenile system. Bernardine Dohrn is now a professor at Northwestern University and is on the Board of Directors of an organization called, W. Haywood Burns Institute that believes high criminal behavior among the juvenile youth is caused by discrimination. The W. Haywood Burns Institute also aims to get the United Nations (U.N.) to take an active role in American juvenile justice, while charging fees to work with local governments. The non-profit group, based in San Francisco, has described itself as an organization that leads in the field of juvenile justice and ethnic and racial disparities reduction. Dohrn is also on the board of directors of the Northwestern University Child & Family Justice Center (2012, Northwestern Law Education). Recently, National Review published an article titled, The Dohrn Connection -Eric Holder’s DOJ funds a Dohrn-connected organization stated, “In 2010 and 2011, the Justice Department saw fit to give $400,000 in grants to an organization that lists Dohrn as a member of its board of directors: a $150,000 grant in September of 2010 and a $250,000 grant a year later.” Eric Holder is currently in trouble with the ‘illegal’ gun running scandal called, Fast & Furious, where the ATF illegally dealt guns to Mexico for the purpose of creating and promoting instability. They have justified their criminal behavior and Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry, was killed with a gun connected to the gun running scandal. As the scandal is currently unfolding in American history, the ‘gun-running’ scandal goes deeper into corruption than one could imagine, including – disarming Americans. Pima County Juvenile Court Center – Model Dependency Court participates in the Juvenile Detention Alternative programs, which ties to W. Haywood Burns Institute, which Bernadine Dohrn is on the board of directors Bernadine Dohrn wanted by the FBI 197021. Jared Lee Loughner claimed in 9thCircuit Court documents that he “was not an American citizen” and “he did not want to be forced medicated” because “he does not do drugs.”22.Jared Lee Loughner was sent to Springfield, Mo federal prison to be medicated back to sanity. Following the transfer to Springfield, the CIA advertised for an ‘Operational Psychologist’ who would be responsible for providing “behavioral science consultancy” for the intelligence community. ........

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  • Supreme Court Complicit in all thisJanuary 31, 2013 - 8:10 am

    Chief Justice's Statement on Death of Judge Roll....January 08, 2011........ Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., issued the following statement regarding the January 8, 2011, death of Chief Judge John Roll.......... Statement from Chief Justice Roberts:......... The violence in Arizona today has senselessly taken five lives and inflicted tragic loss on dedicated public servants and their families. We in the judiciary have suffered the terrible loss of one of our own. Chief Judge John Roll was a wise jurist who selflessly served Arizona and the nation with great distinction, as attorney and judge, for more than 35 years. I express my deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his children, as well as the other victims and their families. Chief Judge Roll’s death is a somber reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it..................AND OH YEAH THE "SUPREME COURT" knows, they know, they are controlled by the Illuminati also.....so NO WAY was Obama care going to be shot down by the Supreme Court. If you read the book Bloodlines of the Illuminati...you will find the name of Kagan very prominently mentioned....See Bloodlines, it goes back a long way...setting up for the arrival of the Anti-Christ....READ REVELATION IN THE BIBLE. All you evil people are still REDEEMABLE, especially you low level Illuminati, do not participate, get out now.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • See so true....January 31, 2013 - 8:17 am

    The sacrifices of those who work to secure it. If you oppose the system prepare to be sacrificed, quite literally. Like JFK, MLK, countless good FBI, CIA, Intelligence personnel, good Federal DOJ, good Military Commanders, more people than you will ever know have been eliminated to cover up 911.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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