Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on gun violence yesterday. She labored over her words as she called on lawmakers to “do something” about gun violence:
“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.”
Gabby Giffords has been a poster child of sorts for gun control ever since she was shot by Jared Loughner 2 years ago at a meeting she was holding with constituents. But she wasn’t the only federal official shot.
There was a federal judge that was not only shot, but killed. Why don’t they call it the “Judge John Roll shooting?” Well, the media claim rather authoritatively that Judge Roll wasn’t actually the target of Loughner. Giffords was. They claim Loughner didn’t even know who John Roll was. I don’t know how the media “just know” these things.
I think they obsess over Giffords because she is a liberal Democrat and a woman. Loughner is a white guy who the media and Anti-Defamation League were able to tie to right-wing, anti-government, conspiracy theorist groups, which is what they do with every white person that is critical of the government. (Never mind the fact that former classmates of Loughner described him as being an “extreme, left-wing radical.”) So, the fact that he shot and killed a federal judge who was considered a conservative just didn’t fit in with their narrative. Therefore, they chose to completely ignore his assassination and instead focus on an injured victim.
But what would Judge John Roll say about Sandy Hook and gun violence if he were alive today? I think he would come out on the side of gun rights because in 1994, he ruled on a case brought forth by Sheriff Richard Mack that challenged the Constitutionality of the Brady Act that had been signed into law a year before by President Clinton. Among other things, this legislation imposed a 5-day waiting period on handgun purchasers and required local law enforcement officials to check prospective buyers’ backgrounds to determine whether they are prohibited from owning guns for reasons ranging from being convicted felons to having mental illness.
In his written opinion, Judge John Roll ruled parts of the Brady bill unconstitutional. He wrote:
“The Court finds that in enacting section 18 U.S.C. 922(s)(2), Congress exceeded its authority under Article 1, section 8 of the United States Constitution, thereby impermissibly encroaching upon the powers retained by the states pursuant to the Tenth Amendment. The Court further finds that the provision, in conjunction with the criminal sanctions its violation would engender, is unconstitutionally vague under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
So, he stood up for states’ rights in determining their own gun laws and against federal laws that sought to encroach on states’ rights.
Later in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Giffords’ husband spoke and paid lip service to the 2nd Amendment by saying that he and his wife Gabby are gun owners. That’s a little hypocritical, don’t you think? Not just because they’re gun owners and gun grabbers at the same time. But with all the talk about the need for mental health screenings and making sure those with even a history of mental illness are barred from ever owning a firearm, Gabby Giffords owns a gun? She may not be mentally ill per se, but she suffers from brain damage. And isn’t it a little irresponsible for Gabby’s husband to own a gun himself presumably in the same house as his wife? Not only that, but Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly admitted that Gabby “struggles to walk, and she is partially blind.” These people should not be owning guns according to their own rules.
If these politicians really want to “do something,” and they think guns are the problem, they should get rid of their own guns first.