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Giffords asks Congress for bold gun-control bill

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 30, 2013 at 9:46 a.m. Updated January 30, 2013 at 11:18 a.m.

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Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously injured in the mass shooting that killed six people in Tucson, Ariz., two years ago, center, arrives, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, to speak before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on what lawmakers should do to curb gun violence in the wake of last month's shooting rampage at that killed 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn. From left are, the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and her husband Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut, Giffords, right.

— Wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords urged Congress on Wednesday to enact tougher curbs on guns, saying, “too many children are dying” without them.

“The time is now. You must act. Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you,” she told the Senate Judiciary Committee at Congress’ first gun control hearing since 20 elementary school children were shot to death in Newtown, Conn., late last year.

She spoke haltingly, a result of the wounds suffered when she was shot in the head in an attempted assassination two years ago that left six others dead.

But in conflicting testimony a little more than an hour later, a top official of the National Rifle Association rejected bans on certain assault weapons and high capacity magazines advocated by President Barack Obama and gun control advocates in Congress.

Under persistent questioning from Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the panel’s chairman, the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre also conceded that in a reversal, his organization no longer supports universal background checks for gun owners. He said the current system is a failure because the administration doesn’t prosecute potential violators aggressively.

“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.”

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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PaulRevere says... January 30, 2013 at 10:33 a.m.

Warped logic. "I got shot, so we should ban all guns." "I got hurt in an accident so everybody should have to wear a seatbelt." "I backed over my own child, so all cars should have rear cameras." Why should all of society be saddled with more and more regulation, just because of the actions of a very small group?

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Packman says... January 30, 2013 at 11:09 a.m.

I may be as confused as Gabby, but when she says: "Too many children are dying", is she talking about the 3,000 unborn children killed each day via abortion on demand or the fractional percentage of that figure murdered by madmen with guns? Is she concerened about all innocent children dying or just those that fit a liberal cause? Hey, I'm just asking.......

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LETSBEREALISTIC says... January 30, 2013 at 12:03 p.m.

Gifford, like most liberals, is totally out of touch with reality. The Democrats are focusing on guns when guns aren't the issue. It's a small segment of the population that have mental issues that drive them to do these killings, just like a suicide bomber except using different tools for destruction. I'm sorry but Gifford is just a pathetic poster child who has lost her mental faculties and is being used by the liberals to garner an emotional based response rather than dealing with the real problem!

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HotSpringsLawyer says... January 30, 2013 at 12:18 p.m.

Really - what a whiner. What does she have to complain about?

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rainbowharold55 says... January 30, 2013 at 12:28 p.m.

The next time I hear that tired comparison of reproductive choice and the culture od gun violence I'm gonna puke.

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lazybar says... January 30, 2013 at 12:35 p.m.

rainbow hopefully you will do it on one of your liberal cronies

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toddm76 says... January 30, 2013 at 12:52 p.m.

Only in Arkansas do you see the kind of comments that have been posted about this issue and Mrs. Giffords. You people are truely back woods, brain washed people. I pray nothing like this ever happens to YOU or YOUR family. YES, I did say "you people".

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HotSpringsLawyer says... January 30, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.

Toddm, I hope you recognized the intended sarcasm in my comment. Otherwise, I agree with you. Absolutely unbelievable.

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kalessin1977 says... January 30, 2013 at 1:48 p.m.

toddm76, I will gladly take my back woods folks any day over bleeding heart liberals who have a narrow and shallow view of human nature in relation to historical perspective. If liberals in Conneticut and other states want gun control then it needs to be enacted on the local level. National mandates are not the means of achieving anything but resistance, and distrust of the national mechanisms and thought processes. Conneticut already has state bans against all the kinds of weapons that the liberals are trying to push through Congress and it worked just great to defend those babies in Newtown didn't it? The harder the libs push for their great new world order the further they push us apart as a nation. When the world falls apart and the real criminlas are running around unfettered, Arkansas will stand on its own backed by people who you thought were backwards. Don't come asking for protection.

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Dontsufferfools says... January 30, 2013 at 2:26 p.m.

Packman, Fair and Balanced answered your question before you asked it. In America we hold some principles higher than life itself. It is more convenient to use cars and highways and sacrifice 30,000 lives or so each year than to not drive. We allow women who don't want to carry babies to term and then raise them, the option of abortion. We allow wide-ranging gun rights so people can hunt, target shoot and feel safer knowing that many thousands will die each year because the guns will be misused. Of course we all have personal choice. No one is forced to drive, have an abortion or own a gun. Even you argue that it's better to sacrifice a few — the innocent slaughtered by madmen with guns — than deprive everyone of a right. Now imagine the gestapo tactics needed to protect life at conception. Registries for pregnant women; inquiries when miscarriages occur; doctors and women going to prison.

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