The husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, astronaut Mark Kelly, spoke before Wednesday’s Senate hearings on gun control to demand that Congress take actions to prevent future mass shootings.
In January 2011, Rep. Giffords was shot in the head by a pistol-wielding paranoid schizophrenic who proceeded to slay 6 other people before being subdued.
“We are simply two reasonable Americans who have said enough,” he remarked.
Armed gunmen “have turned every single corner of our society into places of carnage and gross human loss,” Kelly said.
Kelly said that Americans “are not taking responsibility for the gun rights that our founding fathers have bestowed upon us,” and urged Congress to take action on enacting new proposals to prevent mass shootings.
Kelly made several proposals, but stopped short of calling for a ban on assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. These included:
- Universal background checks for all firearms purchases.
- Closing the private sales loophole that allows an estimated 40% of gun purchasers to avoid a background check.
- Get dangerous individuals entered into the background check system.
- Remove politically motivated restrictions on collecting data and researching gun violence.
- Enact a tough federal firearms trafficking statute.
- Discuss the lethality of current firearms.
Pledging to a “careful and civil conversation” about legal firearms, Kelly was careful to mention that he and Giffords are “pro-gun-ownership.”
Americans, however, have the ability and responsibility to work together to pass laws that save lives, Kelly said.