“Too many children are dying.” –Gabby Giffords
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, victim of unspeakable gun violence, made a surprise appearance on Wednesday before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing called “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?”
Giffords, who opened the hearing ahead of testimony from NRA Executive Vice president Wayne LaPierre and many others, called on Congress to be bold, be courageous. Watch her amazingly courageous testimony here:
Thank you for inviting me here today. This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans. Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important. 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.
Here are Giffords’ notes, written by her therapist, via Brian Colligan:
If you’re curious about whether any members of this committee have received money from the NRA, Public Campaign has done the work for us:
Republican members of the committee and their leadership PACs have received at least $120,200 in contributions from the NRA’s PAC or NRA employees since the 1998 election cycle and beneftted from over $587,000 in independent expenditures since 2008, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics and Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Explorer. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the only Democratic member of the committee to receive an NRA donation, with his Green Mountain PAC PAC taking in $7,000 in donations
The biggest recipient of NRA largesse on the committee is freshmen Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). While he has received just $2,000 in direct donations from the NRA, the group spent $344,752 on independent expenditures to boost his campaign against former US Attorney General Richard Carmona (D) in the 2012 election. Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has received at least $17,850 in donations from the NRA PAC since 1998 and received $60,676 in assistance through NRA independent expenditures in his 2010 re-election.
We’ll see what effect that money has on the hearing and what else may come.
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