BLIZZARD / HAZARD Tournament volunteers walk along the golf course after a snow storm suspended play for the day at the Match Play Championship golf tournament, on Feb. 20, in Marana, Arizona. (Photo: Ross D. Franklin / AP via NBC Nrews)
What (former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, seen here with husband Mark Kelly at their Tucson home) can do is help save at least some children from being mowed down by guns and a few parents from a lifetime of grief. It’s an honorable task that, given our politically polarized culture, can actually get you hated.
After her visit to Newtown, Giffords was assailed on Facebook by a Connecticut politician, who went after her in Wild West language one shouldn’t direct at the survivor of attempted murder. “Gabby Giffords stay out of my towns!” wrote this woman, who went on to accuse Giffords of “pure political motives.”
In fact, her motives are more pure than political. The gunshot wound that nearly took her life has removed any political aspiration; paradoxically enough, it may have freed her in certain ways. When I ask (New York senator Kristen) Gillibrand if her friend has changed since the shooting, she pauses in cautious senatorial fashion and then replies, “She was always positive, but now she’s more positive than I’ve ever known her. Some of the cynicism that weighs on your shoulders as a young congresswoman, that’s gone.”
Giffords will need that positivity in her struggle for sensible gun laws, one that respects the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms but regulates it, as the constitution also says. We have, of course, been here many times before. The U. S. passed an assault-weapons ban in 1994 only to see it expire ten years later when Congress, seemingly cowed by the gun lobby, didn’t renew it.
…Everyone realizes this will be hard, not least Giffords, who knows intimately the political temperature on Capitol Hill—and in the country. For tens of millions of Americans, there’s a deep-seated attachment to guns; in fact, fearful that new laws may make it harder to get firearms, people have been purchasing them in accelerated numbers. Still, things are happening both in the states (where, for example, New York has passed new gun legislation) and federally, with President Obama taking more than 20 executive actions and proposing tough new laws.
…Are you optimistic? I ask as she, Kelly, and I chat after the photo shoot. “Yes,” she says, “in the long term.”
And what about the short term?
Giffords just shrugs and gives me the smile of one who has learned the hard way not to expect too much too soon.
(Photo by Norma Jean Roy / Vogue)
STEPHEN COLBERT, reacting to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in United States v. Arizona, on The Colbert Report.
Of Arizona’s right to enforce its own racist immigration laws, Scalia wrote “In the first 100 years of the Republic, the United States enacted numerous laws restricting the immigration of certain classes of aliens,” which included convicts and freed slaves.
To which Colbert replied “Yes, the first hundred years of the Republic — the good old days.”
The Arizona Senate approved a bill Tuesday to shield doctors from “wrongful birth” lawsuits, which can arise if physicians don’t tell pregnant women of prenatal problems that could lead them to decide to have an abortion. The measure now goes to the House. State Sen. Nancy Barto, who sponsored the bill, said allowing medical malpractice lawsuits endorses the idea that someone is to blame if a child is born with a disability. Opponents say the bill is unnecessary and would infringe on a woman’s reproductive rights.
Arizona. Continuing to test the bounds of ignorance, indecency and hatred in every possible direction.
Full interview: Sheriff Joe Arpaio goes at it with Univision’s Jorge Ramos
In a contentious ten-minute interview, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio talks to Jorge Ramos about his bad reputation among Latinos and dismisses the Justice Department’s investigation into allegations of racial profiling in his department.
Let me preface this video by stating that here is nothing that I can come up with here that will do this video justice, it is 5 minutes and 17 seconds of genius. You’ll simply have to watch it for all of the brief remarks.
In the video, Rep. Luis Gutierez (D-Ill) takes “on the GOP and Mitt Romney’s characterization of Arizona’s onerous anti-immigration policies as a ‘model’ the U.S. should follow.” From the HuffPost,
And with this, the Congressman is off to the races, counting exactly how Arizona’s law is a terrible model for the rest of the country:
- “One, if you’re a politician, Arizona’s law is a model for how to achieve early retirement.”
- “Two, if you want to wreck your local economy, Arizona’s law is a model for lost jobs and tax revenue.”
- “Three, Arizona’s law is a model for how to energize Latino voters.”
- “Four — and I’ll stop at four because my time in limited — Arizona’s law is a model on how to make decent people suffer.”
Rep. Luis Gutierrez began his speech by stating well-known Latino demographics (the number one way to scare politicians) and then stating, “that’s a lot of people to keep track of, especially if you want to offend each and every one of them.” Can you feel the burn? I can. I hope it’s not a rash.