Former Arizona congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords will y visit the family of victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. (Photo : Reuters)
Former Arizona congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords will visit the family of victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. The visit was confirmed by the spokesman for Connecticut Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman to NBC and ABC. The event will be private and not open to the public or media.
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Giffords, along with husband astronaut Kelly, have been strong advocates of gun-control legislation, especially after Giffords was shot in head in January of 2011 by gunman, Jared Loughner.
On Thursday, Giffords and Kelly met with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss the issue of gun-control legislation. Like Giffords, Mayor Bloomberg is also an advocate of stronger gun-control legislation.
Although neither the mayor nor Giffords divulged the details of the meeting to the media, the mayor posted a picture of the meeting on his official Twitter page and Giffords said on Facebook "Nice to visit with Mayor Bloomberg while we are in NYC."
The issue of gun-control has occupied a prominent place in the national debate as well, with President Obama pushing for amendments in the current gun-control legislation.
The president has vested responsibility to Vice President, Joe Biden, to guide lawmakers in constructing possible changes in the nation's gun control legislation.
In a speech at Newton after the shooting, President Obama said, "no single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can't be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this," as reported by CNN News.
The president has given responsibility to his vice president for good reason. In 1988, Biden introduced a Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which took nearly six year to pass through congress, which it did in 1994. In 2007, Biden looked to pass the Crime Control and Prevention Act. Both of these legislations deal with federal gun-control and also seek to strengthen background checks on purchases of weapons as well as stricter mental health assessment of those who purchase weapons.
Senator Diane Feinstein, judiciary committee chair, also announced that she will work to create a legislation that would ban assault weapons.
According to the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the president will support Feinstein's efforts. According to Wall Street Journal, Carney also said, "the president would consider limits on high-capacity magazines and would back efforts to prevent people from buying guns through unlicensed dealers without a background check."
On January 8, 2011, Loughner opened fire in Tucson, Arizona shooting six people including nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green and U.S. District Judge John Roll. Giffords was shot in the head and then in the stomach, the shot injuries have left the 45-year-old with permanent speech impairment and a limp. The 13 other victims also suffered from severe injuries.
Loughner pled guilty to 19 charges of murder, while the judge dismissed 30 other charges against him. The plea allowed Loughner to escape the death penalty after experts testified that the 23-year-old suffered from schizophrenia, despite reports from that he was mentally competent to stand trial.