Posts Tagged ‘Gabrielle Giffords’

DebraLee Hovey

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Tuesday, January 8. 2012

A Connecticut state representative is apologizing for a Facebook post warning Gabby Giffords to stay away, ahead of the former Arizona congresswoman’s visit with Sandy Hook Elementary victims’ families last week in Newtown.

“Gabby Giffords stay out of my towns,”  the post on the Facebook page for State Rep. DebraLee Hovey, a Republican who represents Newtown and Monroe, said last week.

Former U.S. Rep. Giffords survived a shooting in Tuscon, Ariz., in 2011 that killed six people, including a judge and a young girl. She and her husband have been advocates for stricter gun laws.

In the days after, there were several blogs and opinion pieces criticizing Hovey. On Monday, she issued an apology for the comments she posted online:

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“The remarks I made regarding Congresswoman Giffords’ visit were insensitive and if I offended anyone I truly apologize.

“My comments were meant to be protective of the privacy of the families and our community as we work to move on, and were in no way intended as an insult to Congresswoman Giffords personally.

“Our community has struggled greatly through this tragedy, and we are all very sensitive to the potential for this event to be exploited for political purposes. This is what I wish to avoid.”

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Hovey was in Florida last week to attend a board meeting of the Women in Government national organization when Giffords visited.

“The events of Dec. 14 affected all of us deeply and like many others I am still working through my grief and trying to come to terms with what happened, how we as a community and a state move forward and how we can prevent horrific events like this from occurring in the future,”  Hovey said.

“My deepest condolences continue to go out to the families, the community of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown and Connecticut,”  she continued.

Hovey’s office said she has been a strong advocate for her district and has called for a dialogue on mental health issues, improving school safety and gun control. (Sources: LeAnne Gendreau, NBCConnecticut.com)

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Gabrielle Giffords

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A national initiative aimed at curbing gun violence was launched by former US. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, on Tuesday, Jan. 8 — the second anniversary of the shooting in Tucson that killed six people and left her critically injured.

A new campaign website: Americans for Responsible Solutions, promised to “launch a national dialogue and raise funds to counter influence of the gun lobby.”

The couple last week visited Newtown, Conn., where a gunman opened fire in an elementary school, killing 20 children and six adults in December. They also met with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a gun control advocate.

“In response to a horrific series of shootings that has sown terror in our communities, victimized tens of thousands of Americans, and left one of its own bleeding and near death in a Tucson parking lot, Congress has done something quite extraordinary – nothing at all,”  the pair wrote in an editorial published Tuesday on their site and in USA Today.

“Achieving reforms to reduce gun violence and prevent mass shootings will mean matching gun lobbyists in their reach and resources,”  they wrote in the column.

“This country is known for using its determination and ingenuity to solve problems, big and small. Wise policy has conquered disease, protected us from dangerous products and substances, and made transportation safer. But when it comes to protecting our communities from gun violence, we’re not even trying — and for the worst of reasons.”

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In an interview with ABC News, the couple said the visit to Newtown brought back a lot of memories of their own ordeal two years ago.

“And you hope that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. But you know what? It does happen again,”  Kelly said.

Kelly and Giffords said they are both gun owners and strongly support the Second Amendment, but they acknowledge the need to prevent guns from ending up in the “wrong hands.”

The couple hope to work with politicians to take gun lobbyists head-on and engage the country in a discussion about preventing gun violence.

They also hope to establish a requirement for a comprehensive background check for the private sale of guns, and address the issue of the treatment of mentally ill people in the United States. Another issue they hope to tackle is that of high-capacity magazines.

“An extended magazine is used to kill people,”  Kelly, a veteran of Desert Storm, told ABC, “lots of people.” (Sources: Alastair Jamieson, Becky Bratu, NBC News )

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