Gabby Giffords Is A Genuine Bad-Arse


Via the Washington Post. Apparently skydiving was one of the pleasures it was assumed Ms. Giffords would never again enjoy. Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane may not be my idea of a good time, but kudos to her for not letting a sadsack with a gun stop her. Yesterday, in the NYTimes:

…[T]hree years ago, dispatched to an almost certain death by an assassin’s bullet, I was allowed the opportunity for a new life. I had planned to spend my 40s continuing my public service and starting a family. I thought that by fighting for the people I cared about and loving those close to me, I could leave the world a better place. And that would be enough.

Instead, I’ve spent the past three years learning how to talk again, how to walk again. I had to learn to sign my name with my left hand. It’s gritty, painful, frustrating work, every day. Rehab is endlessly repetitive. And it’s never easy, because once you’ve mastered some movement or action or word, no matter how small, you move on to the next. You never rest.

I asked myself, if simply completing a normal day requires so much work, how would I ever be able to fulfill a larger purpose? The killing of children at the school in Sandy Hook a little over a year ago gave me my answer. It shocked me, it motivated me, and frankly, it showed me a path. After that day, my husband and I pledged to make it our mission to change laws and reduce gun violence in a way that was consistent with our moderate beliefs and our identities as proud gun owners. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, that special interests were arrayed against us, that congressional dysfunction was an enemy…

We will seize on consensus where it exists, on solutions big or small. We will fight for every inch, because that means saving lives. I’ve seen grit overcome paralysis. My resolution today is that Congress achieve the same. How? Step by step: Enhance enforcement by passing a law making gun trafficking a serious crime with stiff penalties. Make it illegal for all stalkers and all domestic abusers to buy guns. Extend mental health resources into schools and communities, so the dangerously mentally ill find it easier to receive treatment than to buy firearms. And even as we lay the groundwork for expanding background checks, pass strong incentives for states to ensure the background-check system contains the records of the most dangerous and violent among us…

Sure, it’ll never give Mark Halperin a glow in his tire-swing neurons (unlike watching a Repub yell at teachers or throw his subordinates under the bus), but who would you rather have on your side?

20 replies
  1. 1
    aimai says:

    What a woman! What an inspiration!

  2. 2
    Seanly says:

    She’s ten-times the person most of our pundits & ruling class think they are.

    Sky diving is a lot of fun. I only got to solo jump once (static line), but loved it.

    Also, I’d like to hear more about her take on guns. I only own a 22 rifle, but I love shooting targets. I’m pro reasonable regulations and effective enforcement.

  3. 3
    Yatsuno says:

    If she hadn’t been shot, I honestly think she’d be the junior Senator from Arizona instead of Jeff Flake. Hell I bet she could defeat Grandpa Walnuts if she tried. She is a bastion of courage, and taking on a mission that really matters in our current gun culture.

  4. 4
    Cassidy says:

    She ain’t no Edward Snowden, though. That’s a profile in courage.

  5. 5
    pacem appellant says:

    I have a total crush on her. Is that bad? (What can I say, I’m attracted to head-strong, proud blondes).

  6. 6
    Belafon says:

    Someone should sneak a comma after skydive.

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Agreed. She could very well be Senator Giffords.

    Anne: thanks for putting up this link. I’d not seen it.

  8. 8
    Tractarian says:

    C’mon man, nobody says “bad-arse”

  9. 9
    gogol's wife says:

    I love her. Her op-ed in the Times was fantastic. An inspiration for when we get depressed about guns in America. It’s a long haul.

  10. 10
    Tone In DC says:

    Gabby is off the chain.
    I like it.

  11. 11
    Trollhattan says:

    Mark Kelly spends his life being the most awesome person in the room, right up until he goes home. I’m glad they have each other. I’m glad we still have Gabby, even while sad she’ll never again hold national office.

  12. 12
    Shortstop says:

    She’s wonderful. And so is skydiving.

  13. 13

    Gabby also literally got back on the horse (her own) this fall. Came to my attention because we were talking about her rehab at the dinner table. My then-13-yr-old, who has her own struggles with her right side, suggested that I ask whoever in Tucson whether the lady who got shot might want to ride her (mature) horse while we were in town.

    In the process of attempting to extend this offer (the lady was out of town attending a gun show with Republican NRA members, I shit you not) I found video of Ms Giffords riding in a round pen. That, my friends, is a bad-ass.

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    @Trollhattan: I was on a flight with Mark Kelly. We were waiting to board and I looked over and thought, “that guy looks familiar.” Then I realized who it was. He was wearing a leather jacket and boarded in the first group. When the rest of us boarded he was sitting in first class. He was shorter than I’d expected. Seemed to be by himself.

    Gabby is amazing. What she’s accomplished is so impressive.

  15. 15
    MomSense says:

    They are inspiring and honorable people. I don’t know if any of you watched her testimony to Congress on background checks but there was so much emotion behind her words. It was an incredible moment.

  16. 16
    Steeplejack says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    “Bad-arse”? Seriously? Faux-Brit slang fail.

  17. 17
    Elizabelle says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords showed up in a WaPost story about Creigh Deeds’ return to the Virginia Senate. Deeds, you might recall, is the one-time gubernatorial candidate whose 24-year old son stabbed him and then shot himself, during a mental crisis (his family had been searching for a psychiatric bed for him, unsuccessfully that day).

    The veteran lawmaker sat quietly at his back-row Senate desk Wednesday, eyes lowered, set apart from the usual bonhomie and backslapping that marks the opening day of the Virginia General Assembly. It was Sen. R. Creigh Deeds’s first public appearance since the November afternoon when he was attacked at home by his mentally ill son, who then took his own life.

    … The jagged crimson scars across his forehead and cheek were visible every time he looked up to say a brief thank-you, before returning to his papers. But they were not lurid, not disfiguring in the way that many had feared.

    … Deeds’s emergence in Richmond recalled for many the surprise appearance of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) on the floor of the U.S. House six months after she was shot in the head during a “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson. She and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, have gone on to devote themselves to reducing gun violence.

    Remembering the sometimes overwhelming well-wishes — and curiosity — that greeted his wife on her return, Kelly sent Deeds a recent e-mail wishing him good luck with his return to the spotlight. “It’s going to be an emotional time for him,” Kelly said in an interview. “Gabby and I will be thinking of him.”

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    She’s awesome.

  19. 19
    WereBear says:

    She’s right. It’s going to take dedication and tenacity, but it can be accomplished.

    And I can’t think of anything more public spirited. Maybe she won’t be a Senator. But maybe she can be something even bigger and better.

  20. 20
    J R in WV says:

    She was our congresswoman in AZ until the shooting. We get letters and emails from her and Mark often.

    Whenever I get down because I’m older and parts don’t work like they used to, I think of Gabby, and kick myself in the ass.

    She is a hero, strong beyond my powerful imagination. We should watch her, emulate her, prize her, and help her. Along with her amazing husband, Mark! He is no doubt part of the mix that allows her to flourish and grow as she recovers from her ghastly injury.

    I still can’t believe how well she is recovering from a horrific injury. She is amazing. I am so glad to have working for our common good!

    What a role model for all of us walking around today.

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