As hard as the senior staff at Giffords may try to convince the public that the gun control group is only interested in a few “common sense” and “reasonable” restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, there’s simply no getting around the fact that their founder is vehemently opposed to gun ownership altogether.
The gun control group is using the Veteran’s Day holiday to push for “commonsense gun safety regulations” on social media, and declared that “it’s not a binary choice of guns or no guns.”
As several X users reminded the anti-gun organization, however, their own founder would disagree with that statement. According to Gabby Giffords, it is a binary choice, and she’s come down on the side of “no more guns.”
I’m honestly somewhat surprised that Time hasn’t conveniently taken their story offline so gun owners can’t link back to their story quoting Gabby Giffords on her fundamental goal for her organization. Published in April of this year, the piece by Philip Elliott included portions of a sit-down interview with the former congresswoman, including her blunt statement about wanting to get rid of every gun in the country.
Giffords has the gravitas befitting a former member of Congress, a personal story that few—although too many—can match, and a manner that makes saying no to her near impossible. It would be folly to mistake her slow walk for weakness, her sometimes halting speech for confusion about the tasks at hand. From the outside, it would appear she is struggling, but it’s clear in conversations with her and her coterie that she’s never been more clear about the mission.
As we wrap our interview in her office, I ask how she keeps coming back to a challenge so deeply ingrained in politics. She pauses for 12 pregnant seconds.
“No more guns,” she says.
Ambler, her aide and adviser, tries to clarify that she means no more gun violence, but Giffords is clear about what she’s saying. “No, no, no,” she says. “Lord, no.” She pauses another 32 seconds. “Guns, guns, guns. No more guns. Gone.”
Elliott and Giffords’ aides did their utmost to downplay her remarks. At one point in his piece Elliott claimed that “even their [Giffords and husband Mark Kelly] biggest critics know better than to call them anti-gun activists”; an absolutely absurd assertion given that she told him her goal is “no more guns.” He also helped cover for her when another aide tried to explain away her remarks.
An aide clarifies that she’s talking about Australia, where gun sales were outlawed after a mass shooting and existing weapons were purchased by the government. Giffords nods in the affirmative. It’s an idealistic goal, for sure, and one perhaps mismatched for the moment in this country. But Giffords has an answer for that: “Legislation, legislation, legislation.”
Gun sales were not outlawed in Australia after their compensated confiscation program in the late 1990s. In fact, there are more privately owned firearms in Australia today than before the “buyback” took place. Those are the facts, but they don’t change the spin that the Giffords team tried to put on her comments with help from the Time reporter. According to them, she doesn’t actually want “no more guns,” just a ban on gun sales and the government purchase of “existing weapons”. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like “no more guns” to me, even if that’s not what actually happened in Australia.
Gabby Giffords has the right to her opinion, obviously. Second Amendment supporters, however, are under no obligation to aid or abet that delusion, and they have their own right to remind the public of what her stated agenda actually is, instead of what the organization that bears her name pretends it to be.