WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., penned an op-ed in The USA Today slamming Congress for their inaction and calling on voters to push for gun control.
Giffords, who was shot in the head at an event by a gunman, testified last year before Congress to motivate them to pass a gun control law that would expand background checks for gun sales and ban certain semi-automatic weapons. The bill was defeated by a group of Republicans in the Senate.
"Given the opportunity to stand up to the gun lobby by supporting legislation favored by two-thirds of Americans, these senators did what all politicians do when they fear upsetting powerful interests: They voted for the status quo," wrote Giffords, as she expressed her disappointment with the faction of senators.
Giffords said that despite the bill's failure, she and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, will continue their efforts to promote a "surge in mental health services, mental health 'first aid' programs to identify and intervene in problems before it's too late, and a background check system that will stop the most dangerous among us from buying guns, by getting records in the system and closing the Internet and gun-show loopholes."
She continued to speak to advocates for "common-sense gun policies" when she said that if Congress won't pass legislation to prevent people like Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza from getting their hands on guns, then representatives should be voted in who won't listen to gun advocacy groups.
"And come November, surely some of those politicians who were unwilling to stand up to the gun lobby a year ago will face the consequences at the ballot box," Giffords wrote. "They will wish desperately that they had heeded the will of their constituents."
[HuffPost Live] [USA Today]