Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been named this year's recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award. The JFK Library and Museum announced Friday that the Arizona Democrat is being honored for the "political, personal, and physical courage she has demonstrated in her fearless public advocacy for policy reforms aimed at reducing gun violence."Caroline Kennedy [video] will present the award on May 5th. Anyone who's followed Arizona politics has known Gabby since she was a young, up-and-coming legislator representing southern Arizona. She was always very approachable and helpful, so I happily followed her career when she was elected to the U.S. Congress. Although Gabby was a little too Blue Doggy for some, she was in a competitive district and probably couldn't support every progressive policy without risking her seat, especially on topics like guns and immigration. Still, even though she supports gun rights, because she's a Dem who has hinted at reform, she consistently received a D rating from the NRA.
She and husband Mark Kelly have conducted themselves admirably since a bullet passed through Gabby's skull a little more than two years ago. It was clear after Newtown that she and Kelly intended to be a voice for sensible gun laws, and their planning resulted in the PAC Americans for Responsible Solutions. They've been running 30-second ads like this one in targeted states, urging citizens to call elected officials in DC:
The PAC's ad that airs here in Arizona includes a telephone number for Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain, both of whom carry an A rating from the NRA. McCain has indicated he will support background checks, but Flake, who is a long-time friend of Giffords (he held her hand on the House floor as she resigned her seat), has said her plea didn't sway him. Don't bother calling me, constituents, even though more than 8 in 10 of you support background checks.
Please join me below the fold to learn about those who are less than thrilled about Giffords receiving this award.
Apparently the JFK award didn't sit well with some Arizonans either, if the comment thread at abc15.com is any indication. Here's just a sample:
I survived a gunshot too. And I kept my values and principals. Giffords is a liar. either she was lying then when she proposed to be an advocate of gun rights or she is a liar now that she is against gun rights. Yes, I can see how you would admire the squid like qualities of a nutty politician. You're a nutty squid too.An interest in Architeuthis dux notwithstanding, it sounds like getting shot and nearly killed can't possibly change one's values. Losing a young staff member and seeing a little 9-year-old girl murdered shouldn't, by itself, allow a lawmaker to rethink her views on guns. And how is Giffords "against gun rights" if she wants to, say, limit the rounds in a clip? Where does the Second Amendment say everyone has a right to a 30-round magazine? And what is she lying about anyway? It's not like Giffords, who received a D from the NRA, supported every gun-rights proposal and now she's flip-flopped.
Gee, courageous award? For what? Just because she survived a gun shot wound qualified her for an award? If so, what about our military men and women? They get shot at every day, but they don't get medals and/or awards! More liberals are patting themselves on the back for echoing the same left-wing ideology, but ignore the real folks who risk their lives for our country every day! Hypocrites!Hmm, I was in the military a long time ago, and my memory might be a little clogged, but I do recall receiving medals for my service. Did they stop giving medals and awards to our servicemen and -women after I left? Did I not get that memo? And, yes, it's the liberals who don't support the troops because we don't have yellow ribbon magnets on our SUV. All we're doing is lobbying for a veterans jobs bill and additional VA funding—the programs that GOP yahoos like Sen. McCain have gutted.
Geez I wish she would have just crawled away and became a teacher or something. Look she's doing her best GW Bush - get caught sleeping by terror spend the rest of his convincing his minions that he's tough on terror. Gabby get's caught with her pants down on security - spend the rest of her life on an anti gun crusade. Wow people and their hereos.If you want to just fade from the public's memory, crawl away and become something meaningless like a teacher. I guess that tells us how much this person values education! (Or the spelling does.) Someone 'splain the Bush-Giffords comparison, please! Evidently Bush didn't see 9/11 coming and Giffords "get's caught with her pants down on security" and didn't anticipate Jared Loughner, even though nobody sent her a memo titled "Loughner Determined to Shoot Giffords and Others in Tucson" (like Bush's Aug. 1, 2001 warning). So Bush invades Iraq and kills hundreds of thousands of innocent people, while draining the U.S. treasury, and Gabby lobbies for gun safety. I can see how the two are the same.
neither person JFK or Giffords did anything courageous. he was a womanizer who slept around on his wife and died of an assassination, goffords got pegged in the head and recovered. I dont see a single reason for this award to be named after JFK or given to giffords, what a jokeJFK did nothing courageous, as a Navy seaman during WWII or as a president. Nothing on civil rights, nothing on the Cuban missile crisis, nothing with the Peace Corps or the space race. Anyway, what's so courageous about sleeping around and getting shot in the head? Lotsa jerks have done that. JFK died while I was sitting in Mrs Long's Latin class, then Gabby was "pegged" and only "recovered." Big deal.
For what? Courage? There are more deserving people who have more courage to stand up for what they believe in! Gabby Gifford survived a gun shot wound and is getting an award. Where, a 15-year old Syrian girl was shot in the head for speaking up for women--she also survived! Where is her award?Oh, so now we're comparing head-shot wounds, because there are only so many awards to go around. Not to let facts get in the way, but Malala Yousafzai is 14 and a Pakistani. She has received awards, and deserves a lot more! I guess this commenter thinks awards for courageous people who "stand up for what they believe in" are limited, like the Oscars.
The haters, tea party goobers, NRA nutballs and other rightwing loonies cannot stand that Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, both gun owners, Second Amendment supporters and public servants, have come out in favor of sensible gun laws that a majority of Americans also support, even here in guntopia Arizona.
That she survived a deadly attack and underwent numerous operations and years of painful therapy means nothing to Arizona's gun lobby. No courage there—she's only partially blind and paralyzed. Hell, if she wants to display real courage, after being shot in the head, she'd come out in favor of more guns, larger clips and fewer regulations. Now that would be courageous! These people are shameless. I'm going to shower the hate off now, if I can find the industrial-strength soap.
The Profile in Courage Award seeks to make Americans aware of the courageous acts of their public servants, and to encourage elected officials to choose the public interest over partisanship—to do what is right, rather than what is expedient. JFK LibraryThat's Gabby. Suck it, asshats.