Brace yourselves, because this may come off as being a little mean.
Gabby Giffords. She was a Democrat member of Congress who suffered a gunshot to the head at the hands of a madman. She is lucky to be alive, and everyone is thankful for that. However, she has suffered significant trauma, and continues to have difficulty speaking and walking, and her right arm is paralyzed. She's lost 50% of her vision in both eyes.
It's worth noting that she was a strong pro-gun representative, and expressed a firm belief in the Second Amendment.
However, things change. Now she is the figurehead of an anti-gun organization, "Americans for Responsible Solutions," that is largely run by her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. In just the last few months, most notably after the Newtown tragedy, Kelly has stepped up his anti-gun campaign, pandering to the masses for support of, you guessed it, "common-sense" gun control.
You might hope that given the name of the organization and given the distinguished service of its founders, that this organization is somehow different from other "responsible"-sounding organizations.
"We have a problem -- where we shop, where we pray, where our children go to school," Giffords says to the camera in one of the ads. "But there are solutions we can agree on, even gun owners like us." The screen then says: "Tell Senator Grassley to support background checks." Gabby Giffords has become the James Brady of a new generation, a lightning rod for sympathy in the face of tragedy. In other words, we have an emotional tie, and that's where the lies gain a foothold.
"Even gun owners like us." This is subtle, but effective, and is from a 6-figure ad campaign running in Arizona right now. An almost identical ad ran earlier in the year: "The ad -- at a six-figure buy -- will air this week in DC, as well in the cities represented by congressional leaders: San Francisco (Nancy Pelosi); Cincinnati, OH (John Boehner); Louisville, KY (Mitch McConnell); and Las Vegas, NV (Harry Reid)."
So there you have it. What little respect I had for Mark Kelly has now gone the way of Nancy Pelosi. I don't blame Giffords, because quite frankly, I believe she's being used the same as any other defenseless pawn in this game.
There's no common sense here. It's the same attack, using the same pathetic tactics, using a tragedy to promote a political agenda. Don't fall for it.