NRA Openly Taunts Gunshot Survivor Gabrielle Giffords

Samantha Kilgore

Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was nearly killed from a gunshot wound sustained during an attack in 2011, returned to Capitol Hill this week in order to talk to lawmakers about expanding background checks for gun purchases.

And while opposition to expansion of background checks for gun purchases from the National Rifle Association (NRA) would certainly be expected, it was still shocking that the NRA would take a metaphorical shot at Giffords and her experience directly, but that's exactly what the organization did over Twitter.

"Gabby Giffords: Everyone Should Have to Pass Background Check My Attacker Passed."

But many believe that the NRA is missing the actual point behind Giffords' mission to make stricter background checks a priority in the United States. It is not that she believes that a background check would have saved her in particular, but that it may save others.

Slate writer Alec MacGillis summed up why Giffords, who would not have been saved by a stricter background check, still pushes for it.

"[Gabrielle Giffords] is not devoting herself to the cause of expanding background checks because that measure would have stopped Loughner, but because that measure is the one that police and criminal justice experts believe would have the biggest impact on reducing gun violence overall. The same was true of the families of the victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre: Universal background checks would not have stopped Adam Lanza, who got his guns from his mother, but the families wanted to push for whatever reform would limit shooting deaths, period. Making it harder for people with criminal records, histories of domestic violence, and adjudications for mental illness to obtain guns is one of the best measures at our disposal to do so."

Rep. Kathleen Rice, who has co-sponsored the Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015, had harsh words for the NRA's tweet.

"The NRA's brazen response is as predictable as it is pathetic. Any time someone steps up to offer common-sense solutions to prevent gun violence, extremists call it an attack on the Second Amendment, but any reasonable person can see that for what it is: blatant fear-mongering and desperate intimidation."

Giffords, who is still struggling with brain damage after being shot, has said that her injuries make talking difficult for her -- but she hasn't let that stop her crusade for more comprehensive gun laws. On Wednesday, she made her voice heard.

"Stopping gun violence takes courage. Now is the time to come together. We must never stop fighting."

What do you think? Do you support expanding background checks for gun purchases to trade shows and online dealers? And even if you don't, do you think the NRA's tweet referencing Giffords' gun shot trauma was appropriate?

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[Photo credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images]