Aug 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Gabby Giffords at DNC: "We can let the shooting continue, or we can act"

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), in her longest public remarks since suffering a severe brain injury in a 2011 assassination attempt, addressed the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night with a call to action for voters seeking to end gun violence in America: "We can let the shooting continue, or we can act."

Why it matters: The third night of the DNC began with a strong emphasis on policy — first gun control, with appearances from Parkland Shooting survivor Emma González and the parents of gun violence victims, and then climate change. Both consistently rank as key issues for young voters.

What they're saying: "I've known the darkest of days. ... Words once came easily; today I struggle with speech. But I have not lost my voice," Giffords said. "America needs all of us to speak out, even when you have to fight to find the words. We are at a crossroads. We can let the shooting continue or we can act."

  • "We can protect our families, our future. We can vote. We can be on the right side of history. We must elect Joe Biden. He was there for me, he'll be there for you too," Giffords said.
  • "Join us in this fight. Vote, vote, vote," Giffords concluded.

Between the lines: Democrats are unlikely to successfully pass gun control legislation under a Biden administration unless they reclaim the Senate and alter the chamber's rules to ban filibusters.

  • Biden has yet to concretely say if he would direct his Senate allies to pursue abolishing the filibuster if elected president.
  • He told the New York Times in July that whether he backs abolishing the filibuster will "depend on how obstreperous they become,” referring to Senate Republicans.
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