This week, the Giffords group hosted a “gun violence memorial” in Manhattan’s Battery Park.
The organizers of the event lined the grass with 1,050 white vases to represent the number of individuals who lost their lives last year.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who now runs the group that bears her name, spoke to a small crowd of attendees and media members.
“I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line,” said Gifford. “Now is the time to come together, be responsible, Democrats, Republicans, everyone.”
Based on preliminary data, Giffords claims that gun violence in the Empire State was up 30 percent in 2020, when compared to 2019.
“One-thousand and fifty New Yorkers lost their lives because of a bullet from a gun. Yet, instead of action, the gun lobbying and Republican legislators are doing everything they can to weaken the gun laws that we already have on the books,” former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Florida said at the Tuesday press event.
“This memorial reminds us that Congress has let down each and every one of the families that has lost a loved one because its failure to enact meaningful gun control legislation,” New York Representative Jerry Nadler added.
The rally-goers, who are pushing what they call a #CourageToAct campaign, believe universal background checks are the linchpin to curbing violence. As such, they want Congress to act immediately to pass a law criminalizing private transfers.
Look, I live in New York. On some level, I empathize with those who lost loved ones to gun violence, as I have as well. But in our earnestness to do something about it we have to be intellectually honest about what works and what doesn’t.
Universal background checks don’t work. Period. Just think, if they were a panacea then gun murders wouldn’t be spiking in New York, as we’ve had UBCs on the books for years!
We also have a draconian SAFE Act that bans conventionally-featured black rifles and standard capacity magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds, red flag confiscation laws that allow even teachers to disarm suspected threats to public safety, a may-issue concealed carry standard that presumptively denies law-abiding citizens their right to keep and bear arms unless they can provide a “proper cause,” and a universal registration requirement for all handguns!
At each of our Gun Violence Memorials—this time in New York—I’m heartbroken to see so many flowers and frustrated that Congress hasn’t done more.— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) October 5, 2021
But every visit also renews my conviction that a safer future is possible. We just need more leaders with the #CourageToAct. pic.twitter.com/UoNNmvLrie
We literally have every gun control law that groups like Giffords, Everytown and Brady are advocating for. New York is a gun controller’s paradise. Yet, none of them are working as advertised. As mentioned, gun deaths are up 30 percent in 2020!
The reason is obvious but bears repeating: criminals, by definition, don’t obey the law. Gang bangers, drug dealers, and any other class of violent criminals that one can think of are never going to submit themselves to a background check when transferring a firearm. Never!
That’s common sense!
So, humbly, one should ask Giffords and the rest: If universal background checks are clearly failing to stop violent offenders in New York, what makes them so confident that they’ll start working if they were federally mandated?