Giffords, Kelly launch “Americans for Responsible Solutions”


by David Safier

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly launched Americans for Responsible Solutions today, on the second anniversary of the Safeway shooting. They also cowrote an op ed in USA Today that begins:

In response to a horrific series of shootings that has sown terror in our communities, victimized tens of thousands of Americans, and left one of its own bleeding and near death in a Tucson parking lot, Congress has done something quite extraordinary — nothing at all.

The purpose of this group, according to the op ed, is to provide an effective counter to the gun lobby.

We can't be naive about what it will take to achieve the most common-sense solutions. We can't just hope that the last shooting tragedy will prevent the next. Achieving reforms to reduce gun violence and prevent mass shootings will mean matching gun lobbyists in their reach and resources.

Americans for Responsible Solutions, which we are launching today, will invite people from around the country to join a national conversation about gun violence prevention, will raise the funds necessary to balance the influence of the gun lobby, and will line up squarely behind leaders who will stand up for what's right.

Jared Lee Loughner shot Gabby and others two years ago, but he was unable to extinguish her spirit or the spirit of others who survived the shooting. They have joined together with others to promote sane gun regulations. As a Tucsonan, I'm very proud of their efforts and hope we can soon say that Congress has done something truly extraordinary — stood up to the NRA and its corporate backers and passed legislation that will help lessen the chances that these kinds of tragedies will be repeated in communities across the country.

UPDATE: Watch an ad featuring Roxanna Green, mother of Christina-Taylor Green, asking our political leaders, "When will you find the courage to stand up to the gun lobby?" Video below the fold.



  1. My first awareness of Aspergers Syndrome was when I was reading a novel and one of the characters was described as having it. “Wow!” I said to myself, “that describes my odd nephew to a tee!” After reading up on everything I could find about the syndrome, I approached my sister with the idea that perhaps Johnnie had Aspergers and she flatly and quite abruptly refused to hear anymore about it ever.
    Through the years I have come across other children with the same symptoms and that very definite Aspergers facial mask and mannerisms so common to them. My very best friend’s son has Aspergers and although the rest of the family knows and he himself as an adult knows he has it, she continues to coddle him calling him her “shy one” (same exact phrase my sister used toward her son, now 50 years old).
    Children with Aspergers are very cute; they are shy and quiet, preferring for the most part to be alone. In this solitary existence, they eventually become obsessed with a hobby in which they become completely immersed and about which they become more knowledgeable in than any google search you could find! Unlike more obvious syndromes, the Aspergers child is sent to school and the parents (usually in denial of anything wrong other than their child is shy and unusually smart) expect their child will eventually “fit in”.
    As these children mature, they become more and more frustrated with their differentness and their parent’s obliviousness to their struggle to become normal like the other little boys and girls surrounding them. Their only safe norm is their home and family. They don’t understand fun, playing, laughing. Any change in their little family base is emotionally catastrophic. As adults they are angry and frustrated. They become excessively wary of authority forced on them. And as usual, no one is paying attention.
    I read in shock as Adam Lanza’s father described his son, the shooter at Sandy Hook School, as having Aspergers and was equally shocked when the Autistic Society came forward to squash any referral to Aspergers by the press for fear of losing financial support for their group. Prior to the carnage at Sandy Hook, I was very concerned when I read that the Society on Dec 3 2012 dropped Aspergers Syndrome from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual because it felt that the syndrome was no longer considered to be a mental disorder.
    The tragedy at Sandy Hook is in my mind very “text book” Aspergers Syndrome. Adam Lanza’s parents divorced and the brother left with the father, so there went Adam’s secure home base. Mom was very social (taking away from him any hope of rebuilding a secure home base) and by all accounts, telling friends she only wished he could have “fitted in” with the (normal) children at his school. So he kills his Mom who he feels betrayed him, and with his extreme expert knowledge of guns, proceeded to the school to kill as many of those normal little girls and boys that frustrated his childhood as he could.
    This tragedy, like so many others, is multifacited. Everyone is concerned about getting the crazies off the streets and out of the gun shops. What could be a plan? What does a crazy look like? And so many more questions.
    We need early diagnosis of childhood mental illnesses through pediatricians, combined with parental education. We must some how require parents and their children to then attend group education and counseling ASAP. Not correct to require such counseling? I say it is not correct for small children suffering with mental syndromes to be required to “fit in” without the professional help they need to form their own support groups. Trying to enter into a dialogue by way of the very controversial gun control platform will not work. Most Americans have no educated or rational idea why they respond so emotionally to gun control, because the Second Ammendment needs to be formally defined by the government so that everyone is on the same page concerning its use as it pertains to living in the 21st century.
    Our children along with their parents, need to know who they are through professionals and trained experts so that they can comfartably mature into responsible adults. I feel this is the goal we need to achieve some how in order to sort out this social chaos we know now is so desperately out of control.


    Seeing Gabby Gifford and Mark Kelly on television was an eye opener. When Gabby said, “Enough is enough!” it stabbed my heart. No two people would be a better face of SHEMP, the Sandy Hook Ethics and Manners Project.

    I am still STUNNED by SANDY HOOK. Even though I was on vacation in Maui, I kept bursting into tears about the tragedy. I now have a suggestion about what good could come out of this abomination. I suggest that WE turn Sandy Hook Elementary School into a training center for the SANDY HOOK ETHICS AND MANNERS PROGRAM. Perhaps, Bill Gates and/or Warren Buffet could provide the seed money.

    PART ONE WOULD BE IN THE SCHOOLS: We get experts together and set up a curriculum that starts in Kindergarten through extends through Seniors in High School.

    People should learn basic manners and ethics. We know from the “60 Minutes” segment that children make value judgments as young as 2 months old. Parenting is inconsistent and religion is not allowed in the school, but basic manners and good judgment can be taught.

    We could start with “Mean Week”. They could get permission to play “Mean” by Taylor Swift after the announcements every day in every school. No one is allowed to be Mean for a week. The only mean thing they can do is to yell at anyone else who is being mean. They are allowed to Yell at the kid who is being “Mean” and tell them to “Stop being Mean or I will Stop being their friend.” They would learn all week about what being mean involves, including bullying.


    Everyone in power at Penn State who knew about Sandusky’s behavior should be ashamed. Suing the school is not enough. We need an ethics and manners course for college staff.

    THOSE KIDS AND THE ADULTS HIDING THEM IN STEUBENVILLE, ESPECIALLY THE COACHING STAFF, ARE JUST THE LATEST ABOMINATION. Did you see those boys in that Steubenville video. We don’t have time to argue about religion. We need non- partisan action now.

    Parenting is inconsistent and religion is not allowed in the school, but basic manners and good judgment need to be taught now.

    All High School and College Coaches, Staff and Executives get ethics and manners straining. They really need it. Stop the scandals before they happen. They are behaving like a third work country.


    They all need an ethics and manners classes. Their behavior is a joke. They make us look like a third world country. They create problems, fight with each other in the meanest, rudest possible ways and wait until we are at the brink of a collapse to fix the problem. They have a lower approval rating than President Nixon did during Watergate and that was a Felony. They need to clean up their act or be voted out of office.

    They need to pass immediate legislation outlawing insider trading from information gleaned from their jobs.
    The children of Congressmen should have to repay their student loans. All laws passed to protect people from sexual harassment, discrimination and other business problems need to apply to all government, including Congress.

    Congressmen no longer get pay raises. They only get Cost of Living raises. The want belts tightened. Let’s start with them. They would no longer get separate Congressional pensions for the rest of their lives. Depending on the years they serve, they get that many years of service toward Social Security. Somehow, they will find a way to fix that program.

    We allow “K Street” lobbyist to peddle influence carving out tax breaks and exceptions in the law that save companies billions. We bribe Congressmen with Pork for their votes, like money for fishing in Alaska or Algae Research in the Hurricane Sandy bill.


    People are being murdered by people who are very, very crazy, but in the 70’s and 80’s states were tired of being threatened with exposure of abuse in secure mental institutions. The faceless government bureaucrats decided it was too expensive and “no win” situation. A group of nasty shrinks used the excuse that some of the mentally ill who were in mental institutions should not be there. They were in danger from poorly trained hospital staff. Instead of cleaning up the institutions, they closed them down, using the excuse that the mentally ill deserve the “least restrictive environment.” That is code for closing the mental institutions and throwing the chronically mentally ill and dangerous out on the streets. I was there when they created Group Homes for the Mentally Ill. It made it possible for the mentally ill to repeatedly walk out of Group Homes, stop taking their meds and be a danger to themselves. They become homeless and vulnerable to criminals.

    In other cases, their illnesses resurface and, in some cases, they hurt themselves and/or others. One person pushed an innocent brown faced man onto the tracks of a subway train, because they he was a Muslim. Some of these people shoot up a college, try to kill a Congresswoman, a movie theatre, or kill 20 innocent angels and their six guardian angels at an elementary.

    At that point, the prosecution tries to prove they are NOT crazy. The Defense tries to prove they are crazy. Who are they trying to fool. They are all mentally ill. They may know the difference between right and wrong, but are still crazy and should not be in prison. Prisons are not a substitute for mental institutions. Mental patients should not be placed in the general prison population to protect all parties.

    We need to stop ignoring our mentally ill and make sure they get the help they need. If they can live in a non- secure setting and take their meds, they can be in the community. We should set up sheltered workshops to assist them in being successful, not just throw money at them and hope they will go away.

    For those who refuse to take their medication and a dangerous to themselves or others, they should be put away in small, local, secure facilities and given meaningful treatment. Three days in an inpatient unit and dumping them out on the street doesn’t work.


    They fought for us. Some were injured for us. Some are physically disabled. Others have Post Traumatic Stress Distorder. We need to make Vets our priority. They are our heroes. We need HEROES. It is good for America. They need Retraining, Mental Health Treatment, Marriage Counseling and Job Placement Help. Nothing Is too good for our vets.


    My answer to guns is very simple. Stop selling semi-automatic weapons and weapons clips with more than 10 rounds in them. Sportsmen can take 4.6 seconds to change clips. Don’t take guns away. After you ban the semi-automatics, you buy them back at twice the price. You also add two zeros to the number of rounds in each clip and buy them back. A 10 round clip is good for $1000. For a 20 round clip, the government pays $2000 in tax free cash. For a thirty rounds clip, the government pays $3000. Pay by the round. We protect our Constitutional rights, but we also require background checks on everyone in the household of a gun buyer. We get around HIPA privacy rights by putting a big red X by someone’s name who is a danger to himself or others. If you live in a home with a Red X’d person, guns must be locked up. No exceptions. Tell the NRA they can keep their guns, but greenbacks are better than blood splatters.

    The America we knew is going away. With bad politicians, ignoring our Vets, pretending mental illness is a character flaw, instead of an illness, allowing children to grow up without ethics and manners, we are becoming more like Syria, Russia, the Congo or China. We need to change back to the best of the old America, not the intolerant part, but the more tolerant. Parents aren’t parenting. Our Congress is behaving badly. Our soldiers are being ignored by those who for whom they fought. We did it to the lawyers. Let’s start teaching ethics and manners with the children now. Follow up by teaching school officials, government employees and anyone who does business who does business with the federal government. LET’S GO BIG.


  3. Our Constitution does guarantee the right of its citizens to bear arms…and this was written in the atmosphere and aftermath of:
    a, difficulties in border areas with warring Indian tribes
    b. the aftermath of the rebellion against Britain…and its success due in great part, to the minutemen…who became American icons to this day
    c. the American Civil War would probably not have ocurred…had it not been for the fact that so many Americans, particularly in the South, had weapons…

    but one does wonder…in today’s times…why do we need to suffer from irresponsible use of firearms…in partricular..military styled automatic assault rifles..and bazookas, and rocket launchers..etc, etc.

    a. the Waco, Texas group….
    b. American Nazis
    c. Ku Klux Klan
    d. all the various and sundry assassins…
    e. Ma Barker, John Dillinger..Pretty Boy Floyd and all the other illustrious figures of the 1930’s ..shooting their way to fame and searing their images into our minds to this day…

    while our local police authorites shivered in their boots…so many getting killed in the bloody gun battles

    f. and all the maniacks..such as those in the past decade…shooting their way to fame and killing so many innocent children….forcing every local police authority to organize “swat teams”…of all things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    maybe we need to think about security issue amendments to the Bill of Rights….

    that way, we could guarantee American citizens the right to bear arms…but hopefully control dangerous elements…be they gun toting criminals..or dangerous fringe group maniacks

  4. It’s time Americans talk seriously about what other countries have for gun laws and judicial laws and actual punishment for violation of those laws. Much of our social problems are because our judicial system is easily skirted, manipulated and punishment is never sure and swift. People do not fear or respect the laws as they are not in-forced to the letter swiftly and without question. We are far too liberal in allowing the owner ship of deadly weapons AND we are far to lenient in punishment of human cruelty. No one fears the law enough to respect it. I know this is so as I have traveled the world and seen the difference in social behaviors. Open the eyes and ears of Americans and talk about other cultures and their gun ownership laws and the consequences of breaking them. Consequence of behavior is the key to deterrence of crime.