The news we’re all supposed to know about from the Gabby Giffords assassination is that she has begun speaking. And that is indeed great news, and I hope it leads to a full recovery.
Less remarked-upon is the kinds of systemic issues with public policy that led to the shooting in the first place: the breakdown of the US mental health system, and the ease with which people with intent to kill large numbers of people can get the weapons they need for that purpose. This has become the dog that didn’t bark in this tragedy. One of the victims of the shooting in Tucson was Gabe Zimmerman, a staffer for Giffords. His fiancee is one of the few to actually identify a problem related to the attack, and propose a solution:
At a news conference yesterday, Kelly O’Brien spoke publicly for the first time since the shootings, which claimed the lives of six people and wounded 13 others. “The man who killed Gabe and five other people fired 31 shots in 15 seconds. That’s two shots every second,” O’Brien said. “Ten bullets are more than enough for self-defense, which is why most people own handguns,” O’Brien said. She became emotional at times, noting that “I was planning on spending the rest of my life with him, but one month ago today, Gabe was taken from me.”
O’Brien talked about a bill in the Arizona legislature that would ban these clips, but there’s companion legislation in both chambers of Congress. Everyone has turned their eyes away from this problem, but I could randomly Google and find you countless violent acts perpetrated every day in America. Yet even with a high-profile event like the Giffords shooting, nobody but the families of the victims want to talk about it.