Dr. Wilda Reviews Gabby Giffords’ press conference: Billionaires, guns & common sense

22 Oct

Moi attended a press conference today which was headlined by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. The press conference featured:

Tina Podlodowski, co-founder of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility and former Seattle city councilmember.
Brian O’Neill, former police officer with decades of law enforcement experience with several departments, most recently in Auburn on the gang task force. Brian has also served as a volunteer for the YWCA Women’s Shelter since 2009, recently moving from the Public Policy Committee to a position on the Board of Directors.
Rory Graves, a survivor of gun violence and an advocate for domestic violence victims.
Trese Todd, co-founder of Thrivers Action Group who has spent the last decade working with domestic violence survivors.
Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D) 27th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT, a sponsor of House Bill 1840: Concerning firearms laws for persons subject to no-contact orders, protection orders, and restraining orders

The press conference was held at the Washington Athletic Club (WAC) a private club. Moi mentions this because of her observation of the event. It was not very colorful. Essex Porter who reports for a local station and who is Black, was there. Moi was there and the other bit of color was Zoe Ann Moore, a Black woman whose daughter was killed by gun violence.

Rep. Giffords was making the last stop of a nine stop tour. Gun violence robbed the US of her gift to be in Congress. Although, she has recovered from the gun attack which caused her to leave Congress, she walks haltingly and speaks as a result of great determination and grit. Still, she lights up a room.

The event was billed as woman’s event because of the danger unregulated gun access poses to domestic violence victims. Moi had an interesting conversation with a veteran political journalist about the lack of diversity evident in this progresso crowd. Moi’s question was Black folk are evident at marches and the occasional Black minister gets play, but when it comes to strategy formation, leadership, and gatherings at the WAC, well…   His comment was interesting, Blacks have veto power. Still, there were no folks of color in the room with their hands on the levers of power.

The speakers took great pains paint the initiative as common sense, a public health issue and not an attack on the Second Amendment. Rep. Jinkins compared gun safety to motor vehicle safety. Both are incremental issues. She mentioned auto accident deaths decreased as a result of DUI controls, seat belt laws, texting laws, and auto safety design.

This is what the I 594 campaign says about the initiative:

The initiative makes sure anyone buying a gun in Washington State passes the same background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter whom they buy it from.

You can download the entire initiative text here.                                                                                                                           http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/FinalText_483.pdf
Download an independent non-partisan legislative analysis of Initiative 594 here.                                           http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2013-14/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/House/INITIATIVE%20594%20HBA%20JUDI%2014.pdf

Of course, gun violence statistics were quoted as a reason for voting yes. See, Firearm Deaths in Washington http://www.ofm.wa.gov/researchbriefs/2013/brief071.pdf

This was a pep rally for the converted. No information was presented which the any random audience member would not have been able to recite. Maybe it was simply a You Go Girl for Rep. Giffords to acknowledge everything she has overcome and the fact she keeps on keeping on. The WAC crowd was there and the little bits of color were in the audience, observing.

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