Shooting survivor Suzi Hileman writes an open letter in the _Daily Star_: Dear Rep. McSally: Your gun vote disrespects me, other victims of Jan. 8, 2011. Here it is in full.
Dear Rep. Martha McSally:
Have you forgotten us, your constituents? We’re the ones who were standing on the corner of Ina and Oracle roads on Jan. 8, 2011, talking to our congresswoman, when a young man with an untreated serious mental illness and legal access to a 9mm Glock, and the ammunition to go with it, opened fire.
That young man was not on a national watch list, as the ruling to which you object would have placed him.
Your vote told me that doesn’t bother you.
That seat you hold? It belonged to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Her shooter was described by his prison psychologist as “among the most disturbed individuals I have treated in my 23 years of work with this population.”
Your vote says that a meaningful background check is too much to ask in order to keep me safe as I participate in civic dialogue.
Sen. Chris Murphy, whose district includes the Sandy Hook Elementary School families in Connecticut, speaks loudly and eloquently about sensible gun legislation. I had hoped that you would be sensitive to the issue, too.
You represent me; your vote disrespects my experience. But it’s more than just me and mine; it’s you and yours, and you don’t seem to care. We had a way to fix this, and you just voted to remove it.
This vote strikes at the heart of what happened to Tucson, because rest assured, this happened to our whole town.
Your vote cuts through that connection like a sabre. It hurts.
It separates us from one another, and most important, it separates us from you.
For surely, if you had a heart, you could have explained to the leadership of your party that while you agree with the policy, you can’t, in good conscience, tell your constituents that you will do nothing to protect them from exactly what happened to them, that this is a deeply personal issue, an issue that has a profound resonance in your district, and that your ultimate loyalty is to us, your voters.
It’s not as if they needed your vote. 235–180 was the final tally. Would 234–181 have been so hard to live with?
Editors note: Suzi Hileman is a survivor of the Jan. 8, 2011, attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords by a young man with an untreated mental illness, which was known to the authorities but never included in a useful background check. Six Tucsonans were shot to death that morning and 13 were wounded. Hileman lives in Tucson.
I imagine some of you will want to react to McSally’s vote - one among the 100% Trump votes she has cast. Here is your chance. McSally is holding a telephone town hall today at 1:00 MST. (h/t Miriam Lindmeier)