Gabby Giffords: Senators who blocked gun bill are cowards

Washington, Apr 18 (EFE).- Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned her House seat after being shot and left with lifelong health issues, on Thursday called the senators who voted this week to block a measure that would have required background checks for gun buyers "cowards."

"Shame on them," she said in an op-ed in The New York Times.

The Senate in a Wednesday vote rejected the amendments to the gun control law, including the bipartisan agreement on more stringent background checks.

"Senators say they fear the N.R.A. (National Rifle Association) and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets," she wrote.

Giffords was referring to the Dec. 14 massacre of 20 children and six adults in a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

"(A) minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms - a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count," Giffords said.

"Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown," she noted.

"Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, six of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents - who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them," Giffords said.

Giffords, who has launched a campaign to foster gun control and tighten checks of criminal and mental health records for almost all types of gun sales, expressed her disappointment.

"Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I'm furious," she wrote.