Gabby Giffords’ Husband Mark Kelly to Congress: ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ Won’t Prevent Next Shooting

Mark Kelly
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

WASHINGTON — Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut and husband of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, told reporters on Capitol Hill that the messages of thoughts and prayers to the families of victims in the Las Vegas shooting are “not enough.”

“What we are hearing today at the Capitol and the White House are thoughts and prayers,” Kelly said outside of the Capitol building with his wife at his side. “Thoughts and prayers are important. We send our thoughts and prayers, too. But they are not enough. Your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to stop the next shooting. Only action and leadership will do that.”

Giffords was shot in 2011 at a constituent event in Tucson, Ariz., and she and her husband have since pressed for stricter gun laws.

“Despite the tragedies in places like Aurora and Newtown and Orlando, despite daily shootings in communities across America, despite senseless gun related domestic violence, despite epidemic or preventable suicides, despite the problems of toddlers shooting toddlers and their parents, the response from Congress has been to do nothing, absolutely nothing,” he said.

But so far there is no indication that Republicans will take up legislation to limit access to guns.

Before the Las Vegas shootings, legislation moved forward in a House committee that would relax restrictions on obtaining gun silencers, there were a number of reports that the legislation would come for a vote this week. But it is not on the official schedule.

At the press conference, Kelly said, “Imagine how much worse the [Las Vegas] shooting could have been if the gunman had a silencer.

“Imagine the gun lobby’s version of society — everyone armed, everyone out for themselves, everyone at risk all the time,” he added.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, saying that Congress has a “moral duty” to “address this horrific and heartbreaking epidemic.” She called for the creation of a select committee on gun violence to come up with bipartisan legislation.