Earlier this week, a Tucson, Arizona, radio talk show host posted a photo of former Congressman Gabby Giffords posing with the dreaded AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. The photo was taken in October, 2010, prior to Giffords suffering a near fatal gun wound to the head during a political event in January, 2011.
On Thursday, Breitbart News confirmed the photo is real through Arizona law enforcement. The source requested anonymity and said the photo was taken for campaign purposes.
Giffords has admitted the photograph is authentic. “We were told she wanted to toughen her image,” the source told Breitbart News. “She asked to come out and she wanted to shoot a rifle. She had one of our guys out there to show her how to shoot an AR-15.”
Following the shootings at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, formed an organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions. The group has called for rolling back the Second Amendment and outlawing semiautomatic “assault” weapons like the AR-15 Giffords posed with in the photograph.
On March 5, Kelly bought an AR-15 and a semiautomatic handgun at a police supply store in Tucson. After Breitbart News received a tip on the purchase, Kelly posted on Facebook saying he intends to turn “it over to the Tucson PD.” In addition to the AR-15, a witness told Breitbart News Kelly also bought a so-called “high-capacity” magazine for the firearm.
The liberal media, including AOL Huffington Post, reported that Kelly bought the AR-15 in order to demonstrate how easy it is to purchase the weapon. “Even to buy an assault weapon, the background check only takes a matter of minutes… We really need to close the gun show and private seller loop hole,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Kelly told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on March 11 he bought the firearm to show how unobtrusive background checks are.
He told Blitzer it was “important for me to have firsthand knowledge about how easy it is or difficult it is to buy a weapon like that,” and argued for closing down to the so-called “gun show and private seller loop hole,” in other words he wants the government to criminalize private sales between individuals.