Gabrielle Giffords Pictured With "Assault Rifle" in Leaked Photos, but Cop Is Cropped Out
A radio host from a Tucson radio station that describes itself as talk from the "right" posted a photo online of what the host calls proof of "elitist hypocrisy"-- former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords holding a so-called assault rifle.
That host, as well as the right-wing Breitbart.com posted the picture -- both using a "source" to explain the context of the photo -- although a Tucson police officer, in his SWAT uniform, is cropped out of the picture.
"...[I]n response to the exploitative political scheming of Mark Kelly, persons connected to Congresswoman Giffords released this photo in response to what they perceived to be her husband's hypocrisy," writes 104.1 FM's James Harris. "They believe Giffords is not cogent enough to completely understand her scripts dictated by Kelly to further his own political aspirations. Neither do many in my audience."
According to Brietbart.com, it also obtained a copy of the photo, but their writer explains that the image they received "was cropped to protect the identity of the person on the right-hand side of the original photograph (to Giffords's left)."
And, just as Giffords' husband Mark Kelly took to Facebook to explain why he was recently photographed while buying guns in a Tucson gun shop, someone took to Giffords' Facebook to tell Giffords' side of the story, as well as the entire picture, which kind of changes things:
Compare that with the photo posted by Brietbart (left) and 104.1 FM (right), which both appear to be edited beyond a simple crop.
The radio station never mentioned that there was another person in the photo. Brietbart failed to mention -- and by the looks of how it's written, perhaps purposely omitted the fact -- that the other person in the photo is a cop.
The explanation from Giffords' Facebook paints quite a different picture, too.
"The first [photo] is at the Tucson Police Department firing range," the post says. "They invited me to test rifles and tasers that they bought with federal funds, which I helped secure."
Another photo shows Giffords holding a different rifle, and the explanation says that one was taken while Giffords was visiting troops in Afghanistan.
"I guess the intention of those who have publicized these photos is to somehow call into question my belief that military style assault weapons should be more strongly regulated with background checks and other safeguards," the post says. "I have never wavered in my support for those who serve our country. I fought to make sure they have the weapons and safety gear needed to carry out their mission, and proper health and mental care when their service ends."
Kelly's and Giffords' gun-control advocacy organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions, calls for federal legislation "to limit the sale of assault weapons" to civilians, and it's fairly obvious what 104.1 FM in Tucson is trying to do, as it explains that, in the photo, Giffords is "smiling because she loves her big ole 'assault riffle,' (sic) the AR-15."
The top-rated comment on the page says that this photo " is sadder than what happened to her on Jan 8th," a reference to when a madman went on a shooting rampage in January 2011, where 13 people were shot, and six people died as a result.
Giffords' Facebook post, with the entire explanation, can be found here.