Friday, February 1, 2013

In Praise Of Mark Kelley

In recent testimony on Capitol Hill, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords drew praise and applause for the speech she gave in support of Obama’s proposed gun legislation.

“We must do something,” she said in her halting, child-like voice. “You must act. Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you. Thank you.”

Couldn’t have said it better, Gabby. You’re a true American hero. But I’m giving the loudest applause for your husband. You got lucky in him, babe!

Check this out: This man, Mark Kelly, is an astronaut! He has an M.S. in aeronautical engineering. This guy flew jets during Gulf War I! He’s exactly the guy all us boys wanted to be when we grew up. And to top all that off, he got to go to the International Space Station! He flew four shuttle missions, including the final launch of Space Shuttle Endeavor.

He was married once before. His former wife apparently wanted more of a stay-at-home dad who would spend more time with his two daughters instead of a guy who was almost never home because he had to constantly be moving beyond the speed of sound.

When he met Gabby, he must have known that he’d found in her the type of woman who was a perfect match. He could continue his light-speed career, while she could pursue her fast-paced career in politics. The two could both live the amazing lives they both craved, see each other occasionally for intense moments of intimacy, and then go back to full throttle again. It was the kind of relationship where you didn’t have to sweat the small stuff. When they were married, former labor secretary Robert Reich, who attended, offered them a toast: “To a bride who moves at a velocity that exceeds that of anyone else in Washington, and a groom who moves at a velocity that exceeds 17,000 miles per hour.”

All that changed on January 8, 2011, when Gabby Giffords was shot in an assassination attempt by Jared Loughner. The dummkopf botched the job, but successfully shot and killed several other ancillary targets, including a little girl.

The focus here is on the fact that Mark Kelly, a man who never wanted to sweat the small stuff, now had nothing but small stuff ahead of him to sweat out. He wasn’t home enough while his two daughters were little. Now he has what is essentially a baby girl to look after forever. He married a beautiful woman for her brain, and now that brain is damaged goods.

Yet amidst all that, he hasn’t yet missed a stride, nor has he complained. If anything, he’s more determined than ever. Instead of getting bogged down, and instead of letting Gabby fade into obscurity, he’s picked her up, carried her, and the two have rejoined the marathon. The only difference is that this time, her career is now also his.

Now that’s MY definition of a “real man!”

So there they are, testifying in front of Senators in Washington, D.C., making sure that gun laws are responsible. Mark Kelly and Gabby are what’s known as Blue Dog Democrats – people who have conservative values but joined the Democratic Party anyway because they’re sick of the Republican Party’s extremist bullshit. Mark is a soldier, and a gun owner. He respects citizens’ rights to own firearms. He’s fired them in battle. Hell, if the shooting of his wife proves anything, it’s that ordinary people should be able to carry defensive weaponry in case of just such a situation. But Mark and Gabby want us to be responsible about it. They know what they’re talking about.

"We are simply two reasonable Americans who realize we have a problem with gun violence, and we need Congress to act,” says Mark. “Our rights are paramount, but our responsibilities are serious and as a nation we are not taking responsibility for the gun rights our founding fathers conferred upon us."

File that one under “D” for ‘damn straight!’

Mark goes on to say: "Closing the gun show loophole and requiring private sellers to require a background check before they transfer a gun…I can't think of something that would make our country safer than doing just that,"

Maybe NASA stands for, ‘Not Another Shooting Again!’

Yes, if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. But, according to Mark, that’s no excuse for us going out of our way to make sure as many criminals have as many guns as possible.

And if you actually disagree with that one, I’ll join Mark Kelly in shoving a NASA rocket up your ass.



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