GABRIELLE Giffords, the US congresswoman who was shot in the head by a would-be assassin, has accused US senators of "shameful" hypocrisy in voting against new gun controls, despite having expressed sympathy for victims of atrocities.
After the Senate had failed to back a bill that would impose basic background checks on people buying weapons, Ms Giffords said she had looked "into the eyes" of those who had betrayed efforts to impose new gun controls.
The proposals – a reaction to the Sandy Hook school massacre, in which 26 people were killed – failed to gain the necessary votes in its first legislative test.
Ms Giffords brought up her own experience of a gun rampage in Tucson, Arizona, to excoriate the opponents of the bill, which also would have banned some assault rifles and oversized magazines for bullets.
"Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook," she wrote in the 'New York Times'.
"Some of the senators who voted 'no' have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience of 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 showed overwhelmingly favoured expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them."
The 54-46 votes in favour fell short of the 60-vote majority needed for clear passage. (© Daily Telegraph, London)