USS Gabrielle Giffords — “the laying of the keel” ceremony (a moral delimma)

USS Gabrielle Giffords — “the laying of the keel” ceremony (a moral delimma)

Note: An email to Gabrielle Giffords’ organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions.

May 29, 2014



I live across the bay from Mobile, Alabama.  I caught your recent visit to the port city for “the laying of the keel” ceremony for your new combat ship, on the local news.  Given the unique qualifications for naming a Navy ship after a living person, it seems to me that a person who nearly died from an assassination attempt and who lost members of her staff and even constituents from that event might want to pass-on having an American warship named after them.  Given the fact the Iraq War was a bogus war started by an American president that led to a lot of innocent Americans and Iraqis getting killed and wounded, isn’t it easy to see how any well-meaning honor, like this one, could be used for the next insane, but rationalized cause just to make our president look tough to the world.  Haven’t enough innocent people died at the hands of our government?

Haven’t enough people associated with you already died?  Will your legacy be having an American combat ship cruising the world’s oceans firing on the guilty and the innocent, alike?  It doesn’t appear to me that you’ve really learned the deeper lesson and a truth from your near-death experience, it’s not so much about guns and the mentally illness, but the act of violence, any and all.  When given a chance to stand up and show that you’re a woman of principle you accepted the Navy’s offer of having a Littoral Combat Ship named after you.  What happens when the first innocent person gets killed by the bow-mounted gun of the USS Gabrielle Giffords or a female sailor is sexually assaulted by another sailor while abroad, then what?  On what grounds, do you and your husband have telling Americans who should have guns and who shouldn’t when you’re getting your own warship?  Shouldn’t your shooter, Jarred Lee Lougher, be the one getting the ship?  Whose the crazy one here — George W. Bush, Jarred Lee Lougher or Gabrielle Giffords?  I think all of you’re.

You’re an Ivy League graduate, thus smart.  Washington is full of them, working on Capitol Hill, in the White House and around the city.  How can someone with a master’s from Cornell miss the obvious truth about our troubled military, American foreign policy and its history of killing innocent human beings?  Why would you, a victim of violence, want to be associated with this institution and all its firepower?  Do you know what happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, North Africa at the hands of our government and our military?  I know that I’m being harsh with my criticism of you, but it’s nothing like the bullet that struck you in the head and changed your life forever.  God or someone up there saw to it that you live another day.  What’s your legacy going to be — more killing in the name of Gabrielle Giffords, a shooting victim, and the United States Navy?

As the son of a marine, a troubled Vietnam Veteran and someone with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, I get the honor.  The ego loves to be honored, but anyone who is really principled about violence, gun violence would naturally and quietly have to pass on this type of an offer.  Why didn’t you?  On the other hand, politicians say one thing to us, all the time, while doing something else.  That’s why Congress has such a low approval rating, but no one wants to shoot their representatives.  You were the first and everyone got mad at Jarred.  So, which one are you — the principled person or just another self-serving politician who’s now playing on all our emotions?

Ted Burnett
500 Lincoln St. B-105
Daphne, AL 36526 USA
C: 251-709-0280


Question everything.

Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved. “USS Gabrielle Giffords – “laying of the keel” ceremony.” by Ted Burnett

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