Survivors of Arizona Shooting Call Grassley Callous, Cold, Calculating

Eleven survivors and family members of victims of the January 2011 shooting in Arizona that nearly killed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) are criticizing Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for what they say was a “dismissive and political response” to Tucson shooting survivor Patricia Maisch’s testimony in support of legislation which would close holes in the gun background check system.

In a letter sent to Grassley on Wednesday and obtained by TPM, [the eleven] write of their “profound disappointment” with Grassley’s “obvious disregard for the gun violence survivors in the room” as well as his “apparent ignorance of the deadly serious issue we came to discuss with you.”

They said that it was “inappropriate” for him to turn the hearing into a forum to ask questions about an unrelated inquiry.

“Rather than dealing with the subject of the hearing — how the background check system can be improved to spare other families the pain that we have suffered — you chose to employ a tactic of callous, cold and calculated distraction,” they continued.

“Senator, were you listening ….? Nothing you had to say indicated you were. The fact that you were focused on your Blackberry during much of Patricia’s testimony suggests you weren’t.”

The group ends the letter by asking Grassley to apologize to the members of the group who “lost loved ones in Tucson, and made the effort to come to Washington yesterday, but heard nothing of use from you.”

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