Late last week, the Biden White House announced that gun control kingpin Gabby Giffords would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Joe Biden for her work in promoting gun control.
Gabby Giffords is one of seventeen individuals who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Joe Biden during a July 7th event at the White House. The other 16 people who are being awarded the honor are; Simone Biles, Sister Simone Campbell, Julieta García, Fred Gray, Steve Jobs, Father Alexander Karloutsos, Khizr Khan, John McCain, Diane Nash, Megan Rapinoe, Alan Simpson, Richard Trumka, Wilma Vaught, Denzel Washington, Raúl Yzaguirre.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor a civilian can receive from the government. The award was established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is meant for individuals “who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors.”
In response to the announcement, Gabby Giffords said, “I’m so very humbled and honored to receive this award. Since I was shot more than 11 years ago, my personal recovery journey has taught me that it’s not the setback that defines us: it’s how we respond to it. There have been no shortage of setbacks as I relearned how to talk and how to walk, just as there have been no shortage of setbacks in the fight for gun safety that I’ve dedicated my life to. And yet I’ve never lost hope. ”
“One of my reasons for hope sits inside the Oval Office today, elected to accomplish the near-impossible task of healing a divided nation. My faith in President Biden has never faltered, and I’m touched beyond words at this acknowledgement of his faith in me. I first ran for office because I wanted to improve my community. I never could have imagined the path my life would take, but public service has always been and will always be my north star. I truly believe that by starting small and taking incremental steps towards progress, we can transform the world around us,” Giffords continued.
The politicization of the award is nothing new. Former President Barack Obama awarded liberal talk show host Ellen DeGeneres the medal. Former President Trump was criticized for giving the medal to conservative thinkers Orin Hatch and Edwin Messe despite the majority of the recipients under his administration being sports icons.