Former democratic politician and noted gun control advocate Gabrielle Giffords took to Facebook Thursday to preview the recently built military combat ship named in her honor.
“Just got a glimpse of the Navy’s new combat ship, the U.S.S. Gabrielle Giffords, as she prepares to enter the water for the first time!” Giffords said. “Can’t wait to help christen it this summer.”
The Navy vessel, an Independence-class littoral combat ship, has been shrouded in controversy since the name was announced in February of 2012.
Multiple high-ranking military officials, including retired Rear Admiral George Worthington, the former commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, argued that an actual member of the military, such as Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer, would be a more appropriate recipient.
“Here is the issue. There are a lot of dead Marines out there whose names could go on anything that appears to be an amphibious ship,” Worthington told the Daily Caller. “We think fallen Marines and perhaps supporting sailors should go on fantails before random victims.”
Now, with the ship preparing to launch by the end of 2015, Americans and military personnel are once again reacting to the controversial decision.
“She has done nothing to earn her name on a ship. A lying politician,” a Facebook user said on Gifford’s post. “Naming of ships is reserved for those who fought or served valiantly for our country. Battleships are named after states. Carriers named after presidents and others named after naval personnel. (Posthumously). This woman is neither naval personnel nor KIA in battle.”
Giffords, who was a shooting victim in 2011, has been an adamant gun control activist, calling for the ban of semiautomatic rifles while she and her husband secretly purchase and fire the exact weapons they’re trying to outlaw.
Noting the USS Gabrielle Giffords’ role as a “combat ship,” countless other Facebook users commented on what they felt was pure hypocrisy.
“Are you going to put squirt guns on it?” a commenter said. “Better make sure the ship only has less than ten rounds on board.”
“Will this ship be limited from having the ability to have weapons installed?” another said. “Those men and women serving on that warship are having their very own rights of owning a firearm by the mouth breather the vessel is named after, what a joke.”
Others supported and congratulated Giffords while echoing her views on gun control and the Second Amendment.
“Restriction of firearms is a huge step to protect our children,” one woman said. “A Navy ship protects our nation.”
The ship will likely remain a debated topic into the future as it prepares for its eventual deployment.