What? Gabby Giffords Has a Warship Named After Her?
Maybe this is my own personal ignorance, but don’t we usually name Navy ships after heroes of war, presidents, and regions of the country? We do, right?
Yeah, so why does former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords have a ship named after her? Also, how did this slip under my radar for TWO YEARS? I mean it’s not a stealth ship (stealth, radar, get it?).
According to Wikipedia, Giffords has an Independence-class littoral combat ship (USS Independence pictured) named after her. The ship is scheduled to be completed in August of 2015.
According to the Wikipedia entry, I’m apparently not the only one questioning the naming of the ship,
Some commentators disputed the decision to name the ship after Giffords, with two retired U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps officers criticizing the trend of naming ships for political reasons while military blogger Spencer Ackerman called it “The USS Shameless Cynicism.”
In response, some commentators have noted that several ships in the US Navy, including Henry M. Jackson, Carl Vinson, John C. Stennis, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush were named for prominent politicians who were still alive at the time of the naming, and that the still-active Carl Vinson was named for a Congressman responsible for barring women from combat roles in the Navy for nearly 50 years, although unlike those other politicians, Giffords had not played a long and prominent role in the area of national defense.
As most know, Giffords was shot in the head during a mass shooting in her home state of Arizona while giving a speech.
While I certainly do not think Giffords deserved what happened to her in Arizona, I’m also pretty sure she doesn’t meet the traditional criteria to have a warship named after her either.
Since the shooting, Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, have been active campaigners for the implementation of additional gun control laws.