Survivors of the 2011 Tucson, Ariz. shooting rampage presented Sen. John McCain with 19 roses — one for each victim — to thank him for being one of four Republicans to cross party lines and vote for last month’s failed gun bill.
Slate’s Dave Weigel witnessed the moment Thursday at an Arizona town hall. It started when a woman, Pam Simon, who was shot through the arm by Jared Loughner, stood up to thank McCain for his vote for background check expansion.
“I would like to thank you so much for your vote on background checks,” she said, before asking whether McCain could “shed some light” on why lawmakers voted against it.
According to Slate, McCain said there was a “50-50″ shot of a slightly different bill coming up again. Then, after the event, Simon and other survivors walked up to McCain and gave him the roses — 13 for the people injured, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and six for the people who died.
“McCain was for background checks a decade ago, before it was popular,” survivor Mary Reed said. She was shot three times and still has a bullet in her back. . “We’re just so proud of him for crossing the aisle.”