The Mark Kelly Interview
I started my show the day after Gabrielle Giffords was nearly assassinated in Tucson (01/08/11).
The entire community was in a state of shock and for this host I was just
Trying to get my sea legs on the radio. While the community was mourning my guest was going through a transformation of his own. From Space Navigator to family pillar, from Desert Storm Patriot to healer, from an abstract belief in god to a deepening in his faith.
My guest sat by his wife beds side while she healed. Because of modern medicine and competent surgeons she survived, although some close to her did not. She rehabilitated in the finest clinics in America slowly relearning to speak and eat and all other daily living skills we take for granted.
Maybe my guest did to but after that tragic day he was by her side every step of the way. Pulling from the Cosmos a deep well of intestinal fortitude that he poured into Gabby.
As she mended the couple realized they had reached yet another demarcation point in their lives. No longer was she just a politician and he a gutty astronaut. They were now public figures that gained international attention for overcoming the odds. Whether or not they wanted this, natural events gave them no choice. Maybe it was not having a choice that changed my guest.
As we sit here today my guests identical twin brother just broke the record for most consecutive days in space by an American Astronaut. My guest has taken his fair share of trips into space using what we know of modern engineering. His aerospace acumen is such that he became a NASA space shuttle pilot in 1996 and made four trips into space including the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 2011. He is also a navy captain and naval aviator flying missions in the first Gulf War.
While he has consistently sacrificed for his country he is now an American searching for responsible solutions in one of the most irresponsible times in our countries governmental history. Mass shootings have occurred in South Carolina, Connecticut Colorado and Oregon since January 2011 and despite heavy support from President Barack Obama no legislation has been passed to limit the ability of unhinged or mentally unstable individuals to get their hands on assault weapons. Nothing has been done to change the background checks before you can purchase guns. We have a society that glorifies violence and many big companies who would just assume to see the status quo stay the same.
That's where my guest comes in rallying victims family members and trying to change hearts and minds so that are kids can be safer, our discourse can be civil and more pragmatic approach to governing can evolve.
Just a simple twist of fate Mark Kelly welcome to the JFS
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