The announcement that the U.S. Navy would christen a ship in the name of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords brought out the Internet trolls, mocking the victim of a horrific shooting that left her with a severe brain injury.
Announcing the USS Gabrielle Giffords, Navy Secretary Ray Maybus said the ship is "a celebration of the skill and dedication of the men and women who have built LCS 10 and the courage of her namesake. This ship truly embodies the Navy motto of Semper Fortis — Always Courageous.”
However not everyone was pleased with the selection of Giffords, who took up the cause of gun control after she was severely wounded in January, 2011, when a gunman shot her in the head, while killing six others and leaving thirteen wounded. While Giffords has recovered from her wounds, the shooting left her with some physical and speaking impairments.
Reporting on the naval announcement at Breitbart.com, the first commenter set the tone for anonymous commenters who mocked her disabilities because they are unhappy with her gun control advocacy.
"Will it be unarmed and have a broken computer system?' wrote "di_da_is_alpha", with "Defender90" adding, "The USS Gabby Giffords instead of shooting at its opponent will try to talk and reeeeason with them and in doing so will leave all on the USS Gabby dead."
On the Facebook page of Doctrine Man, an anonymous U.S. Army officer who called the decision to name the ship after her "classy," trolls were out in force with similar comments about disarmed ships and jokes about Gifford's injuries.
"Does that mean CIC will be only partially functional?" wrote John Croft, in reference to the Combat Information Center or operations room on the ship.
Ted Sell wrote, "Very dishonoring to the Navy to name a ship after a woman who, apprarently [sic}, hates freedom," while Dallas Cartwright claimed, "Get shot by one of your own consituents [sic], get a ship named after you. Too bad that is the only thing as a member of congress she had ever done."
Others complained about a ship being named after a living person, with one commenter noting no one complained about the 2006 commissioning of the USS George H.W. Bush.
A sampling of more comments can be seen below: