Gabrielle Giffords (often called “Gabby Giffords”), the congresswoman shot along with several others during an appearance last year in Tucson, spoke today at a Senate hearing on gun violence.
Giffords was gravely injured during the January “Congress On Your Corner” shooting that claimed several lives, including that of a child present at the event. In the immediate aftermath, Giffords was reported to have died in the massacre, but those reports were corrected.
Although her period of recovery was lengthy and continues, the former congresswoman appeared at the hearing in order to urge the Senate to act in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
Supported by her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, Giffords’ speech was clearly affected by the brain damage she suffered when she was shot at point blank range. But she clearly articulated a desire for lawmakers to pass what have been called “common sense” gun regulations following a spate of high-profile and deadly massacres since her own attack.
Giffords implored Senators to address the issue, saying in part:
“Violence is a big problem … Too many children are dying. Too many children.”
“We must do something … It will be hard. But the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Thank you.”
In her speech, embedded below, Giffords admits that speaking is still a challenge for her — and she urges lawmakers to consider the issue as not one of left or right, but a bi-partisan effort for which the time has come.