On January 8, 2011, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was on a meeting at the suburban Safeway grocery store when a young man opened fire at her and other attendees. Six were killed and 13 were wounded in the attack.
Two years later, Giffords stood at the very same spot where she was shot. The incident left her with speech difficulties and partial paralysis on her left arm, Reuters reported. But this condition did not stop her from advocating stricter gun rules; she even called louder for it.
Giffords on Wednesday called on the senators to “be courageous” and advocate stricter gun rules through a universal background check system. She asked her Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake to support the legislation to minimize shooting rampages in the country—a huge problem that the government needs to solve.
“Be bold. Be courageous. Be for background checks,” she said.
The former Democrat representative was with her husband Mark Kelley, a former astronaut, and the family members of the victims of the Tucson rampage. The couple asked the voters and the legislators to support the bill pending in the Congress that would enact a law requiring background checks to all gun purchases and transfers.
The shooting incident scarred Giffords for life but it did not stop there. In fact, she and Kelley founded a group during the Connecticut shooting in December—that left 26 people, 20 of which were children—to stop gun violence and oppose the well-funded pro-gun lobby.
Bipartisan background check
On the same day, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a legislation that would compel reports of mental illness treatments and legal proceedings to be forwarded to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the system that checks one’s eligibility to buy firearms.
The legislation is a step to make it harder for mentally-ill people to purchase guns as they would be considered dangerous.
“There is a lot of emotion around the gun violence issue, but I am hopeful this is one area where we can find tremendous bipartisan support to fix what I think is a gaping gap in our law,” Graham said.