Advertisement

At shooting site, Gabrielle Giffords lobbies for background checks

 
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, lead a cheer at Wednesday’s rally.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, lead a cheer at Wednesday’s rally.
Published March 7, 2013

TUCSON, Ariz. — Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the scene of the horrific shooting that wounded her and killed six people two years ago, urging senators Wednesday to pass background checks for gun purchases in her first public event at the site since the rampage.

Giffords, who is still recovering from her injuries, spoke fewer than 20 words in the parking lot of the Safeway grocery store in her hometown of Tucson in a brief but emotional call for stricter gun control measures.

"Be bold. Be courageous," Giffords said. "Please support background checks."

Other survivors joined Giffords at the news conference, along with her husband, Mark Kelly.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is to take up tougher firearm regulations today.

"This discussion is not really about the Second Amendment," Kelly said. "It's about public safety and keeping guns out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill."

Jared Lee Loughner, 24, was sentenced in November to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years, in the shooting at a meet-and-greet event organized by Giffords on Jan. 8, 2011.