Gabrielle Giffords spoke today at a congressional hearing on gun violence, giving a short but moving speech on taking action to prevent shootings.
Giffords, a former Arizona representative, became a symbol of the nation’s problem with gun violence when she was shot in the head during an assassination attempt while she met with constituents outside a Tucson supermarket. Thirteen people were injured, six were killed. While recovering, Giffords had to re-learn how to walk, talk, read and write.
Today, she gave a speech at a congressional gun violence hearing. It was the first time I’d heard her talk, really, since she was shot and her speech is stilted and slow. She admits it’s hard for her to speak. It’s fitting. You can clearly see the lasting damage of gun violence and it’s heartbreaking. It’s a miracle Giffords is even alive.
Her statement is simple but powerful. She is the evidence, standing there, that something needs to change.
For more insight into what it’s like to be a victim of gun violence, watch this powerful video of comedian Yannis Pappas talking about how his life changed after he was shot:
Pappis, in a PBS series called “Modern Comedian,” talks about his battles with PTSD post-shooting and his strong anti-gun stance.