Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was critically injured after being shot in the head in January 2011, made a surprise appearance at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence this morning.Giffords gave an emotional, short opening statement, speaking slowly to clearly annunciate.
“Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important,” Giffords said.
“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.” She spoke just 71 words.
Also testifying at the Senate testimony are her husband, Mark Kelly, and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.
Kelly advocated for more stringent background checks in his testimony.
“We aren’t here as victims. We’re speaking to you today as Americans,” Kelly said in his opening statement, noting that he and Giffords were both gun owners and “moderates.”
“Gabby and I are pro gun ownership,” Kelly said. “But we are also anti gun violence.”
LaPierre said he does not support background checks for all gun-show purchasers.
“I do not believe the way the law is working now, unfortunately, it does any good to extend the law,” he said.
Here’s video of Gabby Giffords’ testimony:
Giffords’ gun violence group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, posted her handwritten testimony:
[image url="http://static.businessinsider.com/image/510963fb6bb3f7f72e000003/image.jpg" link="lightbox" caption="" source="" alt="Giffords testimony" align="left" size="xlarge" nocrop="true" clear="true"]
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