Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords went back to the scene of the crime on Wednesday–the supermarket parking lot in Tucson, Ariz., where she was shot more than two years ago.
Standing proudly alongside her husband Mark Kelly, a resilient Giffords was there to promote expanded background checks for all gun purchases.
Giffords had a message for all members of Congress: “Be bold. Be courageous. Please support background checks. Thank you very much.”
At the rally, Kelly told reporters they are both hopeful after meeting privately with Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake privately. “I am very optimistic, as is Gabby, that they are doing to do the right thing and pass this legislation. So they’re both supportive.” Kelly said his wife “reminds me each and every day to deny the acceptance of failure.”
Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last December, the couple has amped up their efforts to toughen gun control laws. The pair, both self-described gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment, launched Americans for Responsible Solutions in January.
The pro-gun control group began airing ads in Arizona and Iowa on Tuesday, calling for lawmakers to pass universal background checks. And Kelly visited Colorado on Monday, echoing that same message.
In January 8, 2011, Giffords was one of 13 wounded after a gunman opened fire at a meet-and-greet with her constituents. Six people died in the attack, including a little girl. The former Democratic congresswoman suffered from a brain injury and continues to undergo speech therapy and physical rehabilitation. She gave up her House seat in January 2012.
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to take up the issue of increasing gun regulations.