Gabrielle Giffords challenges U.S. Congress to find courage on guns

BOSTON Sun May 5, 2013 5:50pm EDT

2013 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award recipient, former U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, listens as her husband Mark Kelly speaks at the awards ceremony at the Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts May 5, 2013. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

2013 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award recipient, former U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, listens as her husband Mark Kelly speaks at the awards ceremony at the Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts May 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

BOSTON (Reuters) - Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Sunday, asking the U.S. Congress to act more courageously on the issue of gun control.

"We all have courage inside," Giffords, who herself survived being shot in 2011, said at the Kennedy Library in Boston. "I wish there was more courage in Congress. Sometimes it's hard to express it."

The remarks come just a few weeks after the U.S. Senate voted down a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers, a step favored by U.S. President Barack Obama and most Americans.

An online Reuters/Ipsos poll released in January showed that 86 percent of those surveyed favored expanded background checks of all gun buyers.

Giffords, a Democrat, was shot in the head when a gunman opened fire on a congressional outreach event in Tucson in January 2011, killing six people and wounding a dozen others. She resigned from Congress a year after the shooting to focus on her recovery.

Following the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 26 people at an elementary school in December, Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, founded a lobby group aimed at curbing gun violence and challenging the political clout of the well-funded gun lobby.

Before the awards ceremony on Sunday, Giffords and Kelly visited victims of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing who are recovering at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

The award, named for President Kennedy's 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Profiles in Courage," was presented to Giffords by foundation president Caroline Kennedy.

(Reporting by Aaron Pressman; Editing by Chris Reese)

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Comments (11)
NCMAN64 wrote:
Ms. Giffords could help by focusing on the real issue, mental illness. It was the reason that her assailant killed and injured those many people that day. We need to put all people being treated by psychiatrists on a list, to prevent that section of the population from acquiring firearms. Let them carry the legitimate burden, instead of the law abiding citizens of America who the liberals want to eventually disarm.

May 05, 2013 8:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:
“I wish there was more courage in Congress.”

She would have a better chance of finding Big Foot getting a makeover on Rodeo Drive.

May 05, 2013 10:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:
NCMAN64 wrote:
“Ms. Giffords could help by focusing on the real issue, mental illness.”

That is just a Fox News talking point, and only Fox Bots think it is the real issue.

For most people, the real issue is how to stop so-called ‘responsible gun owners’ from leaving there guns lying around for criminals and the mentally ill to pick up and use.

One fact the the NRA never mentions: in the UK, Newtown could never have happened *because UK gun regulations would have prevented it.*

May 06, 2013 1:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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