It was “political fear” and “cold calculations” that drove a Senate minority to block a gun background-check measure yesterday. But “that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets,” writes Gabrielle Giffords in a blistering New York Times op-ed. Some of those senators have met with Newtown victims, “have looked into my eyes” as Giffords discussed her own shooting. Yet, despite polls showing overwhelming support for the measure, “then they looked over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby—and brought shame on themselves by choosing to do nothing.” Read more on Newser…
Over the weekend, beloved Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords announced she will leave Congress to focus on her health. Her resignation comes nearly a year to the day after Giffords was shot in the head during a deadly shooting rampage that claimed the lives of six people at an event in Tucson, Arizona. In the video announcement, Giffords admitted, “I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. I have more work to do on my recovery. So to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week.”
Giffords’ incredible post-shooting recovery — and the love affair between she and her astronaut husband Mark Kelly — was pretty tearjerking. Not that we were crying while watching this video or anything. [YouTube]
After a devastating breakup with her longtime boyfriend, Jackie plunged into a deep despair. “I was in a fog – a fog that wouldn’t lift,” said the 29-year old marketing manager. There were times Jackie said she didn’t know if she was alive or dead, awake or asleep, coming or going. The acute pain pervaded every moment, every molecule.
That is until one day in August, when Jackie – like millions of rapt Americans – watched incredulously as Gabrielle Giffords climbed those Capitol Hill steps and telegraphed to the world without saying a single world what the congressional representative really represents: indomitable resolve. Keep reading »
Last night, something unexpected happened as the House of Representatives voted on the debt-ceiling compromise. (If you haven’t been following, here is the very short story: Democrats and Republicans have been in a deadlock for months over how to handle our debt load, and the government’s ability to borrow money expires at midnight tonight.) With two minutes left to go in the House’s vote, a side door of the chamber opened and a woman walked in. It was Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who has been missing from the proceedings since January, when she was shot in the head at point-blank range. While Giffords was a touch unsteady on her feet and didn’t speak much, she had a big smile on her face as she waved to the members of the House. She was greeted with a standing ovation and a flurry of hugs. Her presence appeared to have a palpable effect. While the vote in favor of the compromise bill had been stalled at 200, after Giffords entered her ‘yes’ vote, it shot up to 216 in favor. In the end, the bill passed with 269 votes—sending it to the Senate this morning.
“The Capitol looks beautiful tonight and I am honored to be at work,” Giffords Tweeted. Keep reading »