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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Editorial: Giffords’ decision respectable

    About a year after a bullet to the brain critically wounded her, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords decided to step down from office. The announcement came on Sunday, through a two-minute video posted to her Facebook page.

    The decision to leave office was necessary and appropriate, but Tucson’s support of Giffords would have continued even if she hadn’t stepped down.

    Some will say this decision should have come much earlier. People were clamoring for her removal from office while she was still in a hospital bed.

    But so much was unknown a year ago.

    No one knew on Jan. 8, 2011, if she would ever speak again, walk again or understand what happened. No one knew if in a year she’d be able to continue representing District 8.

    In her announcement, Giffords was able to communicate clearly with her constituents and understand the depth of her decision — a remarkable feat after just a year of recovery from brain trauma.

    But even the steadfast congresswoman isn’t Superwoman. If she needs time to recover, then that is what she should focus on.

    Giffords’ decision was not wholly unexpected. While her recovery has been remarkable, she still has a long way to go. As Arizonans, we should applaud Giffords for trying to do the impossible and support her now that she has stepped down.

    Furthermore, we should remember her for more than being just the representative who was shot in the head. She was consistently ranked as one of the most centrist legislators in Congress.

    Border families and friends of Robert Krentz, who was shot while working on his ranch on the border, will remember how after his death, she was the primary sponsor of legislation resulting in $600 million emergency funds that for more technology and Border Patrol agents to monitor illegal activity on the border.

    Veterans will remember her as a champion for their causes, as a representative whose office helped a Vietnam veteran recover more than $314,000 in compensation for medical problems caused by exposure to Agent Orange. Even before being wounded, Giffords was an advocate for veterans’ benefits and active-duty servicemen.

    “I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice,” Giffords said in her video announcement. “Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover.”

    It’s more important for her to be healthy than it is for her to continue representing Southern Arizona. A special election will be held and someone will represent Giffords’ district for the final eight months of her term. Although she’ll never be truly replaced in our hearts, we hope the election will present Tucson with a new face for the same goals.

    — Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Bethany Barnes, Kristina Bui, Luke Money, Michelle A. Monroe and Steven Kwan. They can be reached at or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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