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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Five years after Giffords assassination attempt, policy makers continue to discuss gun reform

Michelle A. Monroe
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords gives a speech to her supporters at the Tucson Marriott University Park Hotel on Nov. 2, 2010. On Jan. 8, 2011, Giffords survived an assasination attempt in which six people were killed. Today, she speaks out against gun violence and pushes for reform.

It has been five years since Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot at an event in front of a Tucson Safeway. The shooting left six dead and 13 injured. Among those injured was Giffords, who endured a bullet through the brain.

On Jan. 8, 2016, Rep. Martha McSally, who now holds the congressional seat that once belonged to Giffords, led the House of Representatives in a moment of silence for the victims of the 2011 shooting.

In Tucson, community members commemorated the anniversary of the shooting by participating in BEYOND events on Jan. 9. The events included a one to four mile social walk or run at Saguaro National Park and a bufflegrass community clean up event put on by the Friends of “A” Mountain.

The anniversary was a reminder of the community’s resilience, but also a reminder of how dangerous guns can be when they fall into the wrong hands.

The 2011 shooting has made politicians more aware of the dangers they face while serving the public. Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva and his team have increased their coordination with local police before holding public events.

“You know, they [police and other law enforcement entities] are always in close contact whenever he’s going to do a public event or anything like that, not just for his safety but for attendees’ safety, staff safety, everybody’s safety is kept in mind,” Dan Lindner, Grijalva’s communications director, said. “It’s entirely ensuring that safe measures are taken in advance.”

Following the 2011 shooting, two politicians, one Republican and one Democrat, told POLITICO they would be carrying concealed guns on their person when in their home districts for security.

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz and former North Carolina Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler both had concealed carry licenses at the time, according to POLITICO.

The 2011 shooting cannot keep government officials from going out to meet their constituents. The solution Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly see to this threat is increased gun control.

Surrounding the anniversary of the shooting, Giffords worked toward increasing awareness against gun violence.

Giffords spent time in Washington D.C., where she attended President Barack Obama’s town hall meeting on his planned executive action on gun control. Giffords also wrote a piece for The Washington Post in which she applauded Obama’s actions.

“This week, we made even more progress when President Obama announced that his administration will significantly narrow the loopholes that let people buy guns without a background check,” Giffords wrote in the article. “It is the right, responsible thing to do.”

Giffords and her husband released an online statement on Sunday endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

In the statement, Giffords explained her and her husband’s decision to support the Clinton campaign, one of the most important reasons being Clinton’s views regarding the gun lobby.

“Only one candidate for president has the determination and toughness to stand up to the corporate gun lobby—and the record to prove it. That candidate is Hillary Clinton,” Giffords said.

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