Giffords writes open letter in support of Dem sit-in
By Rebecca Savransky
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) encouraged Democrats' sit-in on the House floor to push for action on gun control legislation with an open letter that was read aloud.
"There is nowhere I would rather be right now than with you?—?on the floor of the People’s House, representing Southern Arizona, fighting for our country, and working to make our communities safer," Giffords wrote, addressing House members. "But your action is the balm for my regret?—?and it is the inspiration for my continued commitment."
In January 2011, Giffords was shot when a gunman opened fire while she was meeting with constituents. She was forced to retire from Congress due to her injury and has since been fighting for gun control.
In the letter, Giffords said gun violence has torn apart the lives of many Americans and has affected every community. Victims of gun violence are of all different races and religions, she wrote.
"Fighting gun violence takes great courage," she wrote. "I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line. I see great courage in many of you right now."
Solving the problem, she said, will take a combined effort from all Americans.
"We are all responsible for our safety today and for the country we pass on to our children tomorrow. It’s what makes us a country," she wrote. "Where our country has already come together? —? behind the simple proposition that we ought to have laws that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people? — ?so must our Congress. And they should not waste another minute."
Some states have already made progress on the issue by working together, she said.
"It’s been said that hope was forged of two powerful ingredients: anger at how things are, and the courage to change them. We will not be driven backwards to live in isolation from one another and in fear of violence," she wrote.
Giffords vowed to "stand strong and work toward a safer nation for all of us."
"Speaking is difficult for me. But I haven’t been silenced," Giffords continued. "And neither should the American people. Their Representatives must vote to prevent gun violence."
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) on Wednesday read the letter aloud on the House floor, at one point tearing up.
"We will be here and sitting and stand strong until we can make sure there are no more Gabbys, no more Orlandos, no more Aurora, no more victims," Wasserman Schultz said after finishing her reading.