"From great loss, we created profound change," she said Wednesday, the nine-year anniversary

By Sean Neumann
January 09, 2020 08:14 AM
Gabrielle Giffords in 2017.
UNITED STATES - MAY 3: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., speaks during a news conference with Americans for Responsible Solutions and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to a call on Congress to address the issue and resist the agenda of gun lobbies on May 3, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s been nine years since a gunman opened fire on a group of people meeting with Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, killing six of them and significantly injuring her. On Wednesday, the anniversary, Giffords said she “struggled with the lives we lost” but “from great loss, we created profound change.”

Giffords, 49, was shot in the head during the mass shooting, which killed a federal judge named John Roll and a 9-year-old named Christina-Taylor Green, among others. Thirteen people were injured. (The gunman remains in prison.)

“What I’ve learned since that day is that it’s not the setback that defines us, but how we respond to it,” Giffords tweeted Wednesday.

“After I was shot, I struggled with the lives we lost that day. But from great loss, we created profound change,” she continued. “As I worked to regain my strength, we built a strong social movement to prevent future tragedies. As I worked to find my words again, America found its voice.”

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Giffords has become a leading voice on gun violence prevention since the 2011 attack, often speaking up in the wake of mass shootings, like she did in 2017 after the Las Vegas concert massacre.

The former congresswoman went through an extensive recovery process following the shooting and returned to the House floor seven months later, in August 2011, to a standing ovation.

She resigned in January 2012 to focus on her recovery, but she’s remained vocal about gun reform.

RELATED: Gabrielle Giffords Says Her ‘Heart’ Is with GOP Victims — ‘This Shooting Is an Attack on All Who Serve’

Gabrielle Giffords in 2016, campaigning for candidates who support gun reform.
Spencer Platt/Getty

On Wednesday, Giffords’ Twitter feed included messages remembering the victims of the 2011 shooting and posts criticizing Republicans for what she said were too-close ties with the NRA and gun lobbyists.

Giffords called out President Donald Trump and other Republicans’ stance on gun policies. She’s campaigned against the president on these issues. Her husband, astronaut and Air Force veteran Mark Kelly, is running for an Arizona Senate seat.

“Senator McConnell and President Trump may sit silent, but voters will not,” Giffords tweeted Wednesday. “America’s voice will be decisive in 2020. If Senate leaders won’t vote on universal background checks, we’ll elect leaders who will.”

She launched the Giffords Courage to Fight Gun Violence campaign in 2016.

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