Giffords to attend State of the Union

Giffords to attend State of the Union
Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 8:05pm

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, critically injured in a 2011 mass shooting, will attend the president's State of the Union address on Tuesday as a guest of Rep. Ron Barber, who replaced her in the House.

She resigned her seat in Congress in the day after the State of the Union last year. On his way to the rostrum to deliver his remarks in the annual address, President Barack Obama stopped to embrace her.

This year, she will be in the gallery as a guest of Barber, her former staffer, and alongside her husband Mark Kelly, a guest of Sen. John McCain. Barber and McCain are both from Arizona, the state she represented in Congress. Several Democratic members of Congress have urged their colleagues to invite victims of gun violence to the State of the Union in an effort to raise awareness of the issue.

"We'll be listening to what the President has to say and are standing ready to support commonsense legislation in Congress to reduce gun violence," she wrote in a post to her Facebook gun violence prevention group Saturday afternoon.

The group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, is fundraising to support candidates who "stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership by communicating directly with the constituents that elect them."

She was in Washington last month and spoke at a gun violence hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

She called on Congress to "be bold, be courageous" with reducing gun violence because "too many children are dying" and "something must be done."

Giffords was wounded in a January 2011 shooting at an event in her congressional district. Six others were killed and 13 were wounded. Gunman Jared Lee Loughner was sentenced to seven life terms in prison for the killings.

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