Gabrielle Giffords to Congress in wake of Las Vegas shootings: "The nation is counting on you"

The former Congresswoman released a statement encouraging Congress to "make progress" on "gun violence"

Published October 2, 2017 1:58PM (EDT)

Gabby Giffords (AP/Matt Rourke)
Gabby Giffords (AP/Matt Rourke)

In light of the Las Vegas shooting Sunday night, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who was also a victim of gun violence, called the massacre "a grave tragedy for our nation."

Giffords released a statement on Twitter Monday. "I know this feeling of heartbreak and horror too well," she said. In 2011, Giffords was shot in the head at close range while meeting with constituents in a grocery store parking lot. Six people were killed during the assassination attempt.

Even after she resigned from Congress, Gifford has remained a staunch advocate for stricter gun laws, with her husband, retired astronaut Mark E. Kelly. "This must stop—we must stop this," she wrote.

Giffords also urged Congress to "find the courage it will take to make progress on the challenging issue of gun violence," she said. "I know they got into politics for the same reason I did — to make a difference, to get things done. Now is the time to take positive action to keep America safer. Do not wait. The nation is counting on you."

The former Congresswomen offered her prayers and condolences to the victims and families affected by the Las Vegas shooting, where the death toll has risen to at least 58 people, with more than 400 injured, making it the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history. In the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting in 2015, 49 people were killed.

Politicians are likely to address the pleas for tougher gun laws in the coming days, though President Donald Trump's statement this morning made no mention of it.

By Rachel Leah

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