Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords made an emotional appeal for new gun legislation and for support for nominee Joe Biden during the third night of the Democratic National Convention.
“I’ve known the darkest of days,” said Giffords, the former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011. “Days of pain and uncertain recovery. But confronted by despair, I’ve summoned hope. Confronted by paralysis and aphasia, I responded with grit and determination. I put one foot in front of the other. I found one word and then I found another. My recovery is a daily fight, but fighting makes me strong.”
“Words once came easily, but today I struggle to speak. But I have not lost my voice,” continued Giffords, who completed the speech in a single take. “America needs all of us to speak out, even when you have to fight to find the words. We are at a crossroads. We can let the shooting continue, or we can act. We can protect our families, our future. We can vote.
“We can be on the right side of history,” Giffords concluded. “We must elect Joe Biden. He was there for me. He’ll be there for you too. Join us in this fight. Vote, vote, vote.”
Giffords was shot in the head in 2011 during a constituent meeting in Tucson, Ariz., and suffered brain damage that caused paralysis and limited her ability to speak. The video showed Giffords recovering in her hospital bed after the shooting, participating in rehab, rehearsing her speech and playing “America (My Country ’Tis of Thee)” on a French horn.
She resigned her seat to focus on her recovery and has been a leading advocate for gun safety measures. Giffords’s political action committee has pledged to spend at least $7.5 million electing Democrats this cycle.
Her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, is the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Arizona. He will face incumbent Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat in December 2018 after having lost that year’s Senate race to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. Recent polling has shown him in the lead.
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