On Wednesday, shooting victim and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a hearing on preventing gun violence, that now is the time to take steps to help prevent gun violence.
"Violence is a big problem," Giffords said. "Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something!"
Here are Gifford's full remarks:
Thank you for inviting me here today. This is an important conversation for our children, for our community, for Democrats and Republicans.
Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem to many children are dying. Too many children.
We must do something!
It's will be hard, but the time is now! You must act. Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you.
Giffords' husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, had already been scheduled to appear before the panel. The two have formed a political action group called Americans for Responsible Solutions, aimed at promoting gun restrictions.
Also testifying will be Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. According to his prepared testimony released by the NRA on Tuesday, LaPierre is expected to double-down on the group’s opposition to a new federal ban on assault weapons and federal background checks for all firearms buyers.
“Law-abiding gun owners will not accept blame for the acts of violent or deranged criminals,” LaPierre’s prepared testimony states. “Nor do we believe the government should dictate what we can lawfully own and use to protect our families.”
Also testifying are Nicholas Johnson, professor of law at Fordham University in New York; James Johnson, chief of police for Baltimore County, Md., and chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence; and Gayle Trotter, attorney and senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum.