It’s been exactly one year since the country was stunned by the violent shooting rampage that nearly killed Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, and did kill and wound numerous staff, supporters and even a little girl.
Since the shooting, Giffords has been recovering, slowly learning once more how to walk, talk, and even making an occasional appearance and vote in Congress. She and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly have even published a memoir about her ordeal. But politically, her future is still in limbo. It’s unclear whether she will run for her seat again in 2012, and she has even picked up a challenger for the primary, despite the fact that others have tried to hold the seat for her and have fundraised in preparation for a campaign. And an open senate seat in Arizona, normally a given move for a popular, moderate Representative, is a possibility, although highly unlikely at this stage in her rehabilitation.
But she is making the effort to appear publicly on this infamous anniversary, visiting a memorial site for one of her slain staffers as well as the site of the shooting, and a vigil at the University of Arizona.Although many began rallying for stricter gun control laws after the January shooting, the effort has mostly faded away, and the Obama administration has made it clear that they have no interest in using the anniversary to reopen the debate. ”‘I don’t have anything new for you,’ White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday when asked about the anniversary. ‘It’s a solemn occasion. … It’s a remarkable recovery that Congresswoman Giffords has made, but we can never forget the lives lost on that day,’ he added.”
And others are even using the anniversary to promote weapons. According to Think Progress, the Crossroads of the West gun show has decided to use today as the day to throw their Tuscon exhibit and sale. But at least they don’t appear to be raffling away the same type of gun that nearly killed her, like the Arizona GOP did last fall.
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