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It’s been three years since former U.S. representative for Arizona, Gabriel Giffords’ life changed forever when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at an event. Loughner’s gunfire injured 13 people, including Giffords, and took the life of six innocent people.
Marking the third anniversary of the incident, Giffords wrote an op/ed for the New York Times, noting both her triumphs and struggles since that day.
Although she was “allowed the opportunity for a new life” since surviving a gunshot wound to the head, she admitted, "I struggle to speak, my eyesight’s not great, my right arm and leg are paralyzed, and I left a job I loved representing southern Arizona in Congress."
Giffords added, “It’s gritty, painful, frustrating work, every day. Rehab is endlessly repetitive. And it’s never easy, because once you’ve mastered some movement or action or word, no matter how small, you move on to the next. You never rest.”
She also revealed something “I’ve not spoken of until now,” and that is that her hours upon hours of physical therapy have paid off – she now has movement in her right arm.
Since the shooting, she’s been an advocate against gun violence. In her op/ed, she outlined the steps she wants to take in order to prevent these heinous crimes.
“Enhance enforcement by passing a law making gun trafficking a serious crime with stiff penalties. Make it illegal for all stalkers and all domestic abusers to buy guns. Extend mental health resources into schools and communities, so the dangerously mentally ill find it easier to receive treatment than to buy firearms,” she said.
Giffords will also mark the 3-year anniversary of her shooting by skydiving, which TODAY will broadcast on Thursday.
image: Wikimedia Commons