The House on Wednesday held a moment of silence on Wednesday to mark the ninth anniversary of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting, where six people were killed and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) sustained a severe head injury in an assassination attempt.
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) called for the moment of silence in an emotional tribute on the floor, noting Giffords has served as a mentor to her and highlighting her time getting to know shooting victim Judge John Roll while she served as his law clerk.
“Gabby had been my mentor in the state legislature, somebody I looked up to, admired. She had gone to Scripps College, and I was so glad my daughter got accepted because that’s where Gabby had gone. She’s just outstanding in every single way. And remains so,” Kirkpatrick said in her speech. “And thank heavens for that. Thank heavens.”
During her remarks, Kirkpatrick said that, while she supports the Second Amendment, she believes Congress needs to do more to prevent gun violence like what was seen during the 2011 mass shooting.
“I was a law clerk for Judge John Roll, another outstanding man, and I have to tell you, this is so personal for me. I grew up hunting in rural Arizona, and I was a very strong advocate for the Second Amendment. Still am,” she said.
“But we have to do something about gun violence in this country. So I thank my colleagues for standing here with me, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.], the senators, all of the Arizona delegation. We stand united today in wanting to honor Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Federal Judge John Roll, so please stand for a moment of silence. Thank you.”
Giffords was first elected to the House in 2006 and served until January 2012, when she stepped down from her seat to focus on her recovery.