Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords doesn't speak in public too often anymore, because she has trouble forming complete sentences ever since she was shot in the head while meeting with constituents two years ago. (She's also partially blind and her right arm is completely paralyzed. Guns are fun.)
But she opened today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence — the first since Obama vowed to curb gun crime after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting — with a short and extremely emotional speech that was clearly physically tough for her to get out, rendering her words even more heartbreaking.
"Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important," she said. "Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying; too many children. We must do something. It will be hard. But the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you."
Her husband Captain Mark Kelly, who also testified today, held her hand and escorted her out of the room when she was done.
"Gabby's gift for speech is a distant memory," he said. But that's exactly why her speech was so powerful.