Gabby Giffords is tired of Congress’ “cowardice” on gun control laws. She’s so weary that the former U.S. Rep. for Arizona publicly urged our leaders to pass tougher legislation, because how much more death is needed to illustrate reform as a critical move?

In a USA Today column, Giffords reminded Congress of two grisly anniversaries, her near fatal shooting five years ago this January and the slaughter of 20 children in the Sandy Hook massacre several years ago. She points out that those tiny lives can never be replaced and their parents will never stop mourning their kids.

Since that tragedy three years ago Monday, about 30,000 more Americans have been murdered with guns. Some were killed by strangers. Many of them by people they knew. Some were Republicans, and some were Democrats. All, I know, were loved. All, like those kids at Sandy Hook, have left a hole in their families’ hearts that is eternal. Many of their deaths might not have made the headlines, but we must grieve for them, too.

Gifford continued, writing about the “shameful status quo” Congress has created within “the gun lobby’s grip” by not passing tougher legislation despite the rampant and rising gun deaths in America. She also noted that hope is coming in states like Virginia and Washington, but residents outside those states who want stricter gun laws must hold their representatives accountable rather than falling into fear and despair.

The only things standing between us and that vital goal are Congress and the gun lobby. And it is just a matter of time until Congress comes around — and acts. So let’s carry our elected officials in Washington along with us, buoyed by our grit and our hope and our optimism, just as Americans always have.

In 2011, Giffords was wounded in a shooting outside of an Arizona grocery store where she was hosting her constituents during an event called “Congress at your corner.” Since then, she retired from her post and works as a anti-gun violence activist.


Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.

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