In one of her last acts as a congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords met with other survivors of the Tucson shooting. As everyone is aware, Giffords and 13 others were wounded and six killed on January 8, 2011 when Jared Loughner opened fire in a Safeway parking lot. Congresswoman Giffords was hosting a “Congress On Your Corner” event for her constituents when the shooting occurred.
She met with the survivors at her congressional office in Arizona as a way to finish the meeting that started last January. She posted photos of the meeting on her Twitter account where she can be seen hugging Daniel Hernandez, the intern who took care of her when she got shot. Another photo shows her meeting with Suzie Heilman, the woman who brought Christina Green-Taylor, the nine-year-old girl who was killed at the event.
She also met with Pat Maisch, the woman who wrestled a magazine clip from Jared Loughner. Maisch said of her meeting with Giffords, “I thanked her for her service, wished her well, and she just looked beautiful. I’ve always said I would love for her to continue to be my congresswoman, but I want her to do what’s best for her. She’s got to take care of herself.”
It is a good thing for Congresswoman Giffords to meet with the other survivors. The meeting gives her and the others a way to see each other and check on each other. It also sends a message that violence is not going to stop the democratic process. Being there with the survivors is a signal, not just to the people of Arizona, but to the entire country.
In addition to meeting with survivors, Giffords also met with an advisory council and others who helped her constituents while she was in rehabilitation. She also met with people from the Gabrielle Giffords Family Assistance Center at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
On Tuesday, she is attending, along with her husband Mark Kelly, the State of the Union address by President Obama, as guests of the first lady. Wednesday she’ll be at the capitol when the House considers a border security and light air craft bill Giffords sponsored and passed by the Senate last year. Later this week she is expected to submit her letter of resignation to Speaker John Boehner and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.
Congresswoman Giffords could’ve selfishly stayed in office until the end of her term. She could’ve run for reelection and probably win. But that would be putting her wants above the needs of her constituents. Resigning her seat gives her the chance to focus on her health and rehabilitation and allows the citizens of the 8<sup>th</sup> district to have a full-time representative in Congress.
(Photo Source: Wikipedia)