Gabby Giffords visits Bay Area to fight for nationwide gun control

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Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head in 2011 and survived. Now, she's fighting for nationwide gun control and stopped by the Bay Area to discuss solutions. (KGO-TV)

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head in 2011. Thursday, at an event in San Francisco, she did not mince words, as she demanded nationwide gun control. "Now is the time to come together, be responsible. Democrats, Republicans, everyone, we must never stop fighting," exclaimed Giffords.

RELATED: How companies cut ties, changed policies since Florida shooting

Giffords, her husband, retired astronaut, Mark Kelly, and University of California President Janet Napolitano, all spoke about gun violence and the need for gun control. The event was a fundraiser for a UC Santa Cruz scholarship in honor of Giffords' former aide, Gabe Zimmerman, who was killed during the assassination attempt on Gifford.

The shooter used a semi-automatic pistol, equipped with a high capacity magazine, to shoot Zimmerman and 18 others at a 'Congress on Your Corner' event in a grocery store parking lot in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011. "I've seen great courage when my life was on the line," said Giffords who was meeting with her constituents at the time of the shooting. "Be bold, be courageous, the nation is counting on you," she added.

"It is a colossal problem here in the United States," says Kelly who explains that 35,000 people die from gunshot wounds every year in the U.S. and another 100,000 are wounded in shootings. "There is a portion of our society, certain individuals, and organizations that who would like us to think that this is normal. It's not normal. We are unlike any other country when it comes to gun violence. We have mass shootings at a rate comparable with the country of Yemen," explains Kelly.

RELATED: Palo Alto students rally in support of tighter gun control

Despite the numbers and the victims, up until this point, shootings and gun control have had little correlation. However, in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, Kelly and Napolitano believe a sea change in gun policy is taking place.

"What feels different about this moment in time, is the power of the student's voices out of Florida," says Napolitano. Kelly adds, "we have a very articulate and smart group of teenagers who are also really angry, who went through a traumatic experience, who realize they shouldn't have to, after this, worry about gun violence in their schools again and it never should have happened the first time."

Napolitano, former Secretary of Homeland Security, also says the corporate reaction to the Florida shooting is is putting pressure on politicians to take action.
Click here to read Walmart's full statement on their new gun policy.
Related Topics:
businessgunsgun controlwalmartgun safetygun violenceparkland school shootinggabby giffordsSanta Cruz
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