Gabrielle Giffords Resigns From House One Year After Assassination Attempt
On January 8th, 2011, Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords became known to the entire country after a failed assassination attempt on her during her annual "Congress on Your Corner" at a Safeway outside Tucson, AZ. The democratic Representative from Arizona's 8th District was shot in the head at close range by Jared Lee Loughner, but luckily survived the assault. From the following gunshots, 13 people were injured 6 were killed, including 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green and Gabriel Zimmerman, community outreach director for Giffords. It took almost 8 months for Giffords to return to the House, participating in a vote to raise the debt limit ceiling. And now just over a year after the shooting, Giffords has resigned to devote her time to recovery.
Many have praised Giffords and her strength since the shooting, giving her credit for bipartisanship in the House, such as the 408-o vote this week on Gifford's bill to give federal law enforcement greater authority in combating cross-border drug trafficking.
Yesterday morning, Giffords made her way into the House and was immediately greeted with handshakes and kisses on the cheek by fellow representatives wishing her farewell. In an emotional video message earlier in the week, Giffords announced her intentions to do what was best for herself and her district and step down by the end of the week. Wasserman Schultz, who was present with Giffords first opened her eyes after the assassination attempt, read aloud Giffords' resignation letter (As you can see from the video, Giffords still has difficulty with speech), then assisted Giffords to the rostrum where she submitted her resignation letter to the Speaker.
Several of Giffords' collegues, as well as Giffords herself, assured people that this would only be temporary and that she intends to return to public service, maybe even Congress again, when she fully recovers.