Giffords to Congress: 'The nation is counting on you' to curb gun violence

Giffords to Congress: 'The nation is counting on you' to curb gun violence (CNN Newsource)

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., addressed Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 58 dead and 515 injured.

"The nation is counting on you," she stated, turning to the Capitol behind her while raising her fist.

Giffords was shot in the head on Jan. 8, 2011 during an assassination attempt.

Husband Mark Kelly took the podium, noting that like he and his wife, "thousands of lives are forever changed" after the massacre.

"Today is a very dark day for our great country," he said.

Kelly noted statistics, claiming roughly 33 thousand lives are lost every year due to gun violence.

Specifically referencing Sunday night's shooting, he said "this was an ambush if there ever was one."

The gunman was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada. He had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. Police said he was a retiree with no criminal record in the Nevada county where he lived.

"This was domestic terrorism," Kelly said.

Noting that thoughts and prayers were important, the former representative's spouse

"Your thoughts and prayers aren't going to stop the next shooting."

Stating his support for the second amendment, Kelly said he hoped common-sense legislation would prevail on Capitol Hill.

"We can demand that the leaders we elect go to work at the building behind me don't have the option to say that this is just too hard."

Instead, he suggested legislators make every effort "to stop people from dying."

Kelly and Giffords together stated Congress should establish a special commission of both parties to do so.

"Does anybody actually believe our gun laws are too strong? Give me a break."

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