By Claire Zillman
October 2, 2017

After the shooting at a Las Vegas concert Sunday night killed at least 58 people, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D–Ariz.) condemned the act as a “grave tragedy” and urged lawmakers to pass legislation addressing gun violence.

In a statement on Monday, Giffords, who was the target of an assassination attempt by a gunman in 2011, sent her condolences to the Las Vegas victims, praised first responders, and called for an end to gun violence.

“I know this feeling of heartbreak and horror too well. The massacre in Las Vegas is a grave tragedy for our nation,” she said. “This must stop—we must stop this.”

She also encouraged members of Congress to “find the courage it will take to make progress on the challenging issue of gun violence.”

“I know they got into politics for the same reason I did—to make a difference, to get things done,” she said. “Now is the time to take positive action to keep America safer. Do not wait. The nation is counting on you.”

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Giffords was left disabled by the 2011 shooting that occurred as she met with constituents in a grocery store parking lot. Six people were killed and Giffords was hit in the head at close range. She eventually resigned from Congress but remains a vocal advocate for tougher gun laws along with her husband, retired astronaut and Navy captain Mark E. Kelly.

The Sunday night incident at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas is the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, surpassing the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead in 2015. Police believe a lone gunman—Stephen Paddock, age 64—was responsible for the Las Vegas shooting that also injured more than 400 people.

The tragedy has renewed calls for tougher gun laws, though in remarks delivered on Monday morning, President Donald Trump did not mention any such measures, but rather called for the nation “to find unity and peace.”

 

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