- The Washington Times - Monday, October 2, 2017

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Monday said “the nation’s counting on you” in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting Sunday night that left dozens dead and hundreds more wounded.

Mrs. Giffords, who was wounded by a deranged gunman at a constituent event in Tucson, Arizona, in January 2011, eventually forcing her exit from Congress, made the brief remarks at an event near the U.S. Capitol standing alongside her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly.

The former congresswoman then turned and raised a fist toward the U.S. Capitol building.

Mr. Kelly labeled the Las Vegas shooting, believed to be the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, “domestic terrorism” and said “thoughts and prayers” from concerned lawmakers aren’t enough.

“Thoughts and prayers are important. We send our thoughts and prayers, too,” Mr. Kelly said. “But they are not enough. Your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to stop the next shooting. Only action and leadership will do that.”

Mr. Kelly mentioned the need to institute new gun controls, like universal background checks.

He and Mrs. Giffords, who co-founded the gun control group Americans for Responsible Solutions in 2013, had been scheduled on Monday to attend events tied to the gun issue on behalf of Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, who is the Democratic nominee for governor in next month’s election.

The events were canceled in light of the Las Vegas shooting, but Mr. Kelly said that broadly speaking, people shouldn’t try to separate politics from the gun debate at this point.

“Don’t let anyone tell you not to talk about politics when we talk about guns,” he said.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, Maryland Democrat, told reporters after the news conference that he hopes there’s a path forward for some kind of action in Congress.

“We’ve got to see where the majority is on these issues, and whether there’s going to be an attempt to quiet everybody down and then sweep things under the rug, or whether they’re going to deal seriously with what is a moral crisis in our country,” he said.

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