- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona made an emotional pitch for Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden on the third night of the modified Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.

“We must elect Joe Biden. He was there for me - he’ll be there for you, too,” Ms. Giffords said in a video segment.

Ms. Giffords was shot in the head by a deranged gunman at a constituent event in January 2011 in an incident that left her with significant impairments to her speech and movement.

“My recovery is a daily fight, but fighting makes me stronger,” she said. “America needs all of us to speak out, even when you have to fight to find the words.”

The former congresswoman also played the french horn in the video.

Her husband Mark Kelly, who is running for U.S. Senate in Arizona this year, said on Twitter that the speech was the longest one she has given since she was shot.

Ms. Giffords’ remarks on Wednesday evening were part of a segment that also featured comments from DeAndra Dycus, whose son DeAndre Knox was accidentally shot and left paralyzed at the age of 13, and Emma González, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland, Fla. school shooting.

“Until one of us or all of us stand up and say I can’t do this anymore, I can’t sit by and watch the news treat these shootings like acts of God, gun violence isn’t just going to stop until there’s a force fighting harder against it, and I’m going to do something to prevent it,” Ms. González said in a video.

Gun control activists are banking that the issue will be a winning one for Democrats this year.

Mr. Biden has vowed to support new controls and gun bans, taking a similar position on the issue as Hillary Clinton did in 2016 after Democrats had labored to avoid being painted as anti-gun in earlier presidential election cycles.

Ms. Giffords had led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 as she was accompanied by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.

Ms. Giffords and Mr. Kelly also appeared at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

“Speaking is difficult for me, but come January I want to say these two words: Madam President,” Ms. Giffords said then, referring to Mrs. Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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