On January 8, 2011, I was performing my favorite duty as a Congresswoman—meeting with my constituents—when it happened. In a matter of seconds, a gunman shot and killed six people, injured 12 others, and shot me in the head outside a Safeway in Tucson, Arizona.
I keep the memories of those we lost that day—nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard, Gabe Zimmerman, and Judge John Roll—close to my heart. And I will be forever bonded to my fellow survivors who will spend the rest of their lives dealing with injuries and trauma.
Their lives and legacies are the reason why I fight for stronger gun laws, and why my organization, Giffords, has become my life’s work. Since we launched in 2013, I’ve met thousands of survivors of gun violence who are driven to do the same by personal experiences and memories of their loved ones.
I’ve seen great courage in my life, and few things compare to the courage it takes to share your pain in hopes of sparing the next family from it.
I’m endlessly grateful to every survivor for sharing their stories and the stories of those who are no longer here to tell their own. It’s brought us a long way in the fight to end gun violence. I know that together we will win this fight.