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10 Years Ago, My Boss Nearly Lost Her Life

Today, we fight together to end gun violence.

It’s now been a decade since Gabby Giffords and 18 others were shot at a constituent event in Tucson.

Six people died. If I could spend a lifetime remembering those we lost, honoring the courage of survivors, and valuing the service of my fellow congressional staff, it wouldn’t be enough. Gabby didn’t expect or invite tragedy. She never anticipated leading a new movement to prevent gun violence in America.

But Gabby is always someone who’s seen service as a calling, not an ambition. That she dedicates thousands upon thousands of hours of grueling therapy, not only to be an advocate for gun safety, but to be able to do things every day—another word, another step—that we all take for granted, is only part of her investment in serving the public and advocating for a safer, more courageous, more loving world.

My life also changed. The bravery of my colleagues in Gabby’s office, many of whom were at the scene of the shooting, to continue Gabby’s service and then to build their own lives of service will always be an inspiration. I will always be buoyed by the love and support shown by fellow congressional staff in the days, weeks, and months after the shooting.

And my advocacy for safer gun laws at Giffords will always be driven by the memories of gun violence victims and the courage of gun violence survivors. Gun violence is fundamentally preventable—and we’re getting closer to the commonsense change we need to save thousands of lives.



It’s been a decade since the shooting that nearly took Gabby’s life. We’re marking this milestone by sharing stories and taking action.

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The memories of the shooting in Tucson also reverberate in the devastating events of this week. Ten years ago it was an attack on a Congresswoman. Now it’s an attack on Congress. They have much in common. They were both attacks on those who serve the public and both, in their own way, manifestly preventable.

Both also require real leadership to address. Not the rhetorical ornamentation of “hopes and prayers” and “this is not who we are,” but real, courageous leadership to take on dangerous special interests, denounce the extreme and lethal ideology of insurrectionism, and put laws in place to protect Americans, and American democracy, from gun violence. 

These are dark days, but I’m optimistic. Working with Gabby, you can’t help but be. She was shot through the head, and look what she’s accomplished since. We have new leaders assuming power, public servants like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Mark Kelly. We won two Senate seats in Georgia and the majority in the Senate! Brighter days are ahead.

I’m so grateful for everything I have and have the opportunity to do. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to read Gabby’s story in her own words in the New York Times.


Gun violence costs our nation 40,000 lives each year. We can’t sit back as politicians fail to act tragedy after tragedy. Giffords brings the fight to save lives to communities, courthouses, and ballot boxes across the country—will you stand with us?