by Danny Cross
Former Congresswoman to be in town on gun-violence prevention tour
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
will appear in next week's Northside 4th of July Parade as part of a
nationwide tour supporting responsible gun legislation, according to parade organizers.
Giffords was scheduled to be in town on
July 4 as part of a gun-violence prevention tour called The Rights and Responsibilities Tour, and her team
reached out to the Northside parade organizers with an interest in participating in something celebratory, according to Northside 4th of
July Parade co-coordinator Ollie Kroner.
The former Congresswoman from
suburban Arizona was the victim of an assassination attempt in
Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2011 that killed six and injured 12. Giffords
was shot in the head but has recovered some of her ability to walk,
speak and write. She resigned from Congress about a year after the
shooting and has focused on gun-safety measures. Giffords and her
husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, founded the Americans for Responsible
Solutions political action committee, which advocates for candidates
that support responsible policies that protect both the public and
the rights of gun owners.
The Rights and Responsibilities
Tour began in Nevada July 1 and was scheduled to make stops in
Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota and Ohio.Northside parade co-coordinator Chuck Brown says he was contacted by a Democratic Party representative who then offered the Northside parade as an option for Giffords to make a public appearance while she's in town. Brown says the plan is to put together a press conference in the parade staging area for Giffords' cause. "This is an amazing thing," Brown says. "We feel honored, and I think most people in Northside — I can't speak for everyone — but in general I think we're pretty empathetic to her message. Most people I know would agree that there must be something
done about gun violence and she's a figure that I think people can
really identify with. I think she is an inspiration for
a lot of people in the way that she's willing to be visible and take a
In a statement kicking off the tour, Giffords' husband, Kelly, said: “I’ve been around guns my whole life, and I know that
as an American, my right to own a firearm goes hand in hand with my
obligation to be a responsible gun owner and to do my part to make
sure guns don’t fall into the hands of criminals or dangerously
mentally ill people. Gabby and I are excited to hit the road this
summer and meet so many of the great Americans who are standing with
us to fight for common-sense solutions to prevent gun violence and
protect our rights.”
The Northside 4th of July Parade will
take place noon July 4 and travel south on Hamilton Avenue through
the Northside business district.
CityBeat reached out to Giffords'
people for comment and will update this blog when we hear back.