POLITICS
06/14/2017 08:57 am ET Updated Jun 14, 2017

Gabrielle Giffords Responds To Congressional Baseball Shooting

"This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy.”

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) issued a statement on a shooting that targeted congressional Republicans in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, nor if you’re a senator or a representative, nor a staffer or a sworn officer,” Giffords’ statement read, in part. “If you serve the institution of Congress, you’re connected to your colleagues, current and former, by a shared sense of service to ideals far greater than yourself. This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy.”

Earlier in the day, Giffords tweeted a response to a gunman opening fire on a group of people practicing for a congressional baseball game. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was among those injured in the attack.

Giffords was shot in the head while meeting with constituents outside a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona, in 2011. Six people died in that shooting, including Gabe Zimmerman, who served as Giffords’ community outreach director.

She and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, have spent the years following her shooting advocating for stricter gun control laws. The couple founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, a group that works to raise awareness of gun violence.

Politico reported that Kelly on Wednesday called Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who was at the baseball practice. In an interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams, Kelly argued that there are steps that can be taken to prevent gun violence.

Earlier this month, Giffords called out President Donald Trump for his response to a terror attack in London during which knives and a vehicle were used to hurt people.

Read Giffords’ entire statement from Wednesday:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, nor if you’re a senator or a representative, nor a staffer or a sworn officer. If you serve the institution of Congress, you’re connected to your colleagues, current and former, by a shared sense of service to ideals far greater than yourself. This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy.

I am heartbroken for the pain of Congressman Scalise, the other victims, and their family, friends, and colleagues who survived. I am thankful for the great courage of the Capitol Police, who were my protectors after I was shot and became my friends. I also know the courage it takes to recover from a shooting like this, and I know Steve and everyone there this morning have such courage in great supply.

May all Americans come together today with prayers for the survivors, love for their friends and family, and the courage to go about everyday making this country its best. Our nation is resilient, and we always come back stronger.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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