Former Congresswoman Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords and husband Mark Kelly made a surprise appearance at the Senate's gun control hearings yesterday. Giffords is a survivor of an assassination attempt and only recently has been making public appearances.
"Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important," Giffords began. "Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying, too many children. We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now. You must act. Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you. Thank you," she concluded.
Giffords has had a lengthy recovery since being shot in the head two years ago. She and husband Mark Kelly have become activists for gun control and recently announced they were forming an organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions, to help enforce universal background checks and limits on guns.
"We are simply too reasonable Americans who realize we have a problem with gun violence, and we need Congress to act," Kelly told the Senate panel. "Our rights are paramount, but our responsibilities are serious and as a nation we are not taking responsibility for the gun rights our founding fathers conferred upon us."
"Closing the gun show loophole and requiring private sellers to require a background check before they transfer a gun … I can't think of something that would make our country safer than doing just that," he added.
Giffords and Kelly then met with President Obama to discuss their plans to move forward. Obama has been a fan and supporter of Giffords ever since the shooting in Arizona.
"Everyone here was heartened to see Gabrielle Giffords testify today," White House spokesman Jay Carney told USA Today.
Giffords' shooter, Jared Loughner, was sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole in November of last year. He shot six people and wounded 13 others in the massacre at a small gathering in Arizona.
Watch Giffords' testimony HERE: