Virginia shooting stirs memories of Gabrielle Giffords assassination attempt

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AUDIO: Mark Kelly said 'positive changes in our laws' will help end gun violence like that seen in Alexandria today.

Former astronaut Mark Kelly awoke to a buzzing phone this morning in New York, and then had to tell his wife the terrible news.

He and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords were sleeping in a little after a late flight when news broke of a shooting at a GOP baseball game that left Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise and four others in the hospital in Alexandria, Virginia.
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"When you see your wife's former colleagues attacked in an open way like this, it brings back memories of what happened to her in January 2011," Kelly told Eyewitness News.

It has been six years since Giffords was shot in the head outside a Safeway grocery store in Casa Adobes, Arizona.

She survived the assassination attempt, but faced a long road to recovery that included a stay at TIRR Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center.

"She's very close to some of these folks," Kelly said. "She's concerned about her former colleagues."

Since hearing about what happened, the couple said they have been glued to the TV like so many others across the country today.
While Kelly said he and Giffords are relieved it appears Scalise will be alright, the couple fears more gun violence in the future.

"Until we make some positive changes in our laws, we'll see things like this time and time again," Kelly warned. "Aside from what happened today, we have a system in our country that allows felons...and terrorists to access firearms, especially where you are in Texas."

Kelly said right now it is very easy for people to buy guns without a background check in some states.

He also cautioned that the time to discuss gun laws will come after getting more details about what happened in Alexandria.

Giffords later released a statement that said:

"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."

Related Topics:
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