Marking the three-year anniversary of the Tucson shooting on Jan. 8, Gabrielle Giffords took to the sky and did what people who have gone through far less are afraid to do. She jumped out of a plane. The former Congresswoman is still recovering from the effects of being shot in the head. She had to relearn how to walk, talk and she says there’s more she still has to work on.
By skydiving, she says it was her way of saying she’s alive. Along with her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, and former Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch as well as others, Giffords jumped out of the plane in a tandem skydive. In an interview Thursday morning with NBC’s “Today,” Giffords said she had both positive and negative emotions about the anniversary and that she believes it is time to move on.
Though she intends to move on, she’s definitely not forgetting. Since beginning her journey of recovery, Giffords and her husband founded the group Americans for Responsible Solutions and Giffords has become a major leader within that group.
Giffords believes that though Congress has done little so far to address the gun violence issue, her group has set the groundwork for change. She believes that future election cycles will favor them. Kelly reflected the sentiment when discussing the money raised by his group in 2013, which was over $11 million.
Kelly said,“So we’re going to have the resources to be effective in the next election cycle in 2014.”
Giffords views her path to curbing gun violence in the same light as her rehab. She knows it will be tough but that progress demands hard work. Giffords remains resolved to stand with the Americans who know that we “can and must be safer.”
In terms of her rehab, she did see marked improvement in 2013. She gained movement in her right arm. She noted that it’s only marginal improvement that took a long time, but now her arm will move when she tells it to.
Of her future, Giffords noted that she had anticipated spending her 40s starting a family and continuing in her public service and now she was relearning how to walk and talk.
On her plans to returning to public service, Giffords hasn’t exactly removed the option. During the “Today Show” interview, Giffords responded, “maybe” and “well, a little later” about returning to a political office.