Gabby Giffords Skydives for Three Year Anniversary of Shooting

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 8 2014 11:25 AM

Gabby Giffords: Fight Against Gun Violence Is Like Rehab

166760785
U.S. Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) (L) and former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) attend the dedication ceremony of the Gabriel Zimmerman Meeting Room in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center April 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. A member of Giffords' Congressional staff, Gabriel Zimmerman was murdered during a shooting spree January 8, 2011 that left six dead and 13 injured, including Giffords.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Three years after being shot in the head at a campaign event in Arizona, in an attack which left six dead and wounded 12 others, Gabby Giffords is going skydiving. ABC’s Today show, which revealed the news, will air the jump exclusively on Thursday.

Far from high-flying stunts, the former U.S. representative writes in a New York Times op-ed that she has spent much of the last three years, “learning how to talk again, how to walk again. I had to learn to sign my name with my left hand.”

Advertisement

But that “gritty, painful, frustrating work” in its endless repetition and slow progress, according to Giffords, has helped her understand another battle, the fight against gun violence. She writes how the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary renewed her will:

“I asked myself, if simply completing a normal day requires so much work, how would I ever be able to fulfill a larger purpose? The killing of children at the school in Sandy Hook a little over a year ago gave me my answer. It shocked me, it motivated me, and frankly, it showed me a path. …
Our fight is a lot more like my rehab. Every day, we must wake up resolved and determined. We’ll pay attention to the details; look for opportunities for progress, even when the pace is slow.”

Giffords suggests stricter penalities for gun trafficking, making it illegal for domestic abusers to buy guns, extending mental health resources, and—the big prize—expanding background checks.

Read the full op-ed, which is beautifully written, over at the New York Times.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 21 2014 12:40 PM Asamkirche: The Rococo Church Where Death Hides in Plain Sight
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM George Tiller's Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Doctor, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.