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Giffords makes emotional plea as US lawmakers confront gun violence

Published on Jan 31, 2013 1:17 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, grievously wounded in a 2011 mass shooting, made an emotional plea on Wednesday for Congress to take action to curb gun violence in the aftermath of last month's Connecticut school massacre, urging lawmakers to "be bold, be courageous".

Wearing a red jacket and speaking haltingly, Ms Giffords opened testimony at the first congressional hearing on gun violence since the Dec 14 incident in which a gunman shot dead 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Responding to outrage across the country following that massacre, President Barack Obama and other Democrats have asked Congress to pass the largest package of gun restrictions in decades.

"This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans," Ms Giffords, who survived a head wound in an assassination attempt last year in Tucson, Arizona, told the Senate Judiciary Committee. Six people were killed and 13 wounded in the incident.

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