Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords has become known across the country for her resilience in the face of violence, and for her consensus-building leadership in Congress.
Giffords was shot in the head at point blank range at a Congress on Your Corner event in Tucson on January 8, 2011. Stepping down from Congress in January, 2012, Giffords said, “I will return, and we will work together for Arizona and this great country.”
Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, founded Americans for Responsible Solutions as a way to encourage elected officials to stand up for both the 2nd amendment and safer communities by communicating directly with the constituents that elect them. Giffords and Kelly will not let leaders across the country forget that Americans are demanding responsible solutions to this critically important issue.
Giffords, who was first a registered republican, considers herself a moderate democrat. She ran in six elections in Southern Arizona and won each of them. A third generation Arizonan, Giffords has long been a gun owner and believes in the constitutional right of all Americans to safe and responsible gun ownership.
For more than ten years, Giffords has dedicated herself to public service. As the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, she represented her community in the Arizona Legislature from 2000-2005, and then in Congress from 2006-2012. Her success was credited to her reliance on the old-fashioned values of kindness, candor and hard, grueling work.
In Congress, Giffords represented a diverse area that covers 9,000 square miles including a 114-mile border with Mexico. She quickly became a leading champion of border security, energy independence, and the needs of military families and veterans. Consistently ranked as one of the most centrist legislators in Congress, she is a strong supporter of fiscal responsibility, bipartisanship, and government accountability.
She is married to Mark Kelly, a retired Navy Captain and NASA astronaut. Before being assigned to NASA, Kelly flew 39 carrier-based combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. He was also commander of the final mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Giffords was for several years the only U.S. Representative with an active duty military spouse. She was recognized as the Honorary Military Spouse of the Year for 2011 by Military Spouse magazine.
Giffords holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University and a B.A. from Scripps College where she was awarded a William Fulbright Scholarship to study for a year in Chihuahua, Mexico.