On Sunday, Republican Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona announced she took the decision to shift focus from politics to health, one year after being involved in the Tucson massacre. Gabrielle Giffords will resign from Congress later this week.
“I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down tis week” Giffords said in a stylized video uploaded on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The decision comes after a little more than a year, a time during which Gabrielle Giffords has given hope to other gunshot victims in recovery and had illustrated what politic tenure means.
In January 2011, Gabrielle Giffords sustained severe injuries during the Tucson massacre. Along with six deaths and 13 wounded, Giffords’ injuries have sparked nationwide debates. The Republican was shot in the head while she was greeting constituents outside a Tucson Safeway. The alleged gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and found incompetent to stand trial.
“I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice” said Giffords. She also added that her resignation is temporary because she will return to work together for Arizona.
Since her withdrawal becomes effective later this week, her seat in the Congress remains empty until a replacement will be chosen in a special election. The Republican was serving her third term.
On Sunday, after Giffords’ resignation became official, president Barack Obama praised her saying that her story taught Americans “the true meaning of hope in the face of despair, determination in the face of incredible odds, and now – even after she’s come so far – Gabby shows us what it means to be selfless as well”.
Fred DuVal, friend and Democratic operative from Phoenix, said: “It feels like a responsible decision in the sense that her health comes first, her recovery first”. Plus, as DuVal pointed out Giffords isn’t “capable of making a commitment that she can’t engage with full talent and responsibility. I’m sure she balanced that and always wanted to do right by the people she represents”.
House Speaker John A. Boehner praised Gabrielle Giffords “for her service, and for the courage and perseverance she has shown in the face of tragedy. She will be missed”.