NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Nearly two years after being critically wounded in a mass shooting, former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords yesterday met with families of victims in last month's shooting that left 26 people dead inside a Connecticut elementary school.
"As always, I was deeply impressed by the strength and courage and resolve of the families and the extraordinary caring and generosity of Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly in visiting with them," Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said.
Giffords met earlier in the day with officials including Connecticut's lieutenant governor and Newtown's first selectman.
Giffords was left partially blind, with a paralyzed right arm and brain injury, when a gunman opened fire at a constituent meet-and-greet outside a Tucson grocery store on Jan. 8, 2011. Arizona's chief federal judge and five others were killed, and 13 people, including Giffords, were injured.
The gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, pleaded guilty to 19 federal charges and was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years.
Kelly said on the day of the Newtown shooting that it should lead to better gun control.
"This time our response must consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence," Kelly said on his Facebook page, calling for "a meaningful discussion about our gun laws and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America." Blumenthal said he is eager to find allies as he pursues tougher gun control laws.
Giffords' visit came one day after Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the creation of an advisory commission that will review and recommend changes to state laws and policies on issues including gun control in the wake of the Dec. 14 rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The gunman, Adam Lanza, shot and killed his mother, then drove to the school and slaughtered 20 first-graders and six educators before committing suicide as police arrived.