WASHINGTON DC—Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the co-founder of the gun violence prevention organization Giffords, issued the following statement reacting to today’s mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

STATEMENT FROM CONGRESSWOMAN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS:

“The accounts from today’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida strike fear into all Americans. Is it safe to send our kids to school? Are we safe in our homes and communities? But our fear cannot compare to what our innocent children felt as the gunshots rang out, bullets flew through the halls of their school, and their teachers and classmates were gunned down.

“Even in our grief, we must summon the courage to fight against this fear. Americans must find the courage to imagine a country where these massacres do not occur. Our leaders must find the courage to escape the confines of their politics and pursue the moral necessity of peace and safety.

“If I could offer protection to the 315 Americans who are shot every day, I would. But we can’t wall ourselves from the threat of gun violence, nor will we find safety in the deadly cycle of arming ourselves against each other.

“The defenders of the status quo—advocates of the firearms industry and the politicians paid to defend it— will tell you that events like these are virtual acts of nature, products of mental illness or bad parenting, beyond our ability to control. This could not be further from the truth. Every day we fail to take action, we choose this fate. We tolerate politicians who fail to acknowledge this crisis and vote against our safety. We let our gun violence epidemic continue day after deadly day.

“My heart is with the victims and survivors, and my gratitude is with Broward County’s courageous first responders. The question now is if we will find the courage to pass the laws we need to protect our children, to stop dangerous people from accessing guns. And if Congress won’t act, American voters must.”

The following gun law and law enforcement experts are available for interviews.
To arrange an interview, email media@giffords.org:

  • Captain Mark Kelly, Co-Founder, Giffords
  • Peter Ambler, Executive Director, Giffords
  • Robyn Thomas, Executive Director, Giffords Law Center (Recently featured on 60 Minutes)
  • David Chipman, Former ATF Agent, Senior Policy Advisor, Giffords
  • Allison Anderman, Managing Attorney, Giffords Law Center
  • Laura Cutilletta, Legal Director, Giffords Law Center
  • Ari Freilich, Staff Attorney, Giffords Law Center
  • Robin Lloyd, Director of Government Affairs, Giffords
  • Lindsay Nichols, Federal Policy Director, Giffords Law Center
  • Adam Skaggs, Chief Counsel, Giffords Law Center
  • Hannah Shearer, Staff Attorney, Giffords Law Center