Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords D-Ariz announced Sunday that she will resign from Congress. She stated that she still has “more work” left in her recovery after a gunman shot her in the head on Jan. 8 of 2011. Her resignation will occur later this week. Giffords has been a staunch supporter of NASA and her husband is four-time shuttle veteran Mark Kelly.
Giffords made the announcement via a video posted on her website and a statement posted on Twitter. Her statement said that while her condition continues to improve – she feels that she is not able to adequately represent her constituents.
“I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week,” Giffords said in the news release.
Giffords was allegedly shot by Jared Lee Loughner. Six people were killed during the shooting rampage and another thirteen were injured. According to the book Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope – Giffords lost 50 percent of her vision, had to have a large portion of her skull removed and has suffered from a variety of other medical issues due to the shooting.
After the shooting, her husband, who had been training for the last flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, STS-134, was briefly replaced by Rick Sturckow as the flight’s commander. Family and friends (and by all accounts Giffords herself) encouraged him to fly the mission. When Endeavour lifted off from Launch Complex 39A on May 16, 2011 – Giffords was in attendance.
Giffords was shot as she was hosting an event known as “Congress On Your Corner.” Giffords plans to finish the event that was interrupted by the shooting. This event will not be open to the public as was the original event was. This event will be private and held in Tucson. Attendees will be comprised primarily of those who were at that original event.
“A lot has happened over the past year,” Giffords said. “We cannot change that. But I know on the issues we fought for, we can change things for the better. Jobs, border security, veterans. We can do so much more by working together.”
For her part, Giffords does not appear to be allowing the shooting or her recovery to deter her from her work.
“I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country,” Giffords said.