Crime

Ex-Congresswoman & shooting survivor Gabby Giffords visits last patient at UMC, speaks at town hall

Giffords tours UMC

EL PASO, Texas - Former Arizona congresswoman and shooting survivor Gabby Giffords visited El Paso over a two-day period, visiting the last mass shooting patient still hospitalized at University Medical Center and speaking at a town hall meeting on gun violence.

On Friday, accompanied by former El Paso congressman Beto O'Rourke, Giffords toured UMC to meet with medical staff and talk with the one remaining shooting victim still recovering there.

"Medical professionals are on the front lines of gun violence. They give strength and stability in the wake of tragedy. We can thank them by stopping bullet wounds in the first place," she tweeted following her visit.

Giffords also spoke briefly with Walmart shooting survivor Mario de Alba Montes, calling him "so resilient." She added: "He, his wife and daughter were all injured in the El Paso shooting, but they aren't giving up."

On Thursday evening, she attended a town hall meeting in El Paso as the advocacy group she founded released a new report on firearm laws and gun violence in Texas. (Watch her remarks at the town hall in the video player below.)

Among the proposals contained in the report by Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is disarming hate crime offenders and others convicted of violent crimes.

According to the report, under Texas law, those convicted of violent hate crime assaults and hate crimes involving "terroristic threats" of violence are generally able to legally buy and keep guns immediately after conviction.

"We've also seen this before, so we want to make sure the folks having these conversations know that it's time for a really serious conversation that's responsive to ways in which Texans are being harmed every day by guns," said Ari Freilich, an attorney for the Giffords organization.

Giffords left Congress following a shooting at a constituent meeting in her home district in Tucson that left her critically injured and six other people dead.


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