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Guest opinion

'Heartbroken' Giffords: D.C. shooting 'an attack on our democracy'

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a 2011 assassination attempt that killed six and wounded 13, including the congresswoman, at a constituent even in Tucson, said Wednesday that she was "heartbroken" by the shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and others at a morning baseball practice outside of Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona was one of the Republican politicians at the baseball field in Arlington, Va.

Giffords' full statement:

It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican, nor if you're a senator or a representative, nor a staffer or a sworn officer. If you serve the institution of Congress, you're connected to your colleagues, current and former, by a shared sense of service to ideals far greater than yourself.

This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy.

I am heartbroken for the pain of Congressman Scalise, the other victims, and their family, friends, and colleagues who survived. I am thankful for the great courage of the Capitol Police, who were my protectors after I was shot and became my friends. I also know the courage it takes to recover from a shooting like this, and I know Steve and everyone there this morning have such courage in great supply.

May all Americans come together today with prayers for the survivors, love for their friends and family, and the courage to go about everyday making this country its best. Our nation is resilient, and we always come back stronger.

Gabrielle Giffords represented Arizona’s 8th Congressional District from 2007 to 2012, when she resigned to focus on her recovery after being wounded in the Jan. 8, 2011 shootings. She founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, along with husband Mark Kelly, to focus on preventing gun violence.

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Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, in 2013, calling for universal background checks at the site of the Jan. 8, 2011, shootings.