Alex Witt   |  May 05, 2013

Gabrielle Giffords awarded JFK Profile in Courage Award

Pia Carusone joins Richard Lui to discuss her former boss, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Carusone reacts to the recently failed gun legislation and talks about the role of her group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, in promoting stronger gun laws. She also expresses her pride in Rep. Giffords being awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award today.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> gabby giffords is given an award for her courageous acts of public service . it's named after john f. kennedy 's book profiles in courage . giffords survived the shooting rampage two years ago and has devoted her time since fighting for reduce gun violence . joining me now is former chief of staff for gabby giffords and now executive director for american for responsible solutions. thanks for being here. just two years aftof after getting shot, entering into a hot bed of gun legislation. how is she handling all the demands?

>> that's a good point. actually it's been great to her. she's only 42 years old. she'll be 43 this summer. so for her to go from a very busy lifestyle and active career pre-shooting to sort of the role of just working on the rehab was a hard transition in and of itself. so the task of having a real mission again has been great for her and for all of us.

>> and what are her plans in the coming weeks? congress is coming back to work on monday. what's on her schedule?

>> well, we've got a couple things in the works in terms of traveling around the country. ensuring that americans understand whether their senator supported the common sense policy of expanding background checks or not. which is as she promised a couple weeks ago making sure if we can't change the policy that we have today, we need to change congress . so we'll make good on that promise. but it looks like we're going to round towo and we are ready for it.

>> those who did not support the background checks have gone down. is that what might change the tenor of the way the second round might be?

>> i think it's possible. we're in boston this weekend. gabby is encouraging the row file in courage award and part what have she'll talk about is having the courage to do the right hinge. we all think congress needs more of that. so we're hoping in the second round you might see support for someone for example like senator ayotte just up the road here in new hampshire who i think we could work with if she's interested in coming to the table on this. former attorney general obviously understands the tough on crime aspect that we need here in this country to keep our communities safer. so we're looking forward to working with some of the people that went astray but we're excited to bring new people into the fold and hopefully get this passed.

>> i brought up an exciting day for gabby giffords as she is the recipient for this year's profi profile in courage award . what was her reaction?

>> it's a real honor. she obviously follows politics closely both democrat and republican and for someone like president kennedy and his legacy to honor her is -- words can't describe her excitement. so we're all happy to be here today.

>> you know her so well. you can please talk about the congresswoman's perspective now of the failure of the back fwlound checks to pass, gun legislation taking a step back. with so much in front of her at the moment, how is she doing in terms of the energy she has to participate in these events and to push forward in what she wants which is gun legislation?

>> well, she is tireless. as she was before the shooting. so there is in doubt in that. she drives and motivates us every day to continue working on this and to go at the pace that we've been going. so she's doing very well and has sort of lifted the mantle here of optimism and hope and the fact that, yeah, we suffered a setback a few weeks ago know, but we're on the side of public opinion . polls are showing over 90% of the country says we support universal back ground check. nothing extreme about it. gabby and mark are both moderates. so we wouldn't be supportive of something that was extreme or infringing upon our second amendment rights. so it's a fight, but she's ready and she's got the courage that it will take.

>> and the strength. she's certainly inspirational. thanks for stopping by.