Nightly News   |  January 30, 2013

Giffords calls for gun control in Congress hearing

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' words during a brief opening statement at a Senate hearing on gun violence were careful, slow and deliberate. But they were firm: "Too many children are dying," she said Wednesday. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

Share This:

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

>> a moment to remember back clearly to the very moment we learned about the shootings at sandy hook elementary school in newtown , connecticut. to remember how shocked we all were and how sad and sorry a scene that was. well, this is still very much the post newtown era. so there was great emotion today at a hearing on guns on capitol hill . especially when a very well-known survivor of gun violence , gabby giffords , came forward to deliver her own remarks. and yet during the hearing, we learned of another shooting. this one in arizona. a workplace, one gunman, three shooting victims, one fatal. we begin tonight with this emotional issue. our report from nbc's kelly o'donnell on capitol hill .

>> reporter: good evening, brian. the passion so deep, this hearing room was packed, included many families and survivors, victims of other shootings. and it was a group of people asking congress to do something, and that is the cause that changed the life of former congresswoman, gabby giffords , and brought her back to washington today. her gift of speech is a distant memory, said husband mark kelly . yet gabby giffords ' halting words.

>> too many children.

>> reporter: here as a survivor of the tucson assassination attempt that left her partially blind and partially paralyzed.

>> you must act. be bold, be courageous.

>> reporter: giffords and kelly, both gun owners , want congress to expand background checks to gun shows and private sales to make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to get weapons.

>> my wife would not be sitting in this seat. she would not have been sitting here today, if we had stronger background checks .

>> reporter: but this first hearing on guns since the newtown massacre had another center of gravity . the national rifle association 's ceo, wayne lapierre .

>> should we have mandatory background checks at gun shows?

>> if you're a dealer, that's already the law.

>> reporter: of all the gun-related ideas on the table, democrats believe universal background checks has the