Survivors of the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and victims' loved ones gathered at the site of the attack Wednesday to call for tougher gun-control laws.
Giffords, her husband, Mark Kelly, and others took turns at the podium to call for universal background checks.
“It’s very hard for me to be here today, here where my son was gunned down,” said Emily Nottingham, whose son, Gabe Zimmerman, was killed along with five others during a meet-and-greet constituent event for Giffords.
Jared Lee Loughner, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, was sentenced in November to life in prison without parole in the rampage. He fired nearly three dozen shots from a Glock semiautomatic pistol with a high-capacity ammunition magazine into the crowd.
"I call on U.S. Sens. [Jeff] Flake and [John] McCain to not think about political posturing and political positioning," Nottingham said of the Republican lawmakers. "... Together, we can ensure that there are many fewer deaths of our daughters and our sons. Let’s just do it.”
“We’re here to draw attention to this problem," said Kelly, who has taken a national role in the gun-control debate after his wife was shot in the head. "We’re here to let Sens. McCain and Flake know -- to let them we know we stand with the 80% that are in favor of universal background checks.”