Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona whose remarkable comeback from a head shot wound captivated the nation, said yesterday that she is unable to continue her recovery while also serving in Congress. She announced that she will step down from Congress.
Yesterday afternoon, Representative Giffords, said this:
“I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week.” [Full transcript available on the YouTube link.]
She also hinted that she might someday return to public life: “I will return, and we will work together for Arizona and this great country.”
In a time when election season is ramping up and we’re seeing an uptick in charged political rhetoric, let’s remember Gabby Giffords. While she’s the very picture of courage, she is also a victim of the worst of American political culture (remember that “Second Amendment remedies” bullsh*t that Sharon Angle and others were spouting in the weeks preceding the assassination attempt on Rep. Giffords?). So, as we wish Giffords the best in her recovery and a speedy return to public life, let’s remember that our words matter. They have resonance and they create the tone of our political environment. So, let’s use them carefully in honor of Gabrielle Giffords.