Giffords one of 'The Gunfighters' says Time Magazine

CREATED Jan 17, 2013

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  • Pam Simon and Roxana Green says their losses from the January 8th shooting make them feel driven to try to console the families touched by the Newtown school shooting

Reporter: Craig Smith

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had retired to cover from the gunshot that nearly killed her January 8th, two years ago.  But the Newtown School Massacre that killed 20 children and 6 educators has her so active again, she's on the cover of Time Magazine.

Time calls Gabrielle Giffords, Vice President Joe Biden and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg "The Gunfighters", not solving problems with guns, the Old West way but trying to solve problems about guns.
      
We asked two victims of the January 8th shooting about Giffords and her cause Thursday.  Jared Loughner shot then Giffords staffer Pam Simon in the chest.  Roxana Green, lost her daughter Christina Taylor Green.
    
Giffords had been quietly working on her rehabilitation until the Newtown shooting prompted her and her husband Mark Kelly to call for tougher gun laws.

"We're very proud of her," Roxana Green said. 

Pam Simon agreed, "We're very proud of her.  Gabby is amazing.  She continues to be a leader and I think, Gabby and Mark like all of us were just...this is beyond the pale.  Something, in her words, something must change."

Pam Simon and Roxana Green are just back from Connecticut, using their perspective to help the families there.
     
Giffords and Kelly have created a committee to raise money for politicians who favor tighter gun laws, just as gun rights groups raise money to support their point of view.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked Green and Simon, "Why do you think this movement didn't start after we watched a little girl get killed, a federal judge (John Roll), Congressional staffers, a member of Congress terribly wounded; why didn't it start then?"

Pam Simon said,"There's many many reasons people put out.  Obviously we were in an election cycle and maybe we were just one more of those that we were desensitized to.  It was on the news for a week, two weeks...."

Now Simon thinks the sheer atrocity of 20 children shot down in their first grade classroom has tipped the balance and will keep the debate alive.   That's compared to past shootings which led to a just a short-term surge of dialog between people who favor tighter controls and those who say stricter gun laws will take their Constitutional rights.

No one can truly know the hearts of the families in Newtown. It's unique for each parent and lost child.  But Pam Simon and Roxana Green know the pain and grief a gun has written on their own hearts so they felt they should meet the people of Newtown.

Pam Simon saw friends shot down on January 8th, and felt Jared Loughner's bullets in her own chest.
      
Roxana Green talks of the hole in her heart--still fresh two years after Loughner and his gun stole the life of her nine year old daughter Christina Taylor Green.
      
Their pain pushed them to Newtown to do what they could for the families there.

Pam Simon said, "One of the most touching things I've ever experienced in my life was watching Roxana speak to some of the mothers that are beginning the horrific journey of healing that Roxana has walked the last two years; and I could tell by their faces that it meant so much.  No one understands the grief of someone that's lost a child and Roxana and John do understand that."
       
They brought angels to share---miniatures of the angel statue in an Oro Valley park, that remembers Christina Taylor Green and symbolize the foundation formed in her name.

Roxana Green says, "She was a strong, intelligent, beautiful little girl and she was compassionate about people so that just gives me the wherewithal to make these trips and do everything I can in her memory and I want to make sure than no other innocent children died in vain so I'll fight as long as it takes until we have change."

Craig Smith asked: "There's been a history after these shootings; even shootings that involve children, that the dialog heats up, and then cools down and becomes part of the background again.  Are you fearful that'll happen again?

"No," said Roxana Green.  Pam Simon said, "There's always that concern but we believe this is a tipping point.  We've kind of hit the wall."

Simon and Green says it's their job and the job of the public to speak up to local, state and Federal government to demand change.