Gabby Giffords fundraises in Chicago in wake of Buffalo and Uvalde shootings: ‘A better world is possible’

“We are living in a challenging time, but we are up for the challenge,” the former congresswoman from Arizona told supporters Wednesday.

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Gabby Giffords speaks to a group of supporters at a fundraiser for the Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence Foundation at Carnivale at 702 W. Fulton St. on Wednesday.

Gabby Giffords speaks to a group of supporters at a fundraiser for the Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence Foundation at Carnivale at 702 W. Fulton St. on Wednesday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Shooting survivor and former congresswoman Gabby Giffords believes “a better world is possible,” she told supporters at a fundraising event Wednesday.

The former Arizona congresswoman spoke to Chicagoans about her assassination attempt and gun violence in its many forms. In January 2011, a gunman opened fire at a constituents meeting near Tucson, Arizona, held by Giffords, killing six people and wounded 13, including Giffords. Giffords’ skull was fractured, prompting a months-long recovery process where she had to relearn how to walk and talk.

Giffords spoke in the wake of the two deadly mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, that have dominated headlines in recent months. In that time, Chicago has had multiple mass shootings of its own.

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“I’m sad, I’m sad,” Giffords said regarding the Uvalde shooting that claimed the lives of 19 elementary school children and two teachers. “Children, children, children. Tiny children.”

Giffords was joined by former adviser to President Barack Obama David Axelrod and former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to raise money for the Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence Foundation. Axelrod and Duncan spoke in support of Giffords and stricter federal gun laws.

“The least we can do is join you in this fight,” Axelrod told Giffords and the crowd.

Many high-profile Chicago and Illinois politicians like Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and former state Sen. Bill Marovitz also attended.

Giffords was greeted by a standing ovation of dozens of people following a screening of the trailer to an upcoming documentary chronicling her career and recovery from the shooting.

“Our lives can change so quickly — mine did when I was shot,” Giffords said while addressing the crowd. “But I never lose hope … We are living in a challenging time but we are up for the challenge.”

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