Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will appear in Thursday’s Northside 4th of July Parade as part of a nationwide tour supporting responsible gun legislation.
Giffords was scheduled to be in town on July 4 as part of a gun-violence prevention tour called The Rights and Responsibilities Tour, and her team reached out to the Northside parade organizers with an interest in participating in something celebratory, according to Northside 4th of July Parade organizers.
The former Congresswoman from suburban Phoenix was the victim of an assassination attempt in Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2011 that killed six and injured 13. Giffords was shot in the head but has recovered some of her ability to walk and speak. She resigned from Congress about a year after the shooting and has focused on gun-safety measures since that time.
Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, founded the Americans for Responsible Solutions political action committee, which advocates for candidates that support responsible policies that protect both the public and the rights of gun owners.
The Rights and Responsibilities Tour began in Nevada July 1 and was scheduled to make stops in Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota and Ohio.
Northside parade co-coordinator Chuck Brown says he was contacted by a Democratic Party representative who then offered the Northside parade as an option for Giffords to make a public appearance while she’s in town.
“This is an amazing thing,” Brown says. “We feel honored, and I think most people in Northside — I can’t speak for everyone — but in general I think we’re pretty empathetic to her message. Most people I know would agree that there must be something done about gun violence and she’s a figure that I think people can really identify with. I think she is an inspiration for a lot of people in the way that she’s willing to be visible and take a stand.”
The Northside 4th of July Parade will take place noon July 4 and travel south on Hamilton Avenue through the Northside business district.