LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Former congresswoman and shooting survivor Gabrielle Giffords was in Los Angeles on Monday to host a roundtable on reducing gun violence on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Giffords’ husband and retired astronaut Mark Kelly spoke Monday on her behalf during the event at Homeboy Industries in Chinatown.
“We know that we can’t prevent every one of these tragedies. But you know what? We also know that we can prevent a lot of them,” Kelly said.
Giffords was almost assassinated Jan. 8. 2011, near Tucson at a Safeway supermarket where she was meeting with her constituents. Six others were killed. Jared Lee Loughner pleaded guilty to 19 counts and was sentenced to life plus 140 years in federal prison for the shootings.
“I’m afraid for my grandchild everyday because of illegal guns and violence,” said Kathy Wooten, who lost two sons in a drive-by shooting eight years ago.
Rhonda Foster, a Women Against Gun Violence Board Member, held up a family photo at the roundtable. She said two weeks after that picture was taken in 1997, her son, Evan, was also killed in a drive-by shooting. She said a stray bullet in that gang shooting struck her 7-year-old boy while sitting in her car.
Wooten and Foster also shared their stories during Monday’s discussion.
“To look at this issue of gun violence, but to do it in a way where we’re not pointing fingers,” said former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was also on hand.
The former mayor added that the Democratic presidential front-runner supports universal background checks, a national ban on all assault rifles and an initiative, not yet qualified for the California ballot, that requires background checks before buying ammunition.