Giffords to receive JFK Profile in Courage Award

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords addresses a news conference for victims of the 2011 Tucson shooting on March 6, 2013. (Samantha Sais/Reuters)
Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords addresses a news conference for victims of the 2011 Tucson shooting on March 6, 2013. (Samantha Sais/Reuters)

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is being honored with the 2013 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

The JFK Library and Museum announced Friday that the Arizona Democrat is being recognized for the “political, personal, and physical courage she has demonstrated in her fearless public advocacy for policy reforms aimed at reducing gun violence.”

“Gabby Giffords has inspired the world with her bravery and her dedication to making change through the political process,” Caroline Kennedy, President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, said in a statement. “Instead of retreating following the tragic shooting that ended her Congressional career, she has recommitted herself to fighting for a more peaceful society free from hate and violence. She is a true Profile in Courage.”

On January 8, 2011, Giffords and 18 other people were shot during a constituent meeting she was holding in a supermarket parking lot in Tucson, Ariz. Six people died, including a judge, one of Giffords’ staffers, and a 9-year-old girl.

Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, recently started a political action committee, urging lawmakers to enact stronger gun control laws.

“Be bold. Be courageous. Be for background checks,” Giffords said Wednesday at an event in the same parking lot where she was wounded.

Kennedy will present the award to Giffords May 5. The prize, which takes its name from the Pulitzer Prize-winning book President Kennedy wrote in 1957, is awarded each year to “to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences,” according to the foundation.

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