Video: Gabby Giffords's Incredible Appeal to Congress on Gun Control

The former U.S. representative and gun-violence survivor makes a plea to members to do something in the wake of Newtown and other shootings.

A Senate hearing on gun-control regulations Wednesday began on an emotionally charged note, as former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, perhaps the nation's most famous survivor of gun violence, made an unannounced appearance. Here's the full text of her statement:

Thank you for inviting me here today. This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans. Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard but the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Thank you.

Giffords, who was shot in 2011 in Tucson, has taken on a visible role as an anti-gun campaigner as her arduous recovery from a serious head wound moves on. In January, she visited Newtown, Connecticut, and met with the families of victims of the massacre there.

Update: Megan Garber has Giffords's handwritten notes the handwritten notes Giffords used for her statement.

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David A. Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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