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Giffords calls for background checks

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Updated: 3/06/2013 3:22 pm
Wounded Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords is stepping up her push for stronger background checks for potential gun owners.

This week she's released two television ads, and Wednesday she was joined by many of the victims from the shooting rampage where she was wounded during a community town hall in Tucson.

Survivors of the attack that killed six and left many more wounded returned with a clear, direct message:

"Everyday gabby heads to therapy she says the same thing: Fight, fight, fight," said Mark Kelly, Giffords' husband.

The battle for stricter gun control laws is still painful and very personal.

"Everybody said at the time something has to change, but they said it after Aurora, they said it after Wisconsin and finally we had the unbelievable carnage of 20 little children being killed, . is that the wake up call we needed?" asked shooting victim Pam Simon.

Ken Durushka, who was shot shielding his wife during the rampage, says the memory of a little 9-year-old who did not survive is one of the many reasons things have to change.

"The right of little Christina Taylor Green to see her 10th birthday supersedes the right of anybody else to have an AK-47," Dorushka said.

For Giffords, it's the memories of those lost the day the came to support her and the reminder everyday during therapy that frame the message she delivered.

"Be bold, be courageous - please support background checks," she urged.

Words she has struggled for more than two years to say in the hope that someday, with change, they will never have to be spoken again.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet this week to discuss a proposed bill to strengthen background checks to include mental illness.

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake is a member of that committee and is one of the Senators targeted in the Giffords ad.

-- Jay Gray / NBC News
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