Giffords: Six Years After Virginia Tech, Presses for Newtown Action

Photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Shooting victim and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and her husband Mark Kelly at the U.S. Capitol April 16, 2013.

Updated at 2:50 pm EDT

Six years ago today, 32 people were gunned down on the campus of Virginia Tech, notes former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously wounded in a 2011 outdoor shooting in Tucson, Arizona, that also killed a federal judge and five others, as she makes the rounds of the U.S. Capitol today pressing for action in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators.

As Senate Democratic leaders struggle to find the 60 votes needed to approve amendments to the gun safety bill they are trying to take to the floor this week, Giffords was meeting today with Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who has joined with Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania in sponsoring an amendment to require more stringent background checks of gun buyers.

Giffords also was meeting today with the Democratic caucus — two of whom, Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Begich of Alaska, voted last week to prevent the gun bill from advancing. Sixteen Republicans joined most of the Democrats and two independents in voting to advance the bill, but few of those appear ready to support the Manchin-Toomey amendment.

Last week, parents and other relatives of the Newtown victims pressed Congress for action — and the Senate voted to advance the bill. Today, Giffords is here, once again asking for a vote.

Heidi Przybyla and Jim Rowley contributed to this report from the Capitol. See their full report here.

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