Retired NASA astronaut and Navy Capt. Mark Kelly (R) and his wife, shooting victim and former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) (C) arrive for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. (Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON - Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords says Congress should be bold in writing new laws to address gun violence in America.
Giffords was severely wounded in a 2011 shooting spree that killed six people during a forum in Tucson. She told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Americans are counting on lawmakers to address the problem. Speaking haltingly, she said: "It will be hard, but the time is now. Too many children are dying."
The former Arizona congresswoman was the first witness at Congress's initial hearing on gun violence since the Newton, Conn., elementary school massacre in December.
The Senate committee is taking the lead in writing legislation to address gun violence. Many want to re-impose an assault weapons ban and prohibition on large-capacity ammunition magazines. The National Rifle Association opposes these proposals.
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President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro Tuesday at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, a simple gesture that, while promptly downplayed by the White House, created a furor in Washington among critics of the Cuban regime.