March 21, 2018 Media

Gabrielle Giffords endorses David Shapiro for Congress

As the national conversation on gun violence has catapulted in the weeks following the Parkland high school shooting, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced her support of Sarasota attorney David Shapiro for the U.S. House seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key.

Giffords herself is a victim of gun violence. At a constituent gathering in January 2011, she was critically wounded after a man opened fire, killing six and injuring 19. She represented Arizona’s Eighth District from 2007 to 2012, when she resigned to focus on her recovery.

“Far too many Florida families have mourned the loss of loved ones who were needlessly victimized by acts of gun violence,” Giffords said in a press release.

Shapiro is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 16th Congressional District seat held by Buchanan. Two other Democrats, Calen Dean Cristiani and Jan Schneider, are also seeking the party’s nod.

The gun safety nonprofit organization Giffords — co-founded by Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut and Navy combat veteran Captain Mark Kelly — officially announced its endorsement of Shapiro and 12 other candidates as part of the #VoteCourage campaign Wednesday.

The organization highlighted the shooting deaths of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012, the deaths of 49 at the Pulse nightclub in 2016, the 2017 shooting of five at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 were killed.

The campaign began last month, “aimed at electing gun safety advocates to Congress and defeating politicians who have historically worked against gun reform, or done nothing at all to prevent gun violence,” a press release states.

“It seems incomprehensible that Congress had not addressed the need for gun safety when so many lives have been lost and so many more are at stake,” Shapiro said in a press release. Shapiro said he supports comprehensive background checks, banning assault weapons and closing gun show loopholes.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 68 percent of registered voters supported tighter gun laws.