BOSTON – Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been named this year’s recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award for her advocacy on reducing gun violence.
Giffords was shot in the head while meeting with constituents in a supermarket parking lot in Arizona in January 2011. Six people died, including a 9-year-old girl.
Giffords resigned from Congress a year after the shooting, but she and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, launched Americans for Responsible Solutions to encourage officials to support measures to prevent gun violence.
Giffords is being honoured for the “political, personal, and physical courage she has demonstrated in her fearless public advocacy for policy reforms aimed at reducing gun violence,” according to a statement Friday from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President Kennedy, will present the award to Giffords at a May 5 ceremony.
“Gabby Giffords has inspired the world with her bravery and her dedication to making change through the political process,” Caroline Kennedy said in a statement. “Instead of retreating following the tragic shooting that ended her Congressional career, she has recommitted herself to fighting for a more peaceful society free from hate and violence.”
The award is presented annually to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences.