The mob of pro-Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday had former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords worried for her husband's safety and reflecting on her own encounter with political violence that nearly took her life 10 years ago.
Giffords, who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in 2011, thought back to that time as she waited to hear if her husband, Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, was protected during the assault on the Capitol building. The riot left four people dead and forced Congress to evacuate.
"As I sat waiting for information about @SenMarkKelly’s safety today, I couldn’t stop thinking about what you must have gone through 10 years ago this week," she tweeted. "I’m so glad you and your staff are safe. I love you, sweetie."
Giffords, 50, was shot at point blank range on Jan. 8, 2011, outside a grocery store outside Tucson, Arizona, by Jared Loughner, who was sentenced to life in prison for an attack in which he killed six people and wounded 12 others.
The former U.S. House representative from Arizona has since become a gun control advocate after her remarkable recovery in which she had to learn how to talk and walk again. She made a dramatic return to Congress in August 2011 to vote on a bill before ultimately resigning in 2012 to focus on her recovery.
Giffords spoke at last year's Democratic National Convention to show her support for Joe Biden's candidacy for president, referencing the 2011 shooting and her recovery process that included skull surgery and years of physical and speech therapy.
"I’ve known the darkest of days, days of pain and uncertain recovery," she said. "But confronted by despair, I’ve summoned hope. ... I’ve put one foot in front of the other. I’ve found one word and then I’ve found another."
She and Kelly, a former astronaut, have been married since 2007. He was elected to his first term in November and had only been a senator for just over a month before Wednesday's riot at the Capitol.