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.
Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President Kennedy, will present the award to Giffords at a May 5 ceremony in Boston.
Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, was critically injured in a shooting during a constituent meeting in a supermarket parking lot in Casas Adobes, Ariz., in January 2011. Six people died, including a judge, one of Giffords’ staffers and a 9-year-old girl. Giffords, who was shot in the head, continues to recover. She resigned from Congress a year after the shooting.
Giffords and her husband, retired Navy captain and astronaut Mark Kelly, launched Americans for Responsible Solutions to encourage elected officials to support measures to prevent gun violence and promote responsible gun ownership.
Giffords is being honored 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.
“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.
It is named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage,” which recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions.