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Gabrielle Giffords teams up with Pulse surivor to advocate stopping gun violence

Giffords, Mark Kelly to kick off kick off anti-gun violence tour in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, Captain Mark Kelly spoke in Orlando on Tuesday to advocate against gun violence.

"Stopping gun violence takes courage. The courage to do what's right. The courage to new ideas. I've seen great courage when my life was on the line," said Giffords. "Now is the time to come together, be responsible. Democrats, Republicans, everyone. We must never stop fighting. Fight, fight, fight."

Her husband, Navy captain and NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, said for the next six weeks, they'll travel to 14 states as part of the "We Are the Vocal Majority, Voting to Stop Gun Violence" nationwide tour.

"It's a crisis that has touched Orlando in the most unspeakable ways on June 12 of this year and it is a crisis that has touched almost all communities," said Kelly.

Pulse survivor Angel Colon also spoke about how he is adding his voice to the fight for stricter gun laws.

"As I was laying there on the ground, I thought I was going to die. I prayed, I said 'Please give me another chance, God I don't want to die,'" said Colon.

Colon said that he and Giffords hold a special bond of understanding the recovery process after being a victim of gun violence.

"My name is Angel Colon and I am a survivor of the tragedy at Pulse. I am proud to be a part of the vocal majority calling for change today," said Colon.

Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, who often refers to the Pulse victim's as her "kids" said that see the devastation in her own backyard has encouraged her to fight for the 49 people killed inside Pulse.

"I don't understand how those other politicians who came on that street, can go back to Washington and vote against sensible gun legislation. How their hearts could not have been changed," said Sheehan. "I saw it was stained with blood where they had dragged kids to try get them out to safety. Some of them had died behind the buildings along Orange Avenue. It's something I will never forget, is those cries from those mothers as they were waiting to find their kids."

Former Orlando police chief and current Congressional candidate Val Demings said that the Pulse shooter was able to buy a gun that was meant for a "battlefield." Demings also spoke about other cases of gun violence she has seen up close.

"I remember one night responding to a murder when I was a Lieutenant or watch commander in duty, where I found a young man lying on the sidewalk. As I stared at his body, I could not help, but to not think about his siblings," she said.

News 6 contacted both Gov. Rick Scott's office and Sen. Marco Rubio's campaign office for response on Tuesday's event.

Rubio's Senate campaign released the following statement:

"Marco supports laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families. Instead of pushing politically motivated proposals that won't solve the problem, Marco believes we must refocus our efforts on combating terrorism, both at home and abroad, and addressing the mental health crisis in our country." - Olivia Perez-Cubas, campaign spokeswoman.


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