You really have to see the entire video of her statement to get a sense of the damage that was done to her. It’s profoundly sad to watch. I understand nobody wants to go there, but her performance at the Congressional hearing today was closer to Shirley Temple than the woman in this video. She was adorable. Like a precocious eight year old. I wonder if anyone actually thinks about this, however. That’s also why I’m so curious about the reaction of her former colleagues and staff. I don’t know if they smiled paternally/maternally at her success in reading her statement — getting through it — or if they smiled so as not to cry. I also don’t know, scanning those faces (and they’re certainly not all smiling, by the way), what other kinds of feelings and reactions (pity? horror? denial?) were in play.
For the sake of the gun debate, our political culture and ultimately, ourselves, I’m really trying to understand whether and how Gabby’s testimony makes a difference. I took a wide screen shot and sharpened it up a bit to give you the best sweep possible if you care to open and study it. I’m curious to know what impressions you get from these faces and questions.
(screenshot: CNN. caption (adapted from GettyImages): U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) (C) testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about gun control on Capitol Hill January 30, 2013 in Washington, DC. Giffords delivered an opening statment to the committee, which met for the first time since the mass shooting at a Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.)