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Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords plans Newtown visit

NYC Mayor's Office via twitter.com

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, meets with former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, right center, and her husband, Mark Kelly, on Wednesday.

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords, who survived a shooting at a campaign event in Arizona two years ago and now advocates stricter gun laws, plans to be in Newtown, Conn., on Friday for a private late afternoon meeting.


Giffords plans to be at a home in the town where 20 first-graders and six staffers were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a spokesperson for Gov. Dan Malloy's office told NBCConnecticut.com.

The meeting, the details of which are unclear, comes a day after more than 400 Sandy Hook students returned to class in a new building. Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman's spokesman Steve Jensen later told the AP that the visit was "planned but not confirmed" for Friday afternoon.


Full buses bring 'excited' Sandy Hook students to new school

Giffords was shot in the head outside a supermarket in Tucson at a meet-the-congresswoman event in 2011. Six people were killed in that attack.

Monroe, Connecticut, police spokesperson Lt. Mark White says the Sandy Hook students were excited to see friends, and return back to school.

Since then, Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, have campaigned against gun violence and have been outspoken in their support of an assault weapons ban.

The day of the Sandy Hook shooting three weeks ago, Kelly tweeted, “20 - 5 year olds gunned down in their own classroom. When will we address this problem as a nation? The time is now.”

On his Facebook page, Kelly wrote a more lengthy statement, saying that “our response must consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence. The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about our gun laws - and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America. This can no longer wait.

Kelly also said that Gabby sends her prayers to the victims.

A week later, Kelly wrote he was disappointed by the NRA’s “defiant and delayed response to the massacre.” In a news conference that was the NRA's first public statement on the shootings, CEO Wayne LaPierre had blamed violent video games and movies, as well as the media, gun-free zones at schools and other factors.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg explains what's reasonable and what's possible in the coming months in regards to gun control. Bloomberg says, "it's the president's job to promote a plan that satisfies the needs of the country."

On Wednesday, Kelly and Giffords met with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been an outspoken leader for gun control and is founder of a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. On “Meet the Press” in February 2012, Bloomberg expressed outrage that the Giffords shooting hadn’t sparked more action on gun control by Congress.

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“You’d think that if a congresswoman got shot in the head, that would have changed Congress’ views,” Bloomberg said. “I can tell you how to change it, just get Congress to come with me to the hospital when I've got to tell somebody that their son or daughter, their spouse, their parent is not going to come home ever again.”

What Bloomberg, Giffords and Kelly discussed in their meeting has not been confirmed.

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