Today is the third anniversary of that terrible morning in 2011 when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire on a constituent event for Gabby Giffords, then a U.S. representative for Arizona, killing six people and injuring thirteen, including Giffords, whom he shot in the head. As Giffords wrote in a New York Times op-ed today, comparing her physical therapy to her gun-control advocacy, it’s been a difficult recovery process. “I struggle to speak, my eyesight’s not great, my right arm and leg are paralyzed, and I left a job I loved representing southern Arizona in Congress.” She’s not in an ideal physical state for skydiving, but in addition to her Times piece, that’s how Giffords plans to mark the anniversary of her near-death experience.
According to Today, which plans to broadcast the jump tomorrow, Giffords intends to leap out of a plane with a Navy Seal friend with whom she’s skydived before. Reporter Savannah Guthrie explained that Giffords enjoyed skydiving before the shooting, but hasn’t done it since. When the Today hosts asked Guthrie if she’d be jumping, too, the reporter demured. “I will get to watch. This is Gabby’s moment.”