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Gabrielle Giffords Convenes Panel Discussion on Gun Violence Against Women

Nia Tyler

Former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords made a stop in West Hartford Thursday as part of her "Protect All Women" tour.

The tour was launched as a way to raise awareness about gun violence against women, and to empower women to help shape public policy on the issue. 

Giffords held a roundtable discussion at West Hartford's Kingswood-Oxford School with domestic violence advocates and women involved in law enforcement, public health, and public policy. They told Giffords how gun violence in Connecticut informs their work on behalf of women in the state.

"In Connecticut, we average 14 domestic violence homicides annually," said Karen Jarmoc, the executive director of the Connecticut Coalition against Domestic Violence. "That has happened over the past decade, and guns continue to be the main use of force."

"Enough: that's really the message," said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. He told the panel that women have the power to lead on the issue of sensible gun control measures. "You cannot be against domestic violence, and fail to take a stand against gun violence," he said.

Giffords was the victim of a 2011 mass shooting near Tuscon Arizona. The gunman killed six people and injured 13. Since then, the former Arizona Congresswoman has been an advocate for gun control policy. "Dangerous people with guns are a threat to women, criminals with guns, abusers with guns, stalkers with guns - that makes gun violence a women's issue," said Gifford.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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