Gabby Giffords, the former US congress woman who survived being shot in the head in 2011, has given an emotional speech to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence.
Giffords, 51, was led to her seat by her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, and was visibly unsteady on her feet.
In a short but powerful speech, Giffords implored the committee to take action against gun violence.
She said: "Thank you for inviting me. This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans.
"Speaking is difficult but I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children.
"We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now.
"You must act. Be bold, be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Thank you."
Her speech was still noticeably affected by the injuries she sustained in the shooting which happened as she was giving a talk in a shopping mall in Tucson, Arizona.
Six other people were killed including a nine-year-old girl, Christina Taylor Green.
Gun control in America has been thrust into the spotlight in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in which 20 children were gunned down by a killer armed with an assault rifle.
America is deeply divided between those who want stricter gun controls and those who believe stricter regulation is an encroachment on their second amendment right to bear arms.
More:Gun Violence Politics News Senate Gun Violence Hearing Gun Violence Hearing Gabrielle Giffords Gun Violence
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