Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) made a surprise appearance at the beginning of Wednesday's Senate committee hearing on gun violence, telling members they must be "bold" and "courageous" when enacting laws to prevent future mass killings.


"Thank you for inviting me here today," she said. "This is an important conversation for our children, for our community, for Democrats and Republicans. Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important."

She continued: "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."

Giffords' husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, will give testimony during the hearing, as will National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, whose prepared remarks did not appear to give any ground to calls for enhanced gun control laws in the U.S.

This video is from C-SPAN, aired Wednesday, January 30, 2013.

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Photo: AFP.