Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords calls on the Senate to pass new gun control measures.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is back in Washington, pushing for tougher gun laws.
Giffords was among the key players testifying before a Senate committee Wednesday.
Senators had a fresh reminder about the consequences of gun violence: Hadiya Pendleton.
Pendleton, a Chicago honor student and performer in last week's inaugural festivities, was killed Tuesday at park near her home.
As the gun laws fight raged on Capitol Hill another shooting at an office in Phoenix, Arizona left several wounded.
Giffords, the former Arizona Congresswoman critically wounded by a gunman, pleaded for action.
"Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you," she urged the Senate committee.
Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, argued for universal background checks to keep criminals from getting guns.
"She would not be here today if we had stronger background checks," he testified.
The hearing on how to prevent gun violence is in response to the shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut last month.
President Obama has called for tough laws, including an assault weapons ban and limits on high capacity magazines.
The National Rifle Association intensely opposes any new legislation.
"Law-abiding gun owners will not accept blame for the acts of violent or deranged criminals. Nor do we believe the government should dictate what we can lawfully own and use to protect our families," the NRA's Wayne LaPierre told the Senate panel.
Conservative republicans are backing the NRA.
"I fail to see how passing laws the federal government wont enforce will make America any safer," said Texas Senator John Cornyn.
Since the Newtown shooting lawmakers have introduced at least eight gun control bills.
The area with the most agreement seems to be around a need to re-examine mental health care.