Gabby Giffords

The safety of the world, in some sense, depends on your saying “no” to inhumane ideas. Standing up for one’s own integrity makes you no friends. It is costly. Yet defiance of the mob, in the service of that which is right, is one of the highest expressions of courage I know.

Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords has become a national icon for her advocacy for ending gun violence.

Giffords was shot and critically injured at a constituency event in Tucson on January 8, 2011. On the second anniversary of the shooting, Giffords and her husband, retired navy captain and astronaut Mark Kelly, launched Americans for Responsible Solutions to encourage elected officials to support measures to prevent gun violence and promote responsible gun ownership.

While standing up for both the Second Amendment and safer communities, she’s vowed not to let leaders across the country forget that Americans are demanding responsible solutions for gun violence.

Accepting her Profile in Courage Award, she said: “I believe we all have courage inside. I wish there was more courage in Congress. Sometimes it’s hard to express it. I know. It’s been a hard two years for me. But I want to make the world a better place more than ever.”