Virginia shooting stirs memories of Gabrielle Giffords assassination attempt

NEW YORK (KTRK) -- Former astronaut Mark Kelly awoke to a buzzing phone this morning in New York, and then had to tell his wife the terrible news.

He and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords were sleeping in a little after a late flight when news broke of a shooting at a GOP baseball game that left Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise and four others in the hospital in Alexandria, Virginia

"When you see your wife's former colleagues attacked in an open way like this, it brings back memories of what happened to her in January 2011," Kelly told Eyewitness News.

It has been six years since Giffords was shot in the head outside a Safeway grocery store in Casa Adobes, Arizona.

She survived the assassination attempt, but faced a long road to recovery that included a stay at TIRR Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center.

"She's very close to some of these folks," Kelly said. "She's concerned about her former colleagues."

Since hearing about what happened, the couple said they have been glued to the TV like so many others across the country today.

While Kelly said he and Giffords are relieved it appears Scalise will be alright, the couple fears more gun violence in the future.

"Until we make some positive changes in our laws, we'll see things like this time and time again," Kelly warned. "Aside from what happened today, we have a system in our country that allows felons...and terrorists to access firearms, especially where you are in Texas."

Kelly said right now it is very easy for people to buy guns without a background check in some states.

He also cautioned that the time to discuss gun laws will come after getting more details about what happened in Alexandria.

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