Giffords testifies at heated Senate hearing on gun control 30 Jan 2013 "Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important," former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords told her onetime colleagues. "Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It would be hard, but the time is now. You must act." Her words, read from a single, handwritten page, were among the camera-ready scenes as the Senate began hearings on gun control Wednesday, in a charged atmosphere with each side reaching for emotional force. The former congresswoman, still severely disabled after being shot in the head two years ago at an outdoor appearance in her Tucson district, spoke for barely a minute, breaking the traditional protocol that calls for senators to make opening statements before witnesses give testimony.