Gun control events with Giffords canceled after mass shooting in Las Vegas

Man covers wife during shooting in Las Vegas ORIG TC_00010019
Man covers wife during shooting in Las Vegas ORIG TC_00010019

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Story highlights

  • Rep. Gabby Giffords will address Congress on Monday afternoon
  • The former congresswoman was planing to campaign with Ralph Northam

(CNN)The Democratic nominee for Virginia governor canceled a series of events Monday with former Rep. Gabby Giffords, a survivor of a mass shooting that left her seriously wounded, and her husband Mark Kelly in the wake of a deadly massacre at a concert in Las Vegas.

Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, who has made stricter gun laws a central plank in his campaign for the commonwealth's top office, canceled a series of events with Giffords and Kelly designed to highlight his differences with the Republican nominee, former George W. Bush adviser Ed Gillespie, on the issue of "the epidemic of gun violence."
Giffords put out a statement on the violence in Las Vegas, saying she was praying for the victims and their families.
    "But I am praying for my former colleagues, our elected leaders, too," Giffords said in the statement from her advocacy group Americans for Responsible Solutions. "I am praying they find the courage it will take to make progress on the challenging issue of gun violence. I know they got into politics for the same reason I did -- to make a difference, to get things done. Now is the time to take positive action to keep America safer. Do not wait. The nation is counting on you."
    Giffords and Kelly were also expected to respond to the shooting on Capitol Hill on Monday afternoon.
    Both Gillespie and Northam appeared at an event Monday morning at a forum of the Multicultural Chambers Alliance in Tysons, Virginia. According to CNN affiliate WJLA, both Gillespie and Northam addressed the shooting in Las Vegas before beginning their prepared remarks. Northam told reporters after the event that he decided to cancel the event with Giffords and Kelly out of sensitivity to the victims in Las Vegas.
    During his remarks, Northam said, "We as a society need to stand up and say it is time to take action against gun violence."
    Northam has promised voters that he would be a "champion for responsible gun violence prevention policies." He has promised to reinstate Virginia's one-gun-purchase-a-month policy and work to close the gun show loophole. Both positions are strongly opposed by Second Amendment advocates in Virginia.
    Gillespie, meanwhile, has the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and has an "A" rating from the group. He has promised to "defend our Second Amendment rights."
    The NRA was previously set to start an ad buy in support of Gillespie on Tuesday, but according ad tracker Medium Buying, the ads have been pushed back and will now start airing on October 10.
    This story has been updated and will be updated with additional information.