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Gabrielle Giffords keeps door open for a future bid for office

Former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona talked to supporters in a Cincinnati suburb last year.AP/file

TUCSON — Former US representative Gabrielle Giffords — still recovering from a shooting three years ago — said Thursday that she might consider a return to political office.

The Arizona Democrat kept the door open when asked about such a possibility, saying ‘‘well, a little later’’ and ‘‘maybe’’ during an interview on NBC’s ‘‘Today’’ show.

The interview was aired a day after ceremonies in Tucson to remember the six people killed and 13 injured in the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting that occurred as Giffords met with constituents outside a grocery store.

To commemorate the anniversary and how far she has come, Giffords jumped from an airplane in a tandem skydive.


Giffords, who did the ‘‘Today’’ interview with husband Mark Kelly at her side, said she felt ‘‘happy and sad’’ on the anniversary but believes it’s time to move on.

She said she’s making slow progress in her rehabilitation and wants to work on her Spanish and resume playing the French horn.

The interview was conducted by ‘‘Today’’ cohost Savannah Guthrie. Broadcast video showed Giffords and other jumpers step out of the back of a twin-engine plane and join hands midair.

Giffords has become a leader of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a national organization she founded with her husband to rival the progun lobby.

The group has struggled to bring about major change in its first year, but Giffords and Kelly are confident they have laid the groundwork for success in future election cycles.

The couple formed their organization just weeks after the Newtown, Conn., shooting.

Since then, Congress has done nothing to tighten the nation’s gun laws.

Some states, including Colorado and Delaware, pushed ahead with their own gun-control measures, while others moved in the opposite direction. Arizona passed a law that requires municipalities to sell weapons surrendered at buyback programs instead of destroying them.


In an opinion piece for the New York Times on Wednesday, Giffords wrote about her struggles to recover, calling it ‘‘gritty, painful, frustrating work.’’

‘‘I had planned to spend my 40s continuing my public service and starting a family,’’ she wrote. ‘‘Instead, I’ve spent the past three years learning how to talk again, how to walk again.’’

Jared Lee Loughner was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences in the shooting.