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Giffords’ condition improves

Doctors detached Giffords’ ventilator and let her sit up. Family members said she was moving her limbs and interacting with them without speaking.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords continued her remarkable recovery this week, as doctors detached her ventilator and let her sit up, and family members said she was moving her limbs and interacting with them without speaking. “Every day Gabby improves and shows higher levels of comprehension and complex actions,” her mother said. Giffords’ husband, NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, said he was confident that Giffords recognizes him. The congresswoman, who was shot in the head in the Tucson shooting spree that left 6 dead and 13 others injured, reportedly rubbed her husband’s neck, and looked at get-well cards. Doctors said Giffords might be discharged to a rehabilitation facility within days.

San Diego federal Judge Larry Burns was assigned to preside at the trial of accused gunman Jared Loughner after Arizona judges recused themselves due to the murder of their colleague, federal Judge John Roll.

Recovering from traumatic brain injury is never easy, said Ken Alltucker in The Arizona Republic. It’s unclear how much movement Giffords controls on her right side, “which can be impaired when the left part of the brain is injured.” Her doctors can’t predict how well she’ll see or speak or how much cognitive functioning she’ll regain. “She’s a fighter,” said Giffords’ husband. Giffords no doubt has months of fighting still to go.

Several Democratic members of Congress began promoting gun-control measures following the shooting, said Jeffrey Miron in Bloomberg​.com. But they have virtually no chance of passing. Banning large ammunition clips wouldn’t deter a determined assailant like Loughner, who “could have bought several guns, allowing him to continue firing without interruption.” In Ari­zona, “the most likely legislative response is going to be expanded gun rights,” said David Weigel in Slate.com. Republicans have a huge majority in the state legislature, and they see looser gun laws as the answer, not the problem. 

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