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Reaction to Giffords' resignation is mixed

Himself wounded in the Tucson attacks, Bill Badger helped subdue the shooter. He says he personally understands why Rep. Giffords needs to devote time to her physical recovery.

Reaction to Giffords' resignation is mixed

CREATED Jan 22, 2012

Reporter: Valerie Cavazos
Web Producer: Chuck Meyer

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Gabby Giffords surprised nearly everyone on Capital Hill five month ago when she returned to the House floor for the first time since the shooting rampage.

Today, she surprised some of her ardent supporters that she wouldn't be headed back to Washington as a congresswoman. Among them shooting survivor Patricia Maisch.

"I wasn't expecting it today. I'm sad that she hasn't made progress enough to run again." That's how Paticia feels professionally about Giffords' resignation. Personally, she says, the decision is easy to understand. "It's an amazing journey that she's on. The journey isn't over and obviously she's made incredible progress, but if she feels like she can't continue and her recovery is more important. I think that's right."

Another shooting survivor, retired Colonel Bill Badger, feels Gabby needs to focus on her health -- and her family. "When I heard I was pleased. I had second thoughts, because she got a good reception down there on the candlelight vigil that I thought well maybe that's going to force her to continue to be the congresswoman that she was. But I understand after being shot myself -- not as serious as she was -- it  changes your priorities."
Even for those who were not there that horrific day, reactions differ.  

"I'm saddened by it, but I want her full recovery because she's just been a such a pillar for our community," said Jan Smolinsky.

"We don't know her full situation. I think it's good she's come forward early and still give someone plenty of time to run," said Noah Stark.