Astronaut Mark Kelly has worn many hats, from Gulf War combat pilot to space shuttle commander. He became the focus of international attention after the 2011 assassination attempt on his wife, former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords. They now run an organization devoted to preventing gun violence.
Kelly and Giffords will be appearing at the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem Wednesday evening to speak about leadership, teamwork and courage under pressure.
WFDD's Neal Charnoff speaks with Mark Kelly about his accomplishments and influences.
Kelly believes progress has been made getting gun control legislation passed on the state level since 2011.
“States like Washington and Oregon and Delaware and others regarding things that most American support, like requiring a background check before buying a gun and laws about domestic violence," says Kelly. “Mass murder with firearms has been up significantly over the past ten years, and people are starting to get tired of it.”
Kelly now tours as an inspirational speaker, and says he has been inspired by different people at different times. Among his influences are astronauts Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan, the first and last men to walk on the moon.
He looks forward to the Pope Francis' U.S visit this month.
“I think he's an inspirational figure who's willing to push back against some longstanding traditions, and be a little bit disruptive," says Kelly.
And he describes his wife Gabby as incredibly resilient. “She has great capacity to recover from a horrific injury, and she continues to show improvement all the time."