Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, rolled out a new gun-control group today.
“Two years ago, a mentally ill young man shot me in the head, killed six of my constituents, and wounded 12 others. Since that terrible day, America has seen 11 more mass shootings – but no response from Congress to prevent gun violence. After the massacre of 20 children and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary though, it’s clear: This time must be different,” Giffords said on the website for the new political action committee, Americans for Responsible Solutions.
“Americans for Responsible Solutions will encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership by communicating directly with the constituents that elect them.”
Giffords and Kelly went to Newtown, Conn., last week to meet with families of the victims in the school shooting.
They also heralded the start of their group with an op-ed in USA Today, where they asked readers to “forget the boogeyman of big, bad government coming to dispossess you of your firearms.”
“We saw from the NRA leadership’s defiant and unsympathetic response to the Newtown, Conn., massacre that winning even the most common-sense reforms will require a fight. But whether it has been in campaigns or in Congress, in combat or in space, fighting for what we believe in has always been what we do, ” Giffords and Kelly wrote.
In Congress, they’ll have the backup of Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), Giffords’ aide who was one of those wounded in the January 2011 attack and successfully ran for her seat when she resigned.
“To me it’s important that we finally move from talking about the issue to actually taking some appropriate action and I’m going to be involved with that in Congress as a member of a task force that seeks to end or prevent gun violence,” Barber said on CNN.
“As a Second Amendment supporter, I really believe that there is a right to bear arms and it’s been confirmed by the Supreme Court, but I also believe that there have to be some limits,” he added.