Gabrielle Giffords Launches Gun-Control Group

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 8 2013 10:48 AM

Gabrielle Giffords and her Husband Aim Fire at NRA as They Launch New Gun Control Group

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Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly point out that the country has "seen an astounding 11 mass shootings" since the former lawmaker was shot in the head two years ago

Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Two years ago today, then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was critically injured in Tucson when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire while she was meeting with constituents, killing six people. Since then “Congress has done something quite extraordinary—nothing at all,” write Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly write in a USA Today op-ed announcing the launch of Americans for Responsible Solutions. The group, a new political action committee that aims to decrease gun violence, “will raise the funds necessary to balance the influence of the gun lobby,” Giffords and Kelly write.

The couple sat down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer for an interview that will be airing Tuesday. "I think we all need to try to do something about [gun violence]," Kelly told Sawyer. "It's obvious to everybody we have a problem. And problems can be solved."

The former lawmaker and former astronaut make clear that they are supporters of gun rights, noting they have two guns in their home. But they want to create a powerful counterpart to the NRA to end the lopsided nature of political contributions in the gun debate. “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,” they write.

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Today, Tucson will mark the anniversary of the shooting by ringing bells across the city at the very moment when Loughner opened fire, reports the Associated Press.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.