Gabby Giffords Launches New Gun Control Campaign by Shooting a Gun

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 2 2013 12:44 PM

Gabby Giffords Launches New Gun Control Campaign by Shooting a Gun

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Giffords has advocated for tighter gun control laws, including background checks, since she was shot in the head in January 2011.

Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Following the Senate's "shameful" defeat in April of new gun control legislation focusing on background checks, Gabrielle Giffords has embarked on a "Rights and Responsibilities Tour" in seven gun-friendly states to promote both gun control and responsible gun ownership. To commence her campaign, CBS reports, Giffords fired a gun at a Las Vegas range in an attempt to illustrate her pro-gun bona fides. As she explained yesterday in a USA Today op-ed:

Some might consider me an unlikely advocate for gun rights because I sustained terrible injuries in a violent shooting. But I'm a patriot, and I believe the right to bear arms is a definitive part of our American heritage.
For centuries, that right has come with the responsibility to use our guns safely and ensure that our families, our communities and our children are protected. Generations of gun owners have taught their sons and daughters that it takes as much patience and skill to be a good shot as it does to be a good steward of a powerful weapon...
We can't stop every person who is determined to do harm, but common-sense measures can prevent tragedies. Expanding background checks will help create a uniform standard for all gun purchases and prevent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from obtaining powerful weapons.
As gun owners, my husband and I understand that the Second Amendment is most at risk when a criminal or deranged person commits a gun crime. These acts only embolden those who oppose gun ownership. Promoting responsible gun laws protects the Second Amendment and reduces lives lost from guns.
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Background check legislation is currently supported by 92 percent of Americans.

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.