Gabby Giffords Takes Another Uphill Run at Gun Control

by David Hawkings, Roll Call  |  published on October 24, 2013

Another grass-roots lobbying push for gun control legislation is being staged today by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. But there is no sign at all that the Arizona Democrat and her former astronaut husband will gain any new support at the Capitol.

The couple are delivering a blunt letter to every member of Congress signed by 100,000 members of American for Responsible Solutions, the advocacy group they started after the Giffords resigned in January 2012, a year after she was severely wounded and six others were shot dead at a constituent meet-and-great in Tucson.

“We have disturbing problems — gun crime, mental illness, and the easy access that dangerous people have to guns. But our public officials seem more interested in political theater and special interest threats than in leadership. Congress, you must lead. Come together, take a sober look at the problem, and pass laws that protect our families and communities.”

They said they were prompted to draft the petition after last month’s Navy Yard shooting, and decided to release the letter after this week’s incident in which a 12-year-old Nevada boy fatally shot his math teacher, a Marine veteran of Afghanistan, and wounded two schoolmates before turning the gun on himself.

Asked about that incident at Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney described President Barack Obama as “heartbroken” and declared that he “remains committed” to reviving his moribund legislative campaign.

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