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Gabrielle Giffords leads new group against NRA, gun lobby

gunWASHINGTON, D.C. – Former Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, have launched a new initiative to counter the influence and power of the National Rifle Association and the powerful gun lobby.

The group is called “Americans for Responsible Solutions” and was announced Tuesday, the same day two years ago when Giffords was seriously wounded in a gun attack.

“Our new campaign will launch a national dialogue and raise funds to counter influence of the gun lobby,” Giffords and Kelly announced on the group’s Facebook page.  The page has over 7,500 followers in just over 13 hours since it was launched.

Giffords explained the reasoning behind the group’s effort.

“Two years ago, a mentally ill young man shot me in the head, killed six of my constituents, and wounded 12 others,” Giffords said.  “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.

“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.”

Countering the NRA will not be easy.

Besides having the second amendment generally  as the backbone to its existence, the NRA has about 4 million members and according to reports, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action spent $7.5 million on federal elections on 66 candidates in 2012. In addition, the NRA PAC spent $9.5 million in the 2012 elections.

“Forget the boogeyman of big, bad government coming to dispossess you of your firearms. As a Western woman and a Persian Gulf War combat veteran who have exercised our 2nd Amendment rights, we don’t want to take away your guns any more than we want to give up the two guns we have locked in a safe at home,” Giffords and Kelly wrote in an op-ed in USA Today.


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