Former Rep. Giffords to launch gun control initiative - New York News

Former Rep. Giffords to launch gun control initiative

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband launched an initiative aimed at curbing gun violence on Tuesday, the second anniversary of the Tucson shooting that killed six people and left her critically injured.

Giffords and Mark Kelly wrote in an op-ed published in USA Today that their Americans for Responsible Solutions initiative would help raise money to support greater gun control efforts.

"Achieving reforms to reduce gun violence and prevent mass shootings will mean matching gun lobbyists in their reach and resources," they wrote in the column.

They said that it will "raise funds necessary to balance the influence of the gun lobby."

The move was hinted in Kelly's recent comments that he and Giffords want to become a prominent voice for gun control efforts.

The couple last week visited Newtown, Conn., where a gunman opened fire in an elementary school, killing 20 children and six adults in December. They also met with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a gun control advocate.

The couple was expected to discuss the initiative in an interview airing Tuesday on ABC News. The network offered a preview of the interview Monday. Kelly described a meeting with a father of a Connecticut victim in which he "just about lost it" after the parent showed him a picture of his child.

"In response to a horrific series of shootings that has sown terror in our communities, victimized tens of thousands of Americans, and left one of its own bleeding and near death in a Tucson parking lot, Congress has done something quite extraordinary -- nothing at all," Giffords and Kelly wrote in the op-ed.

"This country is known for using its determination and ingenuity to solve problems, big and small. Wise policy has conquered disease, protected us from dangerous products and substances, and made transportation safer. But when it comes to protecting our communities from gun violence, we're not even trying -- and for the worst of reasons."

They hope to start a national conversation about gun violence and raise funds for political activity, so "legislators will no longer have reason to fear the gun lobby."

"The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve fellow citizens and leaders who have the will to prevent gun violence in the future," they wrote.

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