In an op-ed in USA Today, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly announced that they have launched a Political Action Committee to challenge the dominance of gun-rights lobbyists in Washington, DC, on the two year anniversary of the shooting in Tuscon, Arizona, that left six dead and severely wounded the Congresswoman.
Giffords and Kelly criticized the National Rifle Association’s response to the Sandy Hook Massacre, saying “Special interests purporting to represent gun owners but really advancing the interests of an ideological fringe have used big money and influence to cow Congress into submission. … Rather than conducting a dialogue, they threaten those who divert from their orthodoxy with political extinction.”
The PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, will attempt to start national discussion about pro-active and realistic gun control as well as raise funds to rival the clout the National Rifle Association has in Congress. “With Americans for Responsible Solutions engaging millions of people about ways to reduce gun violence and funding political activity nationwide, legislators will no longer have reason to fear the gun lobby,” the couple said.
A total of 20 people were shot in the 2011 attack by 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner as Gabrielle Giffords conducted a “Congress on Your Corner” event in front of a market in Tuscon, Arizona. Six people were killed, including federal district judge John M. Roll, and Giffords was shot in the head. Loughner was sentenced to life in prison without parole.