Posted at: 01/08/2013 6:46 PM
By: Brittany Lewis
Giffords to Create Gun Lobby Committee
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Two years ago, former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and six of her constituents died. That attack in Tucson forced Giffords to leave the House of Representatives. But after meeting with the families of the Newtown massacre, Gifford says she now has a mission.
In an op-ed in USA Today, Giffords and her Husband Mark Kelly write that in order to achieve reforms and reduce gun violence, it comes down to dollars and cents. They plan to match gun lobbyists in both their reach and resources with their campaign, Americans for Responsible Solutions.
"When it can happen to children in a classroom it's time to say... enough,” said Giffords in an exclusive interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. In the interview, Giffords and Kelly describe their visit to Newtown last week.
"The first couple that we spoke to that took out a cell phone showed us a picture of his daughter and I just about lost it,” said Kelly.
In the two years since Giffords was shot, there have been eleven mass shootings without much action from Congress, which sparked the creation of the Americans for Responsible Solutions Campaign. An idea supported by local advocates.
"I don't want any more kids killed. Most of those victims are the same age as my granddaughter in that last shooting. So this really means a lot to me that there is a group forms,” said Nancy Adams, a local advocate.
In the USA Today op-ed Giffords and Kelly write that the campaign will work on a national dialog about gun violence, raise funds to balance the influence of gun lobbyists, and will support leaders who stand up for what is right. Both Giffords and Kelly are gun owners and say they don’t want to take guns, but want responsible changes in laws.
"There are numerous groups in the United States that are trying to compete or put down the NRA. If they wanna have some dialog with them. I guess there's no problem with that if their main agenda is not get rid of guns but to find out why we're having these problems,” said Ralph Hettig owner of Wild Goose Sports.
As both gun owners and survivors of gun violence, Giffords and Kelly hope this new campaign will prevent future tragedies.
According to the FEC, last year the National Rifle Association spent more than $16 million while the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence spent close to $6,000. Vice President Joe Biden will meet with the NRA and gun ownership groups on Thursday before presenting his recommendations to the president.