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Giffords, Kelly launch gun-control effort

Two years to the day after being shot through the head, Gabrielle Giffords announced an effort to "stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence" in launching Americans for Responsible Solutions.

Giffords and husband Mark Kelly announced the political action committee with an op-ed in USA Today, saying the effort will "raise funds to counter the influence of the gun lobby."

The PAC's website said it will encourage politicians to "protect responsible gun ownership."

"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," the couple wrote in the op-ed.

From the piece:

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 working to find the balance between our rights and the regulation of a dangerous product, these groups have cast simple protections for our communities as existential threats to individual liberties. Rather than conducting a dialogue, they threaten those who divert from their orthodoxy with political extinction.

As a result, we are more vulnerable to gun violence. Weapons designed for the battlefield have a home in our streets. Criminals and the mentally ill can easily purchase guns by avoiding background checks. Firearm accessories designed for killing at a high rate are legal and widely available. And gun owners are less responsible for the misuse of their weapons than they are for their automobiles.

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 Second 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. What we do want is what the majority of NRA members and other Americans want: responsible changes in our laws to require responsible gun ownership and reduce gun violence.

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Giffords and Kelly will appear in an interview on ABC TV on Tuesday evening to talk about their gun-control effort.

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