As the sponsor of a package of bills to reduce gun violence in America and the upcoming House sponsor of an updated assault weapons ban, I want to praise my former colleague and Tucson shooting victim Gabrielle Giffords on her entry into the fight to save lives through responsible gun ownership laws.
Rep. Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, both gun owners, discussed efforts to reduce gun violence in an op-ed in USA Today, noting that “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.”
Today Gabby and Mark have joined a long line of Americans fed up with our country’s failure to tackle gun violence and working to do something about it.
Gabby has always worked to bridge partisan divides to unite and serve her fellow Americans, and has emerged from a miraculous recovery to continue that difficult work. Mark is a national hero, a combat veteran and astronaut who’s risked his life to protect our nation across sea and space.
Both are gun owners and patriots dedicated to helping the nation see that responsible and reasonable policies can save lives in America without conflicting with the rights afforded by our Constitution.
On this anniversary of the horrific massacre in Tucson, and just days after the horrific massacre in Newtown, I’m so glad that Gabby and Mark are joining this critical fight to protect innocent, law-abiding Americans.
I look forward to working with them, other victims and advocates, other gun owners, the White House, and our law enforcement, mental health and education communities in order to find reasonable, common-sense solutions to save innocent lives in America.
Carolyn McCarthy is the representative of New York’s Fourth Congressional District. She was first elected in 1996.