/ Modified jan 8, 2013 10:33 a.m.

Giffords, Kelly Seek Gun-Control Support

They form PAC to fund fight NRA and 'extreme ideological fringe'

Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly Tuesday announced formation of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a political action committee seeking funding and support for "common-sense" gun-control legislation.

The announcement came in an open letter from Giffords on the second anniversary of the Tucson shooting tragedy in which six were killed and she and 12 others were wounded.


"Two years ago today, a mentally ill young man shot me in the head, killed six of my constituents, and wounded 12 others," Giffords said in the letter. "My recovery has been tough, but I’ve worked very hard, and I feel lucky to be with my family and have this opportunity to do something important for my country.

"Since that terrible day, America has seen 11 more mass shootings, but no plan from Congress to reduce gun violence. After the massacre of 20 children and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary, however, it's clear: This time must be different."

The PAC Giffords and Kelly formed will help fund the fight for legislation to "reduce gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership," she said in the letter.

"The vast majority of Americans - including three-quarters of NRA (National Rifle Association) members - support efforts that promote responsible gun ownership," the letter said. "But a gun lobby driven by an extreme ideological fringe has used big money and influence to stop Congress from acting."

Giffords wrote an opinion column in Tuesday's Arizona Republic detailing the PAC's formation and what it will try to do.

In response, Patricia Maisch, who was credited with helping subdue gunman Jared Loughner at the Tucson shooting Jan. 8, 2011, said she supports the effort.

"I think it's important," Maisch said. "We need to get the assault weapons off the street. We need to get the high-capacity magazines off the street."

Loughner emerged from a Safeway supermakert at North Oracle and East Ina roads at 10:10 a.m. that day and began shooting. A bullet passed through Giffords' head and other shots killed six people, including a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl and one of Giffords' staff members.

Among the 13 wounded was Ron Barber, who was Giffords' congressional district office director. He recovered and won her seat in Congress after she resigned one year ago. He was elected to a two-year term in November.

Loughner, who was diagnosed as schizophrenic, was sentenced in November to seven life terms plus 140 years in federal prison. He was sent to a federal prison hospital in Missouri for continued treatment.

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