Former Arizona Congresswoman Giffords and her husband, retired NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy captain Mark Kelly, launched Americans for Responsible Solutions following the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Dec. 2012. A year earlier, Giffords was shot in the head during mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz. on January 8, 2011 that killed six people, and wounded 12 others.
In a statement released one day before the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, Kelly pointed to Congress's inaction on gun violence since the tragedy:
In the weeks after Newtown, we heard politician after politician give eloquent speeches—promising that they would keep our communities safe. They promised that they would honor the dead in Newtown.
Congress held hearings and the atmosphere seemed ripe for action. Two Senators from both sides of the aisle came together and proposed a pragmatic bill that would require background checks on more gun purchases. The Senate came very close to passing it—but in the end, they failed to approve a solution that 90% of Americans support.
The Senate, it seemed, was in the grip of the gun lobby. Gabby and I were disappointed, but we were not defeated.