Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) is still campaigning for gun control ever since she made a remarkable recovery following an assassination attempt in January of 2011. The perpetrator, Jared Lee Loughner, was later found to be mentally unstable, but not after he took the lives of six people, including a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge. Upon her recovery, Giffords, along with her husband, Mark Kelly, founded the Americans for Responsible Solutions organization to push for common sense regulations on firearms. They have yet to score a federal win, but hope to increase their reach with their merger with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a California-based gun control group (via USA Today):
The group created by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to push for tighter control on the sale of guns is merging with a group focused on the legal issues surrounding gun control.
The merger, announced Wednesday, brings together the notoriety of Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions in Washington with the legal acumen of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco.
For now, the two groups will retain separate names and separate offices.
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence was founded in the wake of a July 1993 shooting spree at a San Francisco law firm that left eight dead. It is a resource for legal expertise and information on state and federal firearms laws.
“By teaming with Americans for Responsible Solutions, our legal experts will have a much larger platform to help bring key policies like universal background checks to more states,” said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the center.
While still unable to get any changes in the law through Congress, the two groups have had success working together at the state level, where Thomas said 125 new laws have passed in 41 states since Americans for Responsible Solutions was founded.
The Law Center will now operate as part of the Americans for Responsible Solutions Foundation. No change in leadership or staffing is planned at either group.
Giffords was recently featured in an ad by the Clinton campaign, where he former congresswoman backed the gun control agenda of the former first lady. In a New Hampshire town hall event back in October, Clinton said that “Australia is a good example” for gun control policy. Anyone who knows anything about this model knows that it’s centered on gun bans and confiscation, which is the Holy Grail for the anti-gun left.
It’s not easy going after someone who has flirted with death, and made an astounding comeback, but as Kevin Williamson of National Review wrote, “being shot in the head by a lunatic does not give one any special grace to pronounce upon public-policy questions.” And this same logic applies to those who back candidates that would follow, or are receptive to, policies that are grossly unconstitutional regarding our Second Amendment rights. Moreover, Clinton backs repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act, which would set the groundwork for the gun industry to be litigated out of existence by the anti-gun left. For those of us who support America’s oldest civil right, we’re not going to stand idle and let this happen. Moreover, Giffords hasn’t been an angel in this fight either. She’s doled out some pretty nasty ads that even the Arizona Republic, who had previously endorsed her, found to be “base and vile” during the 2014 midterm elections. The Republic was specifically commenting on the media blitz against now-Republican Rep. Martha McSally, who they felt did nothing but exploit family tragedies for cheap political points. Gifford's a public figure; she can take it.
As for the fight ahead, it should come to no surprise that even with this merger, the National Rifle Association’s war chest is much larger:
Americans for Responsible Solutions Foundation took in $159,900 in 2014, according to its most recent tax return filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Americans for Responsible Solutions Political Action Committee raised about $3 million in the final six months of 2015, according to its filing with the Federal Election Commission. There was about $4.2 million in its campaign account at the start of 2016.
The Law Center took in about $1.4 million in 2014, according to its most recent tax return.
The NRA’s Political Victory Fund raised $572,406 in January, according to an FEC report, and had $11.3 million in its account to start February. In addition, the NRA Foundation had $41.3 million in revenue in 2013, according to its most recent tax filing, and total assets of $115.2 million.
Bring it on, folks.