Giffords, Kelly group launches veterans initiative for gun control
November 8th, 2013
03:24 PM ET
5 months ago

Giffords, Kelly group launches veterans initiative for gun control

(CNN) – Dozens of retired senior military veterans are signing onto Americans for Responsible Solutions, the pro-gun control group of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly.

The new initiative, Veterans for Responsible Solutions, will support Giffords and Kelly's wider efforts by bringing to bear the experience of military veterans who've sworn to defend the Second Amendment and have themselves been well versed in the use of firearms.

Kelly is taking point on the initiative as a veteran himself. The former astronaut is a retired Navy captain, becoming a combat veteran as a military aviator.

"I've been shot at" while flying, Kelly told reporters on a conference call organized to promote the initiative.

Moreover, there are guns in the Arizona home Kelly shares with Giffords he said, guns used for self-defense and target shooting.

The point Kelly was trying to prove is that neither he nor any member of his organization is looking to repeal or limit Second Amendment rights, likely because the perception of any move against gun ownership in the United States is bound to incite fierce opposition from the powerful pro-gun lobby.

"We're for gun rights," said James Barnett, a retired rear admiral.

Instead, Veterans for Responsible Solutions wants commonsense actions like universal background checks, Kelly said.

These are background checks an overwhelming majority of Americans have said they support, polls show.

Vance Coleman, a retired Army major general, said on the call that he also owns guns. But not everyone should, Coleman continued, namely criminals and the mentally ill.

"They should not own guns and the Congress needs to do something about that," Coleman said.

The exact functions of the veterans initiative remains fluid.

According to Kelly, some members will be doing little more than lending their names while others will be pursuing a greater measure of activism, perhaps by writing newspaper editorials.

Efforts at introducing universal background checks stalled when a Senate bill got 54 votes in April, six shy of the supermajority it would have needed.

The Obama administration's vow to fight on gained little traction, although there have been limited executive actions taken since then aimed at curbing gun violence.

On Friday Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pushed new rules that would require mental illness to be treated the same as physical ailments.

Gun control activists and other have argued that not enough attention has been paid to treating the mentally ill when it comes to trying to prevent gun violence.

Politically, gun control has proven largely unpalatable, particularly with the successful recall elections in September of a pair of Democratic legislators in Colorado who helped push gun control measures.

Groups like the National Rifle Association argue that background checks and other restrictions harm only law-abiding gun owners while criminals will continue to obtain firearms illegally.


Filed under: Gabrielle Giffords • Gun control • Gun rights • Mark Kelly • Veterans
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    The religious right frequently confuses the second amendment with the second commandment and worships their guns.

    November 8, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. just saying

    good move democrats! as if obamacare doesn't have you in a 100 foot deep hole, now crank up the anti-2nd-amendment attacks and watch that hole deepen to 200 feet!

    it is very clear the extreme left has taken over the democrat party and is hell bent on forcing their far left failure on this country.

    November 8, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Would You Look at That

    "Instead, Veterans for Responsible Solutions wants commonsense actions like universal background checks, Kelly said." – There's no such thing as a "universal" background check...

    November 8, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    The editor of " Guns and Ammo" got fired recently for daring to suggest that a dialogue on gun control was a good idea. Even having a discussion is now forbidden in the gun-hugger's community, where everyone is expected to fall in line in defense of the Second Amendment: its a pity they are not allowed to follow the First Amendment.

    November 8, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    -just saying

    good move democrats! as if obamacare doesn't have you in a 100 foot deep hole, now crank up the anti-2nd-amendment attacks and watch that hole deepen to 200 feet!

    it is very clear the extreme left has taken over the democrat party and is hell bent on forcing their far left failure on this country.
    ***********
    So, in your reality, affordable health insurance and reasonable measures to ensure guns stay out of the hands of people who are unstable are a bad idea. It must be a very dark reality you live it.

    November 8, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "as if obamacare doesn't have you in a 100 foot deep hole"

    Polls show that the pro/con percentages for the ACA haven't changes from those before the website's launch. But please proceed...your derping amuses me.

    November 8, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Would the real 2nd Amendment defenders enter and sign in, please? "Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly"

    November 8, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Data Driven

    @Would You Look At That,

    " There's no such thing as a "universal" background check..."

    There is for civil service hires.

    November 8, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    Would You Look at That

    There's no such thing as a "universal" background check...

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Which is exactly what the Giffords/Kelly group wants to change.

    November 8, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Bill from GA

    Universal background checks are OK, but how about JAILING anyone with a gun they don't legally own. Hard time for anyone using a gun in a robbery.
    Let's punish the criminals USING guns with the laws we already have. Consistently Punish Them.

    And, Hey, Rudy, over 70% of the planets oxygen comes from algae in the oceans. And I like trees.

    November 8, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. yikes

    So they are creating a group of people from the military who want to put the government in control of firearms legislation...negating the benefit of the second amendment, which is there to protect us from........the military.

    Sounds legit to me.

    November 8, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "And, Hey, Rudy, over 70% of the planets oxygen comes from algae in the oceans."

    Wanna tell the class what climate change/global warming, rising ocean temperatures and melting ice caps are doing to algae populations?

    November 8, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    Hey, do any resident righties care to comment on the CBS about-face? Come on, all we've been hearing from you lot for over a year is Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. just saying, a true conservative, please tell us what you're thinking.

    November 8, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Gurgyl

    This so called second amendment is bunch of bs, man made, it can be quashed. Pass total Gun-Ban Laws. Period.

    November 8, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Tampa Tim

    The religious right frequently confuses the second amendment with the second commandment and worships their guns.
    --------------------------------
    I've always felt that the Bill of Rights begins with the 2nd Amendment for the religious right. People like Santorum are on record stating that the 1st Amendment's separation of church and state is wrong. He cited changing it as reason he ran for POTUS.

    November 8, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    "And, Hey, Rudy, over 70% of the planets oxygen comes from algae in the oceans."
    --------------------------–
    True, but most of that oxygen stays in the water. Most of the airborne oxygen comes from trees in the forests.

    "Nice try, but you gotcha self."

    November 8, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Gurgyl
    This so called second amendment is bunch of bs, man made, it can be quashed. Pass total Gun-Ban Laws. Period.
    -–

    Might want to check your GPS device. This is not Cuba, North Korea or Communist China.
    Talk about the typical ignorant low information Democrat supporter. You take the cake.

    November 8, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Universal background checks are OK, but how about JAILING anyone with a gun they don't legally own. Hard time for anyone using a gun in a robbery.
    Let's punish the criminals USING guns with the laws we already have. Consistently Punish Them
    -------------------------–
    I have a better idea. Let's pass some new laws to punish the criminals who traffic the guns to criminals. All of the guns in the hands of your "criminals" began their life as a legal gun purchase somewhere, made by a supposed "law abiding citizen."

    Did you know that there are currently no federal laws that prohibit interstate gun trafficking? The gun lobby fights it tooth and nail.

    November 8, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Larry in Houston

    Hey Kelly, don't waste your time – it's not worth the headaches – wait till this country has shootings in schools & Malls & Movie Theatres on a weekly basis, instead of every 3 to 6 months......When it comes to that, Then, and only then, will people like La Pierre & his cronies will finally listen..

    You never wanted to take people's guns away from them, all you guys ever wanted was to have a better background check. But La Pierre & his regime didn't want that either.....too bad....

    November 8, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Tampa Tim

    ACA is the only way we will be able to dig out of the 100 foot hole the insurance industry put us in. NRA has a data base on all people who have ever bought a gun, ammo, attended a gun show, subscribed to a sportsman's magazine, etc. it cannot be that hard to have a background check.

    November 8, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. just saying

    The Real Tom Paine
    Hey, do any resident righties care to comment on the CBS about-face? Come on, all we've been hearing from you lot for over a year is Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. just saying, a true conservative, please tell us what you're thinking.
    --

    gee, let's see.... the obama administration claims the guy is lying based on fbi reports they will not disclose. it's called a smear attack to discredit somebody that is telling the truth and making Obama look bad. how many times have we seen that? hundreds?? thousands??

    his statements to conceal the fact he disregarded his orders to not go to the consultate make perfect sense. but his story really doesn't matter or alter the facts on the ground that night or what happened in the months leading up to the attack. i wonder why nobody from the obama adminstration provided any information for the 60 minutes segment? because they are still actively trying to bury and conceal everything that happened there.

    again you clowns are really grasping at straws to try and con people that nothing really happened that night and that 4 american are dead and deserved to die because they shouldn't have been there.

    November 8, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Bill from GA

    Sniffit "Wanna tell the class what climate change/global warming, rising ocean temperatures and melting ice caps are doing to algae populations?"

    The best Scientific Minds in the world can't answer that question, and with government cutbacks to science, we will probably just have to wait and see.

    Or, maybe you, with all the answers, will enlighten us.

    November 8, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. rs

    just saying

    good move democrats! as if obamacare doesn't have you in a 100 foot deep hole, now crank up the anti-2nd-amendment attacks and watch that hole deepen to 200 feet!
    ____________________________
    JS- hate to break it to you, but polling reveals 90% of Americans want universal background checks- so, once again, you losers are on the wrong side of an issue important to the American public.
    Shouting "Benghazi", "IRS", and "Obamacare" over and over and over again isn't working. Too bad your guys wasted 5 years doing NOTHING, otherwise they might have something to run on besides ptheir politics of destruction and a record of doing nothing (good) for America.

    November 8, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. just saying

    The Real Tom Paine
    So, in your reality, affordable health insurance and reasonable measures to ensure guns stay out of the hands of people who are unstable are a bad idea.
    --

    affordable healthcare??? where??? everybody looking at the website is getting the wrong costs and when they get the real price later, they need to be revived as the costs ar 2-3 times what they were paying. but for sure, the thousands signing up for free medicaid healthcare get affordable/free healthcare assuming they can find a doctor that accepts the pittance they pay. obvioulsy they will be the worse doctors around.

    we already have thousands of laws on the books to do this now. when are the democrats going to support the forced registration of all mentally unstable people so they can be denied weapons?

    November 8, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. rs

    yikes

    So they are creating a group of people from the military who want to put the government in control of firearms legislation...negating the benefit of the second amendment, which is there to protect us from........the military.
    _______________________
    Puuuleeese. Like you have anything in your home survival kit to ward off the military? Dream much?

    November 8, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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