Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), said Monday that the National Rifle Association was mischaracterizing the issue of gun control and promoting a misguided plan to place armed guards in schools in response to the December mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Kelly argued that a plan first floated by NRA lobbyist Wayne LaPierre wouldn't work because it was based on the belief that more guns necessarily lead to better security. He went on to claim that potential confusion under fire made the issue more complex than that, and that if people were to accept the principle it could lead to an unviable trend.
“And then what do you do, do you put a security guard on a school bus? How about in a church or a movie theater?" Kelly told Cooper. "When does it end? What it really comes down to is Congress doing the right thing and coming up with some responsible, common-sense changes to gun violence laws.”
Kelly also promoted gun control measures that mandated increased background checks and restricted high-capacity magazines. He then reframed the argument for gun control.
"Gabby and I are both very strong supporters of the Second Amendment. You know, I defended the Constitution, I defended the Second Amendment flying in combat over Iraq and Kuwait defending our country,” Kelly said. “Gabby owns a gun, I own a gun. This really isn’t about the Second Amendment, I don’t believe it is -- this is about gun safety and it's about safety of the public.”
Last week, Giffords and Kelly marked the two-year anniversary of the Tuscon shooting -- in which Giffords was shot in the head -- by launching Americans for Responsible Solutions, a PAC designed to combat the influence of the gun lobby. The group is reportedly looking to raise $20 million for the 2014 congressional elections.
The broader issue of gun control is set to take center stage this week, as President Barack Obama is expected to announce a host of policy initiatives -- including a number of executive actions -- designed to help combat gun violence.