With slow and deliberate words, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) provides narration for a new television ad released Monday to promote stricter gun controls.
“We have a problem, where we shop, where we pray, where our children go to school,” Giffords says, over black-and-white images of memorials near the sites of recent mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., Tucson, Ariz., Oak Creek, Wis., and Newtown, Conn. “But there are solutions we can agree on, even gun owners like us. Take it from me, Congress must act. Let’s get this done.”
(Watch the ad above)
The spot concludes with Giffords speaking into the camera alongside her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly. Giffords suffered a gunshot wound to the head during a mass shooting in Tucson in early 2011 and has been on a difficult road to recovery since. The ad is her latest involvement in a campaign to pressure Congress to address gun violence in the wake of December's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Funded by Americans for Responsible Solutions, an anti-gun violence super PAC launched by Giffords and Kelly last month, Politico reports that the commercial will air in the Washington, D.C. area, as well as markets represented by top congressional leaders. The hometown airwaves of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will all feature the ad.
This is the first high-profile television offering from Americans for Responsible Solutions, which has announced plans to raise $20 million ahead of the 2014 elections in an effort to combat the influence of pro-gun advocates such as the National Rifle Association. The group has decided to focus on pressing Congress to move on enhanced background checks and limiting magazine sizes to 10 bullets. Giffords' plea in the ad is similar to one that she delivered directly to Congress in January, when she gave opening remarks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, urging lawmakers to "be bold."
Americans for Responsible Solutions is looking to make the most out of the ad's rollout. Politico reports that the group has reserved cable airtime in the Washington market at either end of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Giffords and Kelly will be in attendance as Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress, as guests of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Giffords aide and current Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.). Giffords also attended the State of the Union last year, shortly after announcing that she'd retire to focus on her rehabilitation.