The gun violence prevention group founded by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced on July 27 the launch of an Ohio chapter that will continue the national organization’s efforts to support officials who back responsible gun legislation.
The new chapters of Ohioans for Responsible Solutions, located in Cleveland and Columbus, are part of Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), which Giffords and her husband, retired Navy Captain and astronaut Mark Kelly, launched in January.
“People in the Buckeye State know the terrible toll gun violence takes on communities,” ARS Executive Director Pia Carusone said in a statement. “We’re excited about what the 18,000-plus Ohioans for Responsible Solutions will accomplish because they represent a rich cross-section of the community: gun owners and non-gun owners alike, law enforcement officials, victims of gun violence, faith leaders, moms and voters of all political stripes from every part of the state.”
Giffords’ organization says it is not anti-gun — Giffords and Kelly are both gun owners — instead arguing that the gun lobby’s influence has kept legislators from passing common-sense legislation that most Americans support.
A Gallup poll conducted April 22-25 found 65 percent of Americans believed the U.S.
Senate should have passed a measure to expand background checks for gun purchases and ban some semi-automatic weapons, which the Senate failed to pass April 17 because of procedural steps requiring 60 votes to pass. The final vote was 54 in favor and 46 against. Twenty-nine percent of Americans agreed with the Senate’s failure to pass the measure, and 6 percent had no opinion. The poll had a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.
In January — just a month after the shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 children and six adults — Gallup found 91 percent of Americans supporting required background checks for all gun sales.
Giffords has become one of the nation’s highest-profile gun violence prevention activists since a shooting in 2011 left her partially paralyzed. Giffords survived the assassination attempt on Jan. 8, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz., when a mentally ill man shot her in the head at a political event outside a grocery store. The man then fired on other people, killing six and wounding 12 total.
Giffords and Kelly participated in the Northside Fourth of July parade as part of Americans for Responsible Solutions’ “Rights and Responsibilities” cross-country tour advocating for candidates who support responsible gun policies that protect both the public and the rights of gun owners.
Americans for Responsible Solutions announced last week that its super PAC has raised $6.5 million so far this year and grown to more than 500,000 members. At this point it has not announced any plans for a Cincinnati chapter.