Wonder how many Jelly Beans this will take…
WASHINGTON — Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and seriously wounded in 2011, is planning a new initiative to address gun violence against women and families.
The Women’s Coalition for Common Sense will feature a national advisory committee that includes former secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, and actresses Connie Britton and Alyssa Milano, among others.
Giffords is hosting a daylong “Domestic Violence Awareness Summit” in Washington on Wednesday that is expected to draw more than 100 women from across the country. The new coalition will be announced at the event.
Giffords survived an assassination attempt on Jan. 8, 2011, during a constituent event at a Tucson supermarket. Six people were killed and another 13 were injured.
Giffords suffered a severe brain injury during the shootout, and she resigned from the House in January 2012.
In January 2013, she and husband and space shuttle astronaut Mark E. Kelly formed a political action committee called Americans for Responsible Solutions to promote gun control legislation with elected officials and the general public.
The PAC raised more than $20 million in the 2013-2014 election cycle and $3.4 million in the first six months of this year.
The new initiative is prompted by the role guns play in domestic violence. Among the statistics that organizers cite are:
• Abused women in the U.S. are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if that person has access to a gun.
• More than half of all murders of women in the U.S. are committed with a gun.
• More than two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims between 1980 and 2008 were killed with firearms.
The coalition hopes to address two gaps in the law. Current federal law prohibits people convicted of domestic violence offenses from having firearms, but the law does not cover people who abuse former dating partners.
In addition, federal law prohibits people convicted of felony stalking offenses from having guns but if the person is convicted of a misdemeanor stalking offense the prohibition does not apply.
State legislatures have taken action in these areas with at least 12 states now prohibiting people convicted of violent misdemeanors against dating partners from possessing firearms. And 25 states prohibit gun possession by at least some people under protective orders from dating partners.