Former Congresswoman Giffords, who survived a mass shooting in 2011, and her husband, former astronaut Kelly (Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, 2011), argue forcefully that gun owners and gun control advocates alike can work toward common-sense policies that address gun violence in this country.
Proud gun owners who believe in the Second Amendment, the authors have launched Americans for Responsible Solutions, an organization dedicated to changing policies on such issues as background checks, assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and gun traffic. The narrator’s voice is Kelly’s, and he shares some surprising facts about gun laws in the Old West, tells the story of Giffords’ near-fatal shooting outside a Tucson supermarket in 2011 and provides some revealing statistics on gun ownership. His take on the National Rifle Association is fierce. He recounts how the organization evolved from a small group intent on promoting marksmanship to a powerful, even fearsome, lobbying force in both state and national politics. In reporting on the NRA’s close relationship with the firearms industry, Kelly notes that not only does the NRA receive substantial financial support from the industry, but it also wields considerable power over gun manufacturers. When Smith & Wesson agreed to some basic safety measures in 2000, the NRA’s boycott cost the company dearly—a 40 percent drop in sales and the closure of two factories. The balance of the book focuses on unsuccessful efforts in 2012 to persuade the U.S. Senate to pass the Manchin-Toomey bill, which would have changed the law on background checks. As Giffords and Kelly continue their work on reforming gun laws at state and local levels, the authors are optimistic that reasonable people will come to agree that while gun owners have specific rights, they have equally important responsibilities as well.
A personal, straightforward appeal for action on gun violence that the NRA will certainly shoot down.