Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot and seriously wounded in 2011, plans a new initiative to address gun violence against women and families, reports USA Today. The Women's Coalition for Common Sense has an advisory committee that includes former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and actresses Connie Britton and Alyssa Milano. Giffords is hosting a “Domestic Violence Awareness Summit” in Washington on Wednesday.
Giffords survived an assassination attempt on Jan. 8, 2011 in Tucson. Six people were killed and another 13 were injured. Giffords suffered a severe brain injury and resigned from the House in 2012. In 2013, she and husband Mark Kelly formed the political action committee Americans for Responsible Solutions to promote gun control legislation. Giffords says 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, and more than two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims between 1980 and 2008 were killed with firearms. The coalition will try to address two gaps in the law. Federal law prohibits people convicted of domestic violence offenses from having firearms, but the law does not cover people who abuse former dating partners. The 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.