Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions—an initiative aimed at countering the gun lobby—will testify alongside the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence next week.
The Jan. 30 hearing with a straightforward name—"What Should America Do About Gun Violence?"—was first introduced by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy in a speech earlier this month at the Georgetown University Law Center and the list of witnesses was released Friday.
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Kelly and Giffords, who was shot in the head during a 2011 mass shooting in Tuscon, Ariz., have become vocal proponents of gun control in the wake of the recent school shooting that killed 26 at a Newton, Conn. elementary school. Together they launched their gun control initiative on the two-year anniversary of the Tuscon shooting that nearly ended Giffords' life.
"Achieving reforms to reduce gun violence and prevent mass shootings will mean matching gun lobbyists in their reach and resources," they wrote in an editorial announcing their initiative earlier this month.
The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre also responded to the Newtown massacre, blaming the media, violent video games and an inadequate mental health care system in the country for instances of gun violence. He proposed having armed personnel in schools to prevent another school shooting.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," he said at a press conference several days after the shooting.
Other members invited to testify at the hearing include Nicholas Johnson, a law school professor from Fordham University, James Johnson, the Chief of Police in Baltimore Country and Gayle Trotter, an attorney and senior fellow at the Independent women’s forum in Washington, D.C.