Giffords, Kelly Tour North Dakota to Talk Gun Safety - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Giffords, Kelly Tour North Dakota to Talk Gun Safety

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Updated Story 9:45pm:

Nearly 100 people welcomed former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords to Fargo today. She and her husband Mark Kelly stopped at Atomic Coffee on their Rights and Responsibility Tour through states in which Senators rejected a bill for stricter background checks on gun sales.

"I found out about it a couple days ago, and I told Courtney that we had to come out here and see this and experience it." says Scott Brand who was waiting in line.

The room was already packed, but supporters like Scott, still waited in line hoping to hear from Gabby.

"She's just an amazing inspirational story for America," Scott continues, "and she's taking something, the absolutely worst possible thing you can conceive of and is working to make it positive, a positive change."

And it was a tight squeeze, but more people packed in to give her a friendly Fargo welcome. Both Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly think after recent incidents like Sandy Hook, and their own personal struggle, that the country needs to use common sense when creating new gun legislation.

"We should have a system so when people are identified as mentally ill, that they don't have easy access to a firearm, and that information gets to what we call the national institute background check system, so we're working on this." Mark Kelly says.

But not everyone agrees with their mission, some at an earlier stop in Mandan look at it differently.

"We do feel a lot of sympathy for Gabby Giffords. The horrendous stuff that she went through. But it's not the gun that did it, it's some psycho that our criminal justice system needs to take care of and not take our guns away." says Marty Beard.

"But that doesn't mean that we can't have some common sense gun legislation." Mark still says to the supporters.

But many, like Scott, say after watching Gabby fight for her life they feel it's important they continue to push their initiative.

"As North Dakotans I'd like to think that we can keep an open mind, and we can hear all perspectives, and I think that she has an amazing perspective to tell and to share with us." Scott says.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp released a statement welcoming Giffords and her husband to North Dakota, saying while they may not agree on every method of reducing gun violence, she still believes steps should be taken towards addressing the violence.

Gifford continues her seven day seven state tour, now heading to Ohio.
To find out more about their mission visit their web page, just click here.


Original Story:

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords spoke in Fargo Wednesday, July 3. She appeared at Atomic Coffee on Broadway as part of her weeklong tour of North Dakota, calling for "common sense gun safety laws."

Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly created a gun control advocacy group called "Americans for Responsible Solutions." The group says 79% of North Dakotans support expanded background checks when buying a gun.

The couple is traveling to certain states to lobby against democrats who did not sign the ill-fated bipartisan senate amendment to expand background checks.

The Fargo event started at 3:00 p.m. at Atomic coffee, 222 Broadway in downtown Fargo.

Giffords was shot in the head in January, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona, during a political event at a supermarket.  The injury forced her to resign her congressional seat to focus on her recovery.

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