If the National Rifle Association is going to flex its muscle during election season, then there ought to be another group to balance that power, fighting money with money. So goes the thinking of former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly.
Though Giffords, who was targeted in a Tuscon mass shooting two years ago, and Kelly are both are gun owners, they find that the issue of gun ownership has been a one-sided, heavily-funded conversation for too long — and Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS) aims to fill that void and fight gun violence. The pair launched the super PAC on Tuesday.
Houston trial lawyer and activist Steve Mostyn has also taken up the torch, joining up as the group's treasurer and, along with his wife Amber Anderson, giving $1 million to kick start a $20 million campaign in anticipation of the 2014 election cycle.
Mostyn became involved when Kelly called him after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
According to the Center for Responsible Politics, the NRA spent that amount ($20 million) on lobbying during the 2012 elections.
"We are going to provide support and backing for candidates in U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate races that are attacked by the NRA for taking moderate positions on common-sense gun safety issues," Mostyn told Reuters. "We will also field candidates."
An outspoken Democrat who donated more than $2 million to President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign, Mostyn became involved with ARS when Kelly called him after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Like Giffords and Kelly, Mostyn and Anderson also own guns, a fact that they hope will calm any fears that they're pushing to outlaw firearms altogether.