Former Congresswoman Visits North Dakota to Talk About Gun Contr - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Former Congresswoman Visits North Dakota to Talk About Gun Control

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Gabrielle Giffords was treated to a warm reception at the Kroll's Diner in Mandan.  The stop was one of several to promote gun control in states where Senators voted against a bill to do just that, back in April.

"We're about seven months away from what happened at Sandy Hook elementary school. Where 20 first graders were murdered in their classroom and to date our national response to that tragedy has been to do nothing," says Giffords' husband Mark Kelly.

For the couple, the issue is a personal one. Back in January 2011, six people were killed and thirteen others were injured, including Giffords, when a gunman opened fire at a shopping center in Tucson, during a political rally.

"I've seen great courage when my life was on the line. Now is the time to come together to be responsible," says former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

They believe responsible legislation would include addressing mental health issues and expanding background checks. Background checks are already required at gun stores, but Mark Kelly says he wants to extend that to online and gun shows.

"It's a common sense thing to me that the rules in place in one place would be uniform in every place where a lot of guns are bought. Forty percent of guns are bought without a background checks, it takes five minutes. It's a really easy procedure to complete but it prevents criminals from getting guns," says Kelly.

But not everyone agrees, and came to her appearance to voice their discontent.

"Jared Lee Loughner, the man who shot Gabrielle Giffords had no criminal history and was never adjudicated mentally deficient. So, he could have passed any background check that they want to expand right now, and it wouldn't have made one bit of a difference," says Jamie Brecht.

"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 rights away," says Marty Beard.

Giffords also made an appearance in Fargo, before heading to Ohio.

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