On Tuesday, Giffords and Kelly launched a political-action committee, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), to lobby Congress to enact sensible gun-control laws. On Wednesday, I made a donation to ARS.
One caveat: The website doesn't list what those sensible solutions are, and my calls to the PAC were not returned before deadline, but I see the ARS Facebook page had more than 30,000 "likes" as of Thursday night.
I'm pretty sure ARS will embrace recommendations, due next week, from Vice President Joe Biden's gun-control task force. These are expected to include: A ban (again) on "assault rifles" and high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, universal background checks, a national database to track gun sales and another to identify potential gun buyers with mental problems, and a crackdown on straw purchasers who buy guns and illegally pass them along.
None of the above will eliminate gun violence in America. There is, no pun intended, no magic bullet. We are working in the margins here, but people are dying in the margins.
We can't eliminate all gun deaths in America, but can't we reduce the carnagewhile protecting the constitutional right of mentally fit, law-abiding citizens to own firearms? Giffords and Kelly won't deny the rights of responsible gun owners.
Part of the ARS mission is to "encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and to protect responsible gun ownership." It is positioning itself as a counterweight to the pro-gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.
I do not reflexively hate the NRA, as many on the left do. I do not reflexively hate the ACLU, which many on the right do. Each suffers from its own tunnel vision. The NRA celebrating Jan. 19 as "Gun Appreciation Day" is an example of jaw-dropping insensitivity and PR insanity. It ignores Mark Twain's warning: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Not everyone agrees with more restrictions, and in my next column I will let one of them have his say because we should understand their concerns. They are not all "gun nuts." Honest people can have honest differences.
As an example, I believe "gun-free" zones - whether in schools, churches or theaters - embolden criminals to use them as a killing ground, knowing no one will shoot back. But we can talk about that.
We can also talk about a poll of gun owners - half of them current or former NRA members - showing a sturdy majority in favor of restrictions on guns and gun ownership. The poll, taken in May before the Newtown, Conn., massacre, was commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns that wisely chose Republican pollster Frank Luntz to conduct the survey, thus insulating itself from charges of partisanship.
The Luntz poll shows the vast majority of gun owners are open to reasonable measures. As a responsible gun owner myself, I ask my fellow armed citizens to publicly endorse sensible restrictions. Support means much more coming from us than from knee-jerk, anti-gun zealots.
Sensible restrictions will not cure the problem, but they will help and, in the long run, protect our own Second Amendment rights.
On Twitter: @StuBykofsky