Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords is once again calling on Congress to step up and act on gun violence once and for all, the Associated Press reports.
Giffords, in a new ad that is expected to air immediately before and after the president’s speech, faces the camera and states, "Congress is afraid of the gun lobby."
The 43-year-old former Democrat was severely injured in the 2011 Arizona shopping center shooting that left six people dead. Giffords is still recovering from the brain injury she sustained from being shot in the head as she spoke to constituents. She still speaks with a slight slur and has difficulty moving the right side of her body.
"Tell Washington it's too dangerous to wait," she continues in the ad.
Giffords, who was one of the first lady's guests at last year's State of the Union, was very much a focus of the president’s address in 2013, especially in light of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. The president sent out a resounding call to Congress, saying that Giffords and other victims of gun violence "deserve a vote," especially on legislation expanding background checks. The proposal was voted down in the Senate and was never brought up for a vote in the House, the AP notes.
Although the president is not expected to readdress the issue, Giffords, for one, is not letting the motion die. In the new ad she stresses that 90 percent of Americans support background checks.
"They make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to get guns," she says.
White House spokesman Jay Carney didn’t comment on whether or not the president would talk about gun control in his speech, but he insisted that the president’s commitment to reducing gun violence was still going strong.
"[Obama] is very disappointed by Congress' failure to heed the will of the overwhelming majority of the American people in blue states and red states and purple states to expand background checks. But he committed then and he remains committed now to taking action where he can to reducing gun violence," he said.
According to the AP, the Giffords ad is part of a national cable advertising campaign slated to run across the nation on CNN and MSNBC. Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group founded by Giffords and her husband, retired NASA space shuttle commander Mark Kelly, is funding the campaign.
Read more at the Associated Press.