Gabrielle Giffords seems an unlikely advocate for gun control, considering she hardly eeks out two-word answers in an interview about her future. "A little," she says of missing Washington; "wasteland," she quips about her least-favorite place. But that very strain could make the former Democratic lawmaker from Arizona a powerful, moving voice in the growing movement for gun legislation, the New York Times reports. "Sometimes you have to do things that are hard," says husband Mark Kelly, who often intuits her thoughts and expresses them. Giffords adds, "Really hard."
Still recovering from a shooting that left her partly paralyzed, Giffords is the main rep for an anti-gun advocacy group and separate PAC called Americans for Responsible Solutions. Meanwhile, similar groups are rising up and challenging the political campaigns of lawmakers who oppose gun control—using money to fight the NRA at its own game. So far Giffords and Kelly are focused on two big issues for President Obama: better background checks and smaller-capacity magazines. And it's not just politics for the Arizona couple, as Kelly makes clear: "A universal background check would have directly affected what happened here in Tucson."