The national tragedy that played out at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, has shifted the tenor and substance of the debate over the Second Amendment, which guarantees the rights of Americans to own and carry firearms, for the first time in decades. And Giffords, with her own heroic story of recovery, could be uniquely placed to help marshal gun-control forces moving forward.
The decision by Giffords, herself a gun owner and a supporter of the Second Amendment, shows a sense of urgency in capitalizing on post-Newtown emotions. The Obama administration, too, is trying to move quickly – this week initiating conversations with gunmakers, Hollywood producers, gun-crime victims, and gun rights groups about how to proceed. But the efforts risk exposing cracks in a notably fractious gun-control movement.
[Editor's note: The original version of this story misstated Ms. Gifford’s position on the Second Amendment.]