After she was gravely wounded by gunfire two years ago in Tucson, Ariz., former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, imagined a life out of the public eye, where she would continue therapy surrounded by the friends, family and the Arizona desert she loves so much.
But after the slaughter of 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month, Giffords and Kelly knew they couldn't stay silent.
"Enough," Giffords said.
The couple marked the second anniversary of the Tucson shooting by sitting down with Diane Sawyer to discuss their recent visit to Newtown and their new initiative to curb gun violence, "Americans for Responsible Solutions."
"After the shooting in Tucson, there was talk about addressing some of these issues, [and] again after [a movie theater massacre in] Aurora," Colo., Kelly said. "I'm hopeful that this time is different, and I think it is. Twenty first-graders' being murdered in their classrooms is a very personal thing for everybody."
During their trip to Newtown, Giffords and Kelly met with families directly affected by the tragedy.
"[The] first couple that we spoke to, the dad took out his cell phone and showed us a picture of his daughter and I just about lost it, just by looking at the picture," Kelly said. "It was just very tough and it brought back a lot of memories about what that was like for us some two years ago."
"Strength," Giffords said she told the families in Newtown.
"Gabby often told them, 'You got to have strength. You got to fight for something,'" Kelly said.
The innocent faces of the children whose lives were abruptly taken reminded the couple, they said, of 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, the youngest victim to die in the Tucson shooting at a Giffords constituent event.
"I think we all need to try to do something about [gun violence]," Kelly said. "It's obvious to everybody we have a problem. And problems can be solved."
Giffords, Kelly Call for 'Common Sense' Solutions
Giffords, 42, and Kelly, 48, are both gun owners and supporters of the 2nd Amendment, but Kelly had strong words for the National Rifle Association after the group suggested the only way to stop gun violence is to have a "good guy with a gun."
There was a good guy with a gun, Kelly said, the day Jared Loughner shot Giffords and 18 other people, six fatally, at her "Congress on Your Corner" event.
"[A man came out] of the store next door and nearly shot the man who took down Jared Loughner," Kelly said. "The one who eventually wrestled [Loughner] to the ground was almost killed himself by a good guy with a gun, so I don't really buy that argument."
Instead, Giffords and Kelly are proposing "common sense" changes through "Americans for Responsible Solutions."