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Gabrielle Giffords Stars In First Ad Paid By Her Gun Control Super PAC

The Super PAC founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, the former astronaut Mark Kelly, has released its first television ad.

It features Giffords, who was shot in the head during a shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., front and center.

"We have a problem, where we shop, where we pray, where our children go to school. But there are solutions we can agree on — even gun owners like us," Giffords says slowly. "Take it from me, Congress must act. Let's get this done."

Politico reports that the 30-second ad will run in Washington at the beginning and end of President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday. Americans for Responsible Solutions, which is aiming for tougher gun control laws, will also air the commercial in "media markets reaching the constituents of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)."

The New York Times reports that gun control will likely be featured prominently in the president's speech and a bipartisan group of lawmakers will unveil a measure to tighten background check standards.

The Times reports:

"A group of four senators – led by Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, and Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma – is closing in on an agreement over how to expand background checks to people who acquire guns through private sales, roughly 40 percent of all purchases.

"The measure would increase the background check requirement and also force states to comply more effectively with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System by speeding up penalties for those that do not.

"The senators, who have been joined by Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, andJoe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, are trying to bridge the gap between lawmakers who seek extensive new gun safety legislation, like an assault weapons ban that may be almost impossible politically, and those who would like to limit the effort to improving the government's ability to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and people with mental illness."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.