The Washington Times - February 11, 2013, 09:27AM

The political action committee founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, released its first television ad Monday — one day before President Obama’s State of the Union address, in which he is expected to address gun control in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings in December.

“We have a problem,” Mrs. Giffords says in the 30-second spot as images from areas that have seen shooting sprees in recent years — Aurora, Colo.; Tucson, Ariz.; Oak Creek, Wis.; and Newtown, Conn. — come on screen. “Where we shop. Where we pray. Where our children go to school.


(SEE RELATED: HURT - Gun-control crowd using Gabby Giffords as a mascot)

“But there are solutions we can agree on — even gun owners like us,” the ad continues, saying that nine of 10 Americans support universal criminal checks on all gun buyers and panning to a shot of Mrs. Giffords and her husband, a former astronaut, who both testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence last month. “Take it from me — Congress must act. Let’s get this done.”

Mrs. Giffords was gravely wounded when a gunman opened fire at a constituent event in Tucson two years ago. Her surprise appearance and opening testimony at the hearing last month was widely praised, though it’s still unclear what exactly will get through Congress. The issue has become one of Mr. Obama’s top legislative priorities since December’s shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

(SEE RELATED: Former U.S. Rep. Giffords visits Newtown, Conn.)

The group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, plans to bookend Mr. Obama’s State of the Union with the ad in Washington markets and air it in markets that will reach constituents of the top four congressional leaders, according to Politico. Mrs. Giffords and Mr. Kelly are scheduled to attend the address as guests of Sen. John McCain and Rep. Ron Barber, who was wounded in the January 2011 shootings that killed six people.