- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The political arm of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ gun control group is going after GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock in the group’s first TV ad of the 2018 election cycle, saying Mrs. Comstock has “failed to keep our communities safe” and hasn’t done enough to stand up to the National Rifle Association.

In the 30-second ad, Mrs. Giffords says Mrs. Comstock has taken “thousands” of dollars from the NRA and that “we must do better.”

“What makes America great — the courage to say no problem’s too big to solve,” says Mrs. Giffords, a former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona. “But shooting after shooting, Barbara Comstock has failed.”

Giffords PAC said the ad starts airing Tuesday on TV in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, which stretches from the Washington, D.C., suburbs to West Virginia, as part of a million-dollar campaign.

Mrs. Comstock is running against Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Wexton in the race, and several political handicappers have given a slight edge to Mrs. Wexton at this point.

But the congresswoman says she likes where she’s positioned at this point.

“We’re up in our internal polls, and I have never underperformed my internal polls,” she told radio host John Fredericks on Tuesday.

The Comstock campaign also said she is the only candidate in the race who has authored and co-sponsored federal legislation aimed at stopping gun violence.

Campaign manager Susan Falconer pointed to legislation Congress has passed recently to get more records into the federal gun-purchase background check system and provide more money for school safety, as well as a measure authored by Mrs. Comstock that funds programs to combat gang activity.

“Since her days as a senior Justice Department official, Barbara has fought for protecting our families, law enforcement and public safety, and that advocacy has earned her the endorsement from the Virginia and Fairfax Police Benevolent Associations once again,” Ms. Falconer said.

Mrs. Comstock, first elected in 2014, won re-election by about 6 points in 2016 even as Hillary Clinton carried the district by close to double digits.

The ad comes as Democratic candidates across the country have been highlighting guns as a campaign issue in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in February, and was released just days after a deadly shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida.

Mrs. Giffords herself was gravely wounded by a deranged gunman at a constituent event in January 2011 in a shooting where six people were killed.

She ultimately resigned from Congress and launched Americans for Responsible Solutions along with her husband Mark Kelly on the second anniversary of the shooting in 2013. The group changed its name to “Giffords” last year.

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