A US Congresswoman who was shot in the head during a 2011 mass shooting appealed to Congress today to tighten gun control, saying "too many children are dying."
Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering from the attack in Arizona, told the Senate judiciary committee: "Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you."
The committee is considering proposals to place stricter limits on gun ownership following last year's Newtown primary school massacre, in which 20 children and six of their teachers were killed.
Ms Giffords and her husband former astronaut Mark Kelly, who are both gun owners, have formed Americans for Responsible Solutions to counter the influence of the virulently pro-gun National Rifle Association (NRA).
Mr Kelly said the US was "not taking responsibility for the gun rights our founding fathers have conferred on us."
President Barack Obama has proposed banning assault rifles, requiring background checks on firearms purchases and limiting the size of magazine rounds.
But the NRA has pledged to fight any restriction tooth and nail.
Spokesman Wayne LaPierre told the committee that gun control had failed in the past and would fail again.
"Law-abiding gun owners will not accept blame for the acts of deranged criminals," he said, proposing better enforcement of existing laws and stronger school security instead.
And weaponry wasn't the only explosive issue Mr Obama pushed to tackle this week.
He told a largely Hispanic high school in Las Vegas on Tuesday that "now is the time" to tackle the deeply divisive issue of immigration.
"The question now is simple," he said. "Do we have the resolve as a people, as a country, as a government to finally put this issue behind us? I believe that we do."
He outlined a plan to provide a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.
His announcement came a day after a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a similar framework for immigration reform, which put slightly more emphasis on border security.
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