Gabrielle Giffords(Arizona Republic)

On the second anniversary of the horrific Tuscon shooting, in which six people were killed and 13 were injured, then-Congresswoman Gabrille Giffords among them, the former lawmaker is starting an initiative with her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, to counter the influence of the gun lobby.

The new initiative will push for background checks for private gun sales and look at ways to better address mental illness, among other efforts, Kelly told ABC.

Gifford’s group aims to take on the National Rifle Association, which in 2011 spent over 11 times more on lobbying than all gun control lobbyists combined.

The new group has set up a political action committee to raise funds “to balance the influence of the gun lobby,” it said on its website, americansforresponsiblesolutions.org.

“Until now, the gun lobby’s political contributions, advertising and lobbying have dwarfed spending from anti-gun violence groups. No longer,” Giffords wrote in an opinion piece published Tuesday in USA Today.

As the issue of gun control remains in the spotlight in the wake of last month’s shooting, here are a few of our most recent features on the topic.

Liel Leibovitz wrote on why the United States should emulate Israel’s gun culture and not its laws.

Michael Monyihan was righteous in his indignation about the invocation of the Holocaust by guns-rights activists.

Rabbi Marc Katz looks to Jewish texts and asks what Judaism says about weapons.

Former lawmaker Giffords launches gun control drive [Reuters]