Washington, DC – Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, announced its endorsement of Lauren Underwood, candidate for Illinois’ 14th congressional district. Underwood is one of 11 candidates Giffords endorsed today as part of its #VoteCourage campaign to elect gun safety champions, and joins a growing list of endorsed candidates supported by Giffords in 2018.
As a registered nurse, Lauren has seen firsthand the damage a firearm can cause when in the wrong hands. She has vowed to fight for passing universal background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of convicted stalkers and domestic abusers.
“Lauren has been on the front lines of treating the tragic impact of our country’s gun violence crisis,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords. “She understands that the best place for us to address the gun violence epidemic is not in the emergency room, but in Congress. That’s why we need leaders like Lauren who have the courage to challenge the status quo and fight for the common sense gun laws we know will save lives.”
Lauren Underwood said, “I am honored to receive the endorsement of an organization founded by hero and champion Gabby Giffords. Our children and families deserve safe communities, safe schools, and safe places of worship. With that, I will make gun reform and violence prevention one of my priorities when elected to Congress.”
In February, Giffords launched the #VoteCourage campaign aimed at electing gun safety advocates to Congress and defeating politicians who have historically worked against gun reform, or done nothing at all to prevent gun violence. The political program is targeting incumbents in mostly suburban districts and uses a mixture of TV and digital advertising, on-the-ground organizing, and a voter registration push to create momentum for meaningful progress on gun safety.
The mass shooting at Parkland, Florida crystallized the country’s frustration with the lack of action to pass gun safety laws. Currently, the country is averaging nearly 34,000 deaths from guns every year, and recent polling shows that support for stronger gun laws is at an all-time high.