Amid all the talk, legislative proposals and presidential decrees inspired by the recent shootings in Connecticut and Colorado, perhaps the most significant was the announcement in early January that former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was starting a gun-control lobbying organization. Americans for Responsible Solutions seeks to raise $20 million by the next election cycle -- about the same amount the National Rifle Association spent to influence the 2012 vote. More important, symbolically, is the fact that this ambitious effort was launched in the West, where guns are part of the culture. Giffords has long been a gun owner and gun-rights advocate. As a congresswoman, she was part of a cadre of Western Democrats -- along with Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, Montana Sen. Jon Tester and others -- who stayed in the NRA's relatively good graces because they supported firearms' traditional role. But then Giffords, along with 18 others,
Which way will the West go on guns?
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