Women over 50 have a big impact

The Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a New York gun law enacted over 100 years ago which imposes restrictions on the carrying of a concealed handgun outside their homes, a move former Rep. Gabby Giffords called “sad” and “terrible.”

Yet Giffords – who was shot in the face in 2011 while holding a meeting with her constituents in a parking lot in Arizona – said she remains hopeful for meaningful change on gun reform, especially as Congress pushes gun reform deal following the recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.

“It will be long and difficult. But I am optimistic,” Giffords said.

Know Your Value spoke to Giffords, 52, as part of her ’50 Over 50′ initiative to shine a light on women in their 50s, 60s, 60s and beyond who are upending age norms and gender. This week, in partnership with Forbes, we spotlight a few women, all over the age of 50, who are fighting for gun reform.

Following the 2011 shooting, Giffords suffered an impact to the left hemisphere of her brain, which left her with a condition that impairs her speech. But that didn’t stop her. Giffords has made gun safety reform his signature.

She has since turned tragedy into goal through her work over the past decade on gun reform. She runs the gun violence prevention organization called Giffords. And she has since taken a 360-degree approach to the issue of gun violence – advocating for both legislative solutions and cultural change around the issue.

When asked what advice she would give to people who want to make meaningful change in gun reform, Giffords replied, “Be a leader. Give an example. Be passionate. Be brave. Look your best.

Here are some other women worth paying attention to:

Shannon Watts, 52, founder of Moms Demand Action

Image: Gun safety rally at the US Capitol
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, speaks at a rally near the US Capitol on June 8, 2022.Bryan Olin Dozier/NurPhoto via AP File

The day after the Sandy Hook tragedy, Watts started a Facebook group with the message that all Americans can and must do more to reduce gun violence. The online conversation has turned into a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that protect people from gun violence. In every state there is now a chapter of the Moms Demand action.

Of the upcoming gun safety deal, she told MSNBC last week it was an “important first step.” and that it has the power to save lives because it would eliminate the “boyfriend” loophole and make background checks stricter. All the work she has put in at the federal, state and local levels is finally seeing some kind of bipartisanship.

Erica Ford, 57, founder of Life Camp

Image: Erica Ford
Erica Ford speaks during March for Our Lives 2022 on June 11, 2022 in Washington.John Nacion / STAR MAX/IPx via AP file

Ford runs Life Camp, a nonprofit organization that aims to end gun violence in underserved communities. Ford, 57, told Know Your Value that his generation plays a unique role.

“It’s a marathon… so people of my generation, we have to keep going on this marathon and pass the baton… so that the people who come after us understand the importance of staying the course because [gun control is] not something that is a quick fix.

Ford began working on the issue of gun violence when he was 22 years old.

She grew up in Queens when gun violence was at its highest. She saw the devastation it brought to her community and wanted to do something to break that cycle. Today, his organization targets high-risk youth and focuses on community opportunities to change the way young people view gun violence. She was also a great advocate for Law on breaking the cyclewhich provides federal grants for community-based gun violence prevention programs.

Nominations for the 2022 Know Your Value and Forbes “50 Over 50” list are open. If you know a woman who is actively empowering herself in her sixth decade or beyond, we’d love to hear from you! Go here for more details.

About Christopher Easley

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