"First graders died ... awful."
Being politically realistic Following recent mass shootings, the couple originally called for a ban on assault weapons and limits to high-capacity magazines.
This year, Giffords made a dramatic plea to senators, asking them to be "bold" and "courageous." But the couple admits there are limits on what is politically realistic.
"Background checks," said Giffords, when asked to name the single most important move Congress could make right now.
Giffords has learned to navigate an iPad for e-mail with her left hand, because her right hand is paralyzed.
But most of her communicating with former colleagues -- pressing them for new gun laws -- goes through Kelly, and most of it is on the phone from their home in Arizona.
Kelly notes that when they visited congressional offices in February, she didn't have to say much to make her point.
"When Gabby sits in their office and tells them how important a universal background check bill is, they -- they hear that. And she's a former colleague. She was doing her job, you know, like they do every single day, when she was nearly killed," said Kelly.
Representing a 'red' district When Giffords was in Congress -- she represented her largely Republican Arizona district on the Mexican border -- filled with voters who expected her to defend their gun rights. She pushed overturn a gun ban in the District of Columbia, and voted to allow guns in national parks.
A conservative Democrat herself, she knows first-hand how politically hard it is for her former colleagues to support gun restrictions.
"Yes, it's tough," said Giffords.
A big part of what Americans for Responsible Solutions is trying to do is raise enough money and gain enough influence to be a counterweight to the powerful NRA.
When they press senators to support background checks, they tell them they will spend money in their states to back them up and support them.
So far, Giffords and Kelly said their organization -- which, as a super PAC can raise unlimited funds -- but declined to be more specific.
They said their money -- their organization is a super PAC that can raise unlimited funds -- is coming both from small donors on the Internet and large wealthy donors who are writing big checks.
Stopping 'a bad guy with a gun' What does Giffords think of the National Rifle Association's argument that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun?
"It doesn't work. It doesn't work!" she exclaimed.
But, realistically, had she not been shot, would the pro-gun congresswoman have been open to voting for stricter gun laws?
"Yes. Yes," Giffords said.
She tried to describe her politics when in Congress.
"Middle of the road," she said. "Straight in the middle."
There is no question the gun culture is deeply ingrained in Giffords. She still exposes herself to guns, even after her near fatal shooting.
What is it like hear gunshots go off? Does it startle her?
"No. No," said Giffords.
"I think that's because Gabby doesn't remember the gunshot going off the day she was injured, right? You don't remember that?" Kelly asked Giffords.