By David Lias
IdeaFest, an annual event at the University of South Dakota, brought former NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly to the Vermillion campus Wednesday.
Wednesday night, he talked about his success in space as well as his personal life in a lecture in Aalfs Auditorium at Slagle Hall.
During an afternoon press conference, however, his mind was on happenings in the nation’s capital, as the U.S. Senate appeared to have struck a deal to expand gun background checks to all commercial sales — whether at gun shows, via the Internet or in any circumstance involving paid advertising.
Kelly and his wife, former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, are currently at the forefront of pushing Congress to enact stricter gun control measures. It is a role the couple found themselves thrust into after a gunman seriously wounded Giffords in a January 2011 assassination attempt.
The couple’s resolve on this issue was strengthened after the December 2012 tragic shootings at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. In January, the congresswoman and Kelly announced the formation of a political action committee aimed at preventing gun violence.
Read this story in its entirety in tomorrow’s Yankton Press & Dakotan