NRA's Wayne LaPierre accepts Gabrielle Giffords' ice bucket challenge

In this file photo, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO at the National Rifle Association, speaks during the American Conservative Union Conference March 6, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a gun violence survivor and champion of stricter gun control laws, posted her entry in the ice bucket challenge on Wednesday, pouring ice water over her husband Mark Kelly's head to raise money for Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) research.

And because misery loves company, Giffords and Kelly urged Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, to complete the challenge as well.

"We do hope one day we can agree on more than just supporting ALS and Lou Gehrig's Disease research," Kelly said just before he was doused in a video posted on YouTube.

In 2011, while she was serving in Congress, Giffords was nearly killed by an assassin's bullet during a mass shooting outside a Tucson-area supermarket. She was shot in the head, but she ultimately recovered.

Since then, Giffords and Kelly have dedicated themselves to the cause of reducing gun violence, forming a group - Americans For Responsible Solutions - dedicated to improving gun safety and increasing state oversight of gun ownership.

Their chief opponent in that campaign has been the NRA, which has long opposed any effort to strengthen gun laws.

A spokesman for the NRA said LaPierre would complete the ice-bucket-challenge and send the accompanying donation when he returns from a trip.

Giffords and LaPierrre aren't the only political figures to get in on the challenge, which has taken the summer by storm and clogged Facebook newsfeeds from coast to coast. Former President George W. Bush posted his own entry on Tuesday, and he urged former President Bill Clinton to follow suit.

Though some have voiced concerns about the challenge's long-term impact on philanthropy and online fundraising, it's proven to be a big rainmaker for ALS research: the ALS Association has raised $31.5 million in donations since July 29. During the same period last year, the group raked in only $1.9 million.

  • Jake Miller

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