The Power of Art to Prevent Gun Violence: Artist Bonnie Lautenberg Launches National Fundraising Effort with Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords

Ten years ago, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords founded Giffords, a gun-prevention organization. It was a month after the Sandy Hook tragedy, and two years to the day after Giffords was shot in the head in an attack that left six people dead and 13 injured at a Saturday morning constituent meet-and-greet outside a grocery store in Tucson.

Since Giffords was founded, they have helped organize a national political movement to end gun violence, contributing to the passing of over 500 gun safety laws in state legislatures and the first federal gun safety legislation in nearly three decades.

To commemorate the anniversary and the impact they have made, artist, photographer and writer Bonnie Lautenberg has created a piece especially for Gabby Giffords. Titled “Guns Kill,” the artwork is on display in the Lady Liberty: A Bonnie Lautenberg Retrospective at the Jewish Museum of Floria-FIU through May 14.

“I created this artwork especially for Gabby Giffords,” Lautenberg said. “I added tears streaming down the face of the Statue of Liberty, the two simple words ‘Guns Kill’ on her crown, and locations of mass shootings written across Lady Liberty’s arm.”

Bonnie Lautenberg and former congresswoman Gabby Giffords


Giffords visited Lautenberg’s museum exhibition in Miami, FL, where a new legislation is currently being proposed that would allow people without any permits or training to carry concealed firearms.

“Americans are demanding a safer future, and if we come together we can create a future free from gun violence,” Giffords said in a press release. “This vital message is reaching people across the country, thanks to Bonnie Lautenberg’s powerful artwork Guns Kill.” 

How to Help

Contributors at will will receive a first edition, fine art print of the artwork Guns Kill, signed by Lautenberg. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Giffords organization’s mission to protect Americans from gun violence. 

Join Us: Make It Better Foundation Philanthropy Awards


On April 3, 2023, Make It Better Foundation will announce the recipients of our 10th annual Philanthropy Awards.

The Philanthropy Awards – our keystone program – is an annual competition to identify, elevate, and amplify the most effective nonprofits making a difference. An awards package valued at over $25,000 is given to recipients each year.

This year we honor the Chicago-area nonprofits doing the most impactful work to interrupt violence through their work in Health and Mental Wellness, Human Services and Social Services according to data-driven standards. Suzanne LeMignot of CBS2 Chicago will moderate the awards program.

Eligible candidates included evidence-based programs that support: child trauma and mental health services, crisis prevention plans, youth engagement, hyper-local collaborations, street outreach intervention and de-escalation, victim services, nonviolence training, and community organizing.

In March 2023, the Make It Better Foundation hosted a virtual solutions-based conversation on interrupting violence and explored our panelists integrated, interdisciplinary understanding of violence and recommended holistic approach to addressing it. The tenets of the discussion informed our judges’ review and selection of this year’s Philanthropy Awards recipients.

Panelists Roseanna Ander, Executive Director UChicago Crime Lab, Phil Andrew, Co-Founder & Principal of PAX Group and Jeanne Bishop, Cook County Public Defender, discussed their integrated, interdisciplinary understanding of violence and recommended holistic approach to addressing it.

Register or Learn More about the upcoming Philanthropy Awards and donate to support the program and winners:

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