We are heartbroken to see the all-too-familiar images of violence and mayhem at Umpqua Community College. We are grateful to the first responders for their swift action, and stand with the victims, their families, and the entire Roseburg community.Even as we monitor developments in this tragedy, one thing is clear: gun violence represents a national crisis that takes a daily and intolerable toll in human lives. It is within our power to break the cycle of violence, if we work together to face the causes of these incidents head-on. Today’s events in Roseburg underscore that we must not continue to accept the reality that these events happen with predictable regularity in America.
August 24, 2015
The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility issued the following statement from Executive Director Renée Hopkins following the gun lobby’s lawsuit against the City of Seattle, which comes one day after The Seattle Times issued a call for aggressive action to reduce gun violence in the city:“The City of Seattle took bold and innovate steps this month to invest in public programs that benefit the community. In response, the gun lobby has today doubled down on the cynical rhetoric and obstructionist tactics that would rob law enforcement and public health professionals of key data and tools at a time when they are needed most. This is just the latest attempt by the gun lobby to use litigation to overturn the will of the people.The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility stands with the City of Seattle against the gun lobby’s latest legal effort to prevent our city from making reasonable investments in public safety programs.Washingtonians want elected officials who will support public programs that help us understand how we can respond to gun violence. The gun lobby still hasn’t gotten the message, and we look forward to helping Seattle and Washington State continue to take meaningful action to address gun violence.”
June 17, 2015
The Everett Herald editorial board states it in the clearest terms possible – “Background checks save lives:
It’s satisfying and reassuring when the facts confirm common sense.When 59 percent of Washington state voters passed Initiative 594 last fall, most voted for the initiative with the conviction that it made sense, common sense, to make it more difficult for felons and others barred from owning firearms to get their hands on a gun by requiring background checks for all sales. I-594 closed what had been called the gun-show loophole, requiring background checks for those purchasing firearms not only at gun shops, but any sale, most notably those between private individuals.What voters didn’t have to back up their convictions at the time was much in the way of data that showed how effective such a law could be. We’re starting to see that data now.
CHERYL STUMBO AND WALT STAWICKI: ON THE 3RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE CAFE RACER SHOOTING, A CALL FOR “EXTREME RISK PROTECTION ORDERS”
May 30, 2015
On today’s third anniversary of the tragedy at Cafe Racer, Cheryl Stumbo and Walt Stawicki – father of Racer shooter Ian Stawicki – came together to remember the tragedy and call for action to pass Extreme Risk Protection Orders:
“Three years ago, tragedy struck at Seattle’s Café Racer, shining a spotlight on the difficult interrelationship between easy access to firearms and the ravages of mental illness. Unfortunately, the Café Racer shooting was neither the first nor last time family members of a shooter have shared the pain and anxiety of trying to seek help for a loved one whom they feared would slip into violence without treatment—and without a tool to keep guns out of their hands.…Extreme Risk Protection Orders can address this potentially tragic problem by enabling family members, as well as law enforcement officials, to obtain a protection order to temporarily remove access to firearms when an individual is threatening to commit terrible harm. Those are people like Naveed Haq, who shot Cheryl in a politically-motivated attack on the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle in 2006, and Walt’s son, Ian Stawicki, who killed himself and five others at Cafe Racer three years ago today. Both Naveed and Ian showed signs of distress and of their intentions, just like over half of all mass shooters over the last 20 years.The tragedies that ruptured our lives—the attack on Cafe Racer three years ago and on the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle in 2006—led us to become advocates for strengthening Washington’s gun laws. We’ve pursued different paths in the years since we became survivors. But we both support Extreme Risk Protection Orders because those shootings might never have occurred if family members had this path to intervene. Unfortunately, the Extreme Risk Protection Orders bill stalled in Olympia this year due to political pressure from an old foe—the National Rifle Association and their legislative allies.”
Read their full editorial at The Stranger.
May 21, 2015
The Columbian responded to the dismissal of the gun lobby’s lawsuit against Initiative 594 by calling the effort a “solution when there is no problem”:
“During the election debate over I-594 and ever since the initiative was passed, opponents have done their best to scuttle it. They held a rally in front of the state Capitol in which they handed guns back and forth — defiantly hoping to be arrested; nobody was. Now they have put themselves in the curious position of arguing that a law they abhor should be more stringently enforced — even though the law poses no threat to law-abiding gun owners. Even those with ordinary intelligence can see the canard in their reasoning.I-594 is not a panacea, but it is a perfectly reasonable attempt to make it more difficult for felons to obtain guns while not infringing upon the rights of law-abiding citizens. It simply closed a loophole that allowed felons to purchase weapons at gun shows, even if they could not do so at a gun store. Opponents thus far have presented nothing other than hypotheticals to discredit the law, and in the process, they have come up with a solution where there is no problem.”
Read the full editorial here.