This guest post is by Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw.
I am writing to ask you to help pass sensible gun responsibility laws that our city leaders, and the majority of voters polled, support.
After the violence in Tucson, Café Racer, the Seattle Jewish Federation, and the many shootings in our own neighborhoods, I have been sickened. I have written in my blog several times about steps we can take to address gun violence in our city. There has been lots of talk, but to date sadly little effective action taken.
This is Noah Pozner, the youngest Sandy Hook victim. His twin sister and his second-grade sister were in separate classrooms and survived the shooting.
After the Sandy Hook massacre where innocent first graders and teachers were gunned down, I could no longer tolerate inaction. A number of us established a statewide group called Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility. You may have read about us this past weekend in the Seattle Times.
Leaders from our public health, public safety, our clergy, our environmental groups, our families have joined together to tell our Legislature that we want sensible gun responsibility laws in this state. These are first steps to keep all of us safer without treading on Second Amendment rights. We’re focusing first on the need for universal background checks.
I would like to invite you to join us. It’s easy to take action. Sign the petition here. It asks lawmakers to pass HB 1588, which would require universal background checks when selling guns (sponsored by Representatives Jamie Pederson and Mike Hope), thereby closing the so-called gun-show loophole.
But our legislators statewide are hearing from many opponents of the bill. In fact, it's been reported in some districts that gun advocates who believe they should be able to take their guns anywhere, anytime, without regulations are outgunning us 10:1 in Olympia.
Locally, our legislators are receiving great support from those of us who believe in responsible gun laws. But they need support. After you sign the petition to promote universal background check for gun sales, forward it to your friends and relatives who live OUTSIDE Seattle and ask them to sign too and contact their legislators. If everyone of us who reads this follows through, we can have 1000s more signatures.
Traditionally, opponents of gun responsibility have dominated the debate and airwaves; but for the first time in decades the wind is in our sails. People all across our state and nation are asking for reasoned action. I invite you to take a step to keep you and your family safe.
The most effective thing we can jointly do now is to show our elected leaders in Olympia that there are more of us than they’ve heard from before.
The deadline for action in the House is March 13. We have less than two weeks to show the House the breadth and depth of this coalition of concerned citizens and organizations. That requires you and your friends to say YES to reasonable legislation.
Again, please let your voice be heard by signing the petition here.
If you want to know more, check the website. The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility is coordinating with many local networks and national organizations including the Brady Campaign and with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ effort called Americans for Responsible Solutions. I want to coordinate with you, too.