Whose Child is Next (And When Will It Matter to You)?

2013.  Let's make this the year when gun control matters.  Enough of these (seemingly) endless mass shootings. 

Folks, we can agree to disagree on what the Second Amendment means.  (I personally believe our Founding Fathers meant a militia of many and not of one but that's not how the Supreme Court ruled.)

Let me be clear.  Yes, it's is about who has the gun, not the gun.  But way too many guns means access to those guns by people who should not have access.

It's about common sense.  It's also about saying if you own a gun, you WILL be held responsible for what happens to that gun (unless it is stolen.  FYI, only gun store owners have to report a missing or lost gun.  That should change as well.)  If gun owners know that they will be accountable, they will be more likely to secure their weapons.

No one needs a military-style assault weapon but the military.  
No one needs to get be able to buy a gun without a background check at a gun show.   Criminals can buy guns at gun shows without background checks in 33 states including ours.

The real question to ask is - what is the price of "freedom" in our country? 

And, how many of our citizens - old and young - is it worth to us to have almost unlimited access to guns? 

Will you give your child up for this freedom? Because I'm not giving up mine without a fight.

Please attend the Washington Ceasefire march/rally this Sunday, January 13 at 1:30 p.m..  Come for part of it or all of it but show your support.   The march will be from Westlake Park to Seattle Center Mural Theater.  

The rally, called StandUp Washington, will include speakers, music and remembrance for those lost. Most important, there will be a call to action on this day before the opening of the 2013 Legislative session. Sponsors include Washington CeaseFire, the Austin Foundation, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Faith Action Network of Washington, Plymouth Congregational Church, First United Methodist Church of Seattle, University Temple United Methodist Church and Rainier Beach United Methodist Church.

For more info - info@washingtonceasefire.org
Twitter - @WACeaseFire

Check out the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.  They have a great slogan - "We Are Better Than This." 

Their stats for today? 
Since January 1, there have been 1,880 people shot in the U.S.   There were 260 shot today. 

But good news (this from Salon):

A March 2012 Colorado Supreme Court decision held that the University of Colorado could not ban students and employees with state-issued concealed weapon permits from carrying guns on campus. The decision overturned the university’s long-standing gun ban. While school policy prohibits guns at ticketed athletic and cultural events, Boulder and Colorado Springs’ campuses now designate dorms for permit-carrying students. (Guns are still banned in other dorms). “Not a single student has asked to live where guns are allowed,” the Denver Post reported last month.

I guess students (and the parents paying for their education) aren't interested in guns in their dorms.

Bad news:
Under Washington State’s Hard Times for Armed Crimes Act, judges actually have no discretion to deny restoration based on a felon’s character or mental health.

Vermont allows children as young as 16 to buy handguns without parental consent.

We have to decide, as individuals and as a country, what is the price of freedom in this country and how many innocents we are willing to sacrifice in its name.


Anonymous said…
It matters to me right now. There is a well organized, well financed effort to deny the American people their civil rights. Join the NRA here:

Fight for your rights!
Anonymous said…
My family and I will be at the Washington Cease Fire rally and are spreading the word to others. This isn't about gun bans, it's about common sense and responsibility. Why would that make anyone feel threatened?

Unknown said…
I will also be at the Washington Cease Fire Rally. Gun-control advocates are not as well-financed as the NRA-what a ridiculous appeal. I want to support any organization or hello...any politician who might have the guts to start standing up to the NRA. The NRA has undermined public health research for over a decadeand it's time to call them out.
Anonymous said…
No one is trying to take away or deny any American of their civil rights. It is about common sense and safety in our current day and age.

My family will also be at the march this weekend. Enough is enough. Stop the fear mongering and paranoia. Common sense needs to prevail.

Lori said…
Thank you for posting this, Melissa. I too will be at the CeaseFire rally on Sunday.

If there is a huge turnout, our legislators will notice and we can get the conversation started. Last year, Senator Kline couldn't even get a bill out of committee that would have held gunowners responsible if a child obtained the owner's weapon and used it to harm or kill himself or someone else. That is a common-sense piece of legislation that has been shown to reduce gun injuries/deaths in other states, and they wouldn't even discuss it in Olympia.

But things are changing. A number of public school parents (among many other people!) have been volunteering the last few weeks to publicize the event and secure sponsors. I can tell you that there is wide support out there to reduce gun violence in our state. Look at the page of sponsors as a starting point (standupwa.org). And, there would likely be many more if there were more time for organizations to discuss the issue internally and vote.

But the most important thing any of us who care about reducing gun violence can do is to show up on Sunday. If you can't march the 1.4 miles from Westlake to Seattle Center, simply show up at the Mural Amphitheater around 215PM or 230PM for the rally and speakers. I don't know how many people it will take to call the rally a success, but I do know that if turnout is poor, Olympia will have no incentive to work on gun safety this session.

Lastly, take a look at the WSPTA advocacy website, where they summarize the positions of National PTA on school safety and gun violence. Although our state and local organizations don't currently have positions, National PTA supports reinstating and strengthening the federal assaults weapons ban and is against arming teachers and other school personnel, an issue that may be important for all of us to consider because Representative Pike plans to submit a bill this year allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons in school. Most of our PTAs probably haven't discussed this issue before, but we may need to take a position this year.


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