State leads nation, can do more

I am responding to the Herald editorial “Brace for inevitable inaction.” Following tragedies like the recent Seattle Pacific University shooting, it’s easy to feel like change is hopeless. Yet Washington State has made major strides when it comes to keeping guns out of the hands dangerous people. Washington is leading the nation on gun violence prevention.

I’m no stranger to gun violence. My mother was shot by her ex-husband in 2012. I cared for her in the year following her shooting. I feared her ex-husband would show up at my home with a gun and again hurt my mother, me and my children.

I recently testified alongside my mother and other survivors in support of HB 1840. The bill, which keeps guns out of the hands of domestic abusers who have a protection order filed against them, passed unanimously following 10 years of trying. It was amazing to see how the efforts of determined citizens made a difference that would save lives.

We can do it again. In November, Washington will decide on Initiative 594, which closes the loophole that allows guns to be bought without a background check. Legislators failed to pass this commonsense measure, so now it’s up to us – the people – to make our voices heard.

No one should accept “inaction” on gun violence anymore. As a mom to young kids, I know we can’t live like this. To make our state safer, I urge you to vote yes on 594 and continue Washington’s steady progress forward.

Rory Graves

Bothell

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