April 30, 2019 Press Releases
Hundreds of Washingtonians Commit to Acting on Gun Violence Prevention at Alliance Luncheon
SEATTLE, WA – More than 1,000 people gathered in Seattle today to recognize the far-reaching impacts of gun violence and to commit to continued action to address the epidemic in Washington State. The Alliance’s 7th annual luncheon came on the heels of the most successful legislative session in the organization’s history with ten gun responsibility priorities passed through the legislature and waiting to be signed by the governor.
On top of legislative victories that will prevent firearm suicides, streamline our existing gun laws, and prohibit 3D-printed and untraceable firearms, the success of this session means Washington will continue to lead the nation when it comes to strengthening policies to protect victims of domestic violence from gun violence. Washington also became just the third state in the nation to allocate public funding to gun violence research, with $1 million set aside for research through the University of Washington and Harborview Injury Prevention Research Center.
“We accomplished more in the last year than we imagined possible,” said Renee Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “After passing the most comprehensive gun safety measure in state history and electing our state’s first gun responsibility majority in November, we were able to get more bills passed this session than in all previous sessions combined. But along with our successes, the last year also showed how much work we have left to do. From mass shootings in Thousand Oaks and Pittsburgh to the daily toll of gun violence in our local communities, we are constantly reminded that gun violence impacts each and every one of us.”
Supporters heard from Fred Guttenberg, father of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg and founder of Orange Ribbons for Jaime, and Dr. Joseph Sakran, a trauma surgeon and founder of @ThisIsOurLane. Both speakers’ personal experiences highlight the tragic reality that gun violence is everyone’s lane.
“As a trauma surgeon and a survivor of gun violence, I could not believe that the NRA would be audacious enough to tell doctors to ‘stay in our lane’ and stay out of the conversation about gun safety,” said Dr. Joseph Sakran. “Health care providers are on the front lines of this crisis. But really, whether or not you have experienced gun violence firsthand, there is no doubt that this epidemic has affected your life in some way. This is our lane.”
“Both of my kids left for school like normal on Valentine’s Day, 2018. But only one would come home,” said Fred Guttenberg. “My daughter Jaime was murdered in the hallway of her school. Now my goal is to fight every second of every day to prevent others from experiencing that horror. I have vowed to take on the gun lobby that has held legislators and legislation hostage and so far, we are succeeding. Across the country, we are making real progress towards ending this epidemic and I am grateful for Washington’s leadership.”
“I joined this movement not only to prevent the next school shooting or to end gun violence, but to make sure that future generations don’t become desensitized to violence like mine,” said Nara Kim, Executive Director of March For Our Lives Seattle and high school sophomore. “Gun violence has poisoned every part of our lives and I will not sit back and allow the same be true for future generations. But we can’t do it alone. It’s going to take each and every one of us giving anything and everything we can to end this epidemic.”