I read a couple of days ago in the Seattle Times that a gun-rights group is currently negotiating with lawmakers on background checks in Washington State. While the article gave me some measure of hope that we are indeed moving forward on the issue of curbing gun violence, it also brought in stark relief the necessity for all of us Washingtonians to act now. Twenty kids were killed in a hail of gunfire in Newtown, CT, on December 14, including our grandson Noah. If it happened in peaceful Newtown, it can happen anywhere and we must do everything we can to try and prevent such tragedies from occurring again.
Our kids have the right to stay alive! No right is more fundamental than this one. Universal background checks may not be the full answer, but if they help save even one single life, if they spare one single family the terrible pain of losing a child to gun violence, they are worth implementing.
Our kids trust us to have their backs. What we can do, as constituents, is encourage our senators to stand up to their caucus. The legislators who need to hear from us are:
- Sen. Andy Hill (45th Legislative District)- Kirkland/Woodinville,
- Sen. Rodney Tom (48th District, Clyde Hill/Medina/Bellevue), and
- Sen. Steve Litzow (41st District), Mercer Island/Newcastle.
If you live in any of these districts, please call the universal 800 number and leave a short message for your senator. The operator will get it to him. The number to call is 1-800-562-6000. (If you don’t live in any of these districts but know people who do, you can still make a difference by encouraging them to call.)
In this message you will need to say:
- Who you are and where you live
- That you support common sense gun legislation
- That you are glad the Senator signed on to sponsor the universal background check bill
- That you are counting on him to remain steadfast and stand up to his critics.
We also need to call and encourage Rep. Mike Hope (44th Dist.) who is getting lambasted by the NRA. His office number is 360-786-7892. He needs to hear we are behind him.
Vice-President Biden said yesterday: “There is a moral price to pay for inaction.” That is certainly true at the national or State level. But at the family level, believe me, the price is first and foremost exacted in blood and tears. I, for one, hope never to see a murdered child’s name on a memorial poster again… I am sure you don’t either.
Your kids and ours and everyone else’s must be put first. They deserve a vote. Let’s pick up our phones to make sure they get it.