About 30 adults and children attended the Anacortes City Council meeting Monday to stand in solidarity against gun violence and for responsible gun ownership.
Mayor Laurie Gere read a proclamation designating Friday, June 7, as Gun Violence Awareness Day “to honor and remember all victims and survivors of gun violence and to declare that we as a country must do more to reduce gun violence.”
In her proclamation, she called for a renewed commitment “to reduce gun violence and pledge to do all we can to keep firearms out of the wrong hands, and encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our children safe.”
The adults and children present wore orange shirts and carried signs: “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” “Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” and “We Can End Gun Violence.”
Gere said in her proclamation that 96 Americans are killed by gun violence every day, and on average there are nearly 13,000 gun homicides every year. The message this day was not anti-gun, but rather responsible gun ownership and keeping guns out of the hands of people that shouldn’t have them.
“Support for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns away from dangerous people,” Gere said in her proclamation.
State Sen. Liz Lovelett, D-Anacortes, told the audience the Legislature funded for the second year a bumpstock buyback program and added a provision to protect the privacy of those who turn in bumpstocks to encourage more people to bring them in. In addition, laws were passed to remove firearms from homes where there has been domestic violence, ban most 3D printed guns and ban guns from preschools.
“There’s a lot of common-sense measures that can be taken at every level of government, so keep up your activism,” Lovelett told the audience. “Keep bringing those concerns down to Olympia and to your national leaders.”
In the hallway outside the council chambers, Bella Mourning, 10, spoke about why she’s involved.
“I wear orange because there are many people who have been killed from gun violence, and I know this is not right and I really want to have gun violence stopped,” she said. “Not only is it not fair, every person that’s killed has a family and has a life. It’s so tragic and it can be really hard for survivors because of the memories they have and the fear they’re feeling, and for the bystanders and the people who hear about these events. It scares me, and I really want to end gun violence.”