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Our house on Norman Road in Stanwood has been shot at twice since we moved in over two years ago. The first time, someone shot our garage and back rooms. Many bullets hit the house; two went through the windows, blowing holes into the wall across the room.

This was May 2017 — the week that my family moved in. The sheriff deputy who came to our house attributed this to a long range rifle, possibly boys “goofing around” by the river who must have misfired or mischievously shot up a house they thought was vacant. He didn’t think it would happen again, once we lived there.

After the shootings, I felt worried and threatened in my home — and scared for our kids. Mostly, though, I put this out of my mind. I trusted that this wasn’t likely to happen again now that we lived here. But on a summer night in 2018, someone shot our bathroom window, next to our bedroom. This time a deputy didn’t come to the house. He said over the phone that this kind of thing was common for the houses near the river. He said gun safety was a real issue around here and that, though they are trying to encourage people to use basic safeguards, they often don’t.

I am not anti-gun and have lived most of my life in rural areas where people own and use them. I come from a military family — even my grandmother was a sharpshooter — and have enjoyed target shooting and hunting. But this is our home, the place my kids live. I can't believe this. I'm writing this as a plea for us to better ensure the safe and responsible use of guns in the new year.

Jennifer Duncan


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