To the editor:
We are writing today in support of Initiative 1639, Safe Schools, Safe Communities, which represents the most comprehensive gun safety initiative put forward in the state of Washington.
On Oct. 1, 2017, one year ago this week, our daughter Carrie Parsons was murdered in the mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas. Living through this nightmare — losing her in this way — has been the most difficult thing anyone in our family has ever had to endure.
Carrie grew up on Bainbridge Island, attended Wilkes Elementary, Woodward Middle School and Bainbridge High School. She was just 31 years old. Carrie lived life joyfully. She loved her family, and she made friends wherever she went. She loved her job in downtown Seattle. She loved her alma mater Arizona State University. She loved her Seahawks and her Mariners. And she was so happy about her engagement to a wonderful guy.
Carrie will never have the opportunity to be married to the man she loved, or raise the children they wanted to have. And we will never have the opportunity to see our wonderful daughter again. She is not coming home. The wedding we had started to plan became the funeral we had to endure.
From the police, FBI and coroner reports, we know our daughter was killed by a shot from an AR-15 assault rifle. A weapon almost identical to the M16 assault weapon designed by the military to be used by well-trained soldiers to inflict the maximum number of deaths on an enemy without the need to aim. In Las Vegas, the shooter did not have to be a good marksman to kill 58 people. And injure 700. Over a thousand rounds were fired into a crowd of people attending a country western concert. No one was targeted. They were all mowed down. None of them stood a chance.
Over the past year, other mass shootings have repeatedly occurred across the country. These tragedies will continue to happen if voters do not act to stop them. We are so glad to see Initiative 1639 on the November ballot. I-1639 has multiple commonsense components to it — most notably raising the age to purchase assault rifles from 18 to 21 years old. It will also require safety training, informed consent, safe storage and will institute a 10-day waiting period. It’s a commonsense law and it will save lives.
To those reading this, we hope you will consider standing with us in passing these common-sense gun laws to protect our families and our communities. I-1639 will go a long way to prevent tragedies such as ours from happening to other innocent people. To your family in the sports arena, your grandmother in the grocery store, your child on the school playground.
Or your daughter enjoying a music concert.
ANN-MARIE AND JIM PARSONS