To the editor:
The Bainbridge members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America would like to thank our community for joining us at the recent event addressing the issue of gun violence. More than 80 people came together at the Bainbridge Museum of Art to watch the movie “Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence,” produced by the Presbyterian Church, and to engage in a panel discussion.
Sen. Christine Rolfes moderated the discussion, which included Rep. Drew Hansen; Dr. Scott Lindquist, Kitsap County Director of Public Health; Stan Stumbo, an island resident and the father of a survivor of the Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle in 2007; and Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church’s Pastor Marty Shelton-Jenck. It was an emotional and informative discussion in which we learned about difficult personal stories of gun violence and its impacts, as well as learning about local and national gun violence data.
Among the things we learned were that the US firearms death rate is 7.5 higher than in 23 other high-income countries, and that over 30,000 of our fellow Americans are being killed by guns every year.
We learned that in Kitsap County, 87 percent of our firearm fatalities in recent years have been suicides, and that more than half of Kitsap County firearm owners report not locking up their guns.
Both nationally and locally, there is clearly work to be done to improve the safety of our communities. To learn more about Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and to support our efforts, please visit us at momsdemandaction.org. We hope this event is just the start of many more conversations and actions to reduce the devastating effects of gun violence.
DENISE GARCIA, MARSHA GLADHART, JANI LEVY PAULI, LEIGH MANHEIM, DEB RUDNICK AND NAOMI SPINAK