Gun initiative launched
at 2:22pm by Joe Copeland
Faith-based and gun-control leaders today announced an initiative to require universal background checks for gun purchasers in Washington state. If enough signatures are gathered, the measure would require the Legislature to pass the mandate or put the measure to voters in the fall of 2014.The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a gun-control group, will run the initiative campaign. But faith-based groups took part in the announcement, and Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com has a powerful report on their determination to make a difference. Connelly notes the ability of the NRA and other groups to short-circuit previous efforts at gun control:
What is different this time? “Sustained moral outrage” and “focused moral outrage,” answered the Very Rev. Steve Thomason, dean of St. Mark’s (Episcopal) Cathedral. “We can beat the gun lobby’s decades of organizing and fundraising and make a difference,” added Rabbi Daniel Weiner of Temple De Hirsch Sinai.
The faith community has shown strength in numbers here. It put more than 800 people onto Seattle streets for a downtown [gun-control] march in early winter, and nearly 900 for services at St. Mark’s and St. James, and a 1.4 mile march between the Capitol Hill and First Hill cathedrals.Gov. Inslee wants the Legislature to do more on gun control during its special session. But it’s clear that the gun-control supporters aren’t willing to bet on that.