Groups, students call for action on National Gun Violence Awareness Day

SEATTLE — Three local events are happening on National Gun Violence Awareness Day Friday as the issue of gun violence and gun control takes center stage.

In about a three-week span, there were mass shootings in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

First, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and others joined the Alliance for Gun Responsibility at a news conference in North Seattle.

The group honored the victims of recent mass shootings and demanded action from state and federal lawmakers to prevent gun violence.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson spoke about his ongoing effort to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons.

“I have proposed six years in a row as agency-requested legislation with the support of key legislators that are here today, banning the sale of assault weapons like the AR-15, and every year, it has gone nowhere,” said Ferguson.

Once again, his proposal was on the 2022 legislative agenda.

“We need to do everything in our power to pass a ban on the sale of assault weapons in Washington state and we need to do it now,” Ferguson said at the news conference.

Second, King County Executive Dow Constantine helped the Regional Peacekeepers Collective hand out gun safety equipment Friday morning in South Seattle.

Lock boxes and trigger locks are available to the first 100 residents at each location of the Safer Summer Initiative Launch.

The equipment will also be handed out at the Grocery Outlet parking lot in Skyway at 11445 69th Place South from noon to 1:30 p.m., and at the Kent City Hall Square at 220 Fourth Avenue South from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Third, students at Mason Middle School in Tacoma will be holding a protest against gun violence. Parents are invited to accompany their students and meet on the field at 3 p.m.

In the last few weeks, Seattle Public Schools students have joined thousands of other students across Washington who walked out of school or held demonstrations demanding gun control.

Many students who aren’t old enough to vote say Gov. Jay Inslee needs to hold a special session to ban semi-automatic weapons.

They also want schools to have one mental health counselor for every 200 students.

“Kids are terrified to go to school every day. And as long as people are terrified to go to school, we are going to be talking about it. We are not going to be silent,” said high school senior Syd Walter.

The events are happening on the first day of Wear Orange weekend, a national campaign dedicated to raising awareness about gun violence.

This year, several Seattle landmarks, including Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park, will light up orange throughout the weekend.