KIRO 7 Town Hall: An urgent conversation about guns

KIRO 7 Town Hall: An urgent conversation about guns (March 14, 2018)

Gun control versus gun rights. As the debate rages here in Western Washington, KIRO 7 brought you a thoughtful, balanced discussion.

In a live town hall, we explored the gun controversy -- with insight from all sides. Hear from advocates, experts, victims, and local leaders including Governor Jay Inslee.

Find the entire town hall recorded above.

See below for time-stamped updates from the town hall on guns. Keep scrolling down to read about the night's panelists.


  • Governor Jay Inslee: Inslee has served as governor since 2013. After last year's Las Vegas massacre, Inslee called for a ban of bump stocks, something that can be used to enable a weapon to fire rapidly – as many as 400 to 800 rounds per minute. He signed the ban into law this month.
  • Brady Olson: Olson is a North Thurston High School teacher, who took down a gunman in 2015. A student fired shots into the air and ground, and Olson tackled him. The gun was fully loaded before he started shooting, police said.
  • Four high school students: Catherine Zhu is an Ingraham HS senior and local "March for our Lives" organizer. The "March for our Lives" demonstration is March 24. Miguel Estevez is a sophomore at  Highline High School, where he serves on a committee working to build a safer and more inclusive environment. Bailey Thoms (junior) and  Luke Thorington (senior) attend Marysville Getchell High School; they organized an "Are We Next" in Marysville early March.
  • Ricardo "Rico" Alvarez: Alvarez dropped out of school at 16 because of the threat of violence outside of school hours. Rico himself became a victim of gun violence. He recently completed his GED and is attending Green River Community College.
  • Sen. Manka Dhingra: Dhingra is a Democratic lawmaker representing the 45th district. Her win gave democrats full control of the state government. She's pushed for banning accessories like bump stocks.
  • Sen. Tim Sheldon: Sheldon is a Republican lawmaker, who has served Washington since 1991 representing the 35th District. Sheldon is opposed  Senate Bill 6620, which would have raised the legal age to buy guns from 18 years old to 21 years old.
  • Diana Pinto: Pinto is the co-owner of Pinto's gun shop in Renton. After the Las Vegas massacre, she told KIRO 7 that she feels for all the victims but warned against the knee-jerk reaction on gun control. Pinto said a better plan would be to ensure gun stores have up-to-date information on would-be buyers when they run background checks.
  • Dave Workman: Workman served three terms on the NRA board of directors until 2002. He is the communications director for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a senior editor of Gun Week magazine, a senior editor at, and the "Seattle Gun Rights Examiner" at the Workman is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Sung: Sung is a board-certified psychiatrist who has offered psychiatry consultation and care to people facing substance use and psychiatric conditions. His clinical interests focus on psychotherapy. Sung also is an acting instructor with Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington.
  • Jacqueline Helfgott, Ph.D.: Helfgott is the Criminal Justice Department Chair at Seattle University. Her research interests include criminal behavior, psychopathy, copycat crime, corrections, offender reentry, community and restorative justice/public safety, and victim impact in criminal justice decision-making. Helfgott also is the author of Criminal Behavior: Theories, Typologies, and Criminal Justice, among other works.
  • Rev. Dr. Sandy Brown: Brown is a United Methodist pastor, author and community activist. He was awarded the Washington Ceasefire 2013 Citizen of the Year. Brown, who holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary, also is a former president of the Lake Washington School Board.
  • Walter Stawicki: Stawicki is the father of Ian Stawicki who fatally shot five people and wounded another man in a 2012 in a Seattle killing spree. Four were killed at Café Racer, and his fifth victim, a mother of two young girls, was killed at random when Stawicki stole her SUV on First Hill. Stawicki, who suffered from mental illness, killed himself when confronted by police. Walter Stawicki believes his son's mental health problems intensified in the years before his killing spree.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Sung: Sung is a board-certified psychiatrist who has offered psychiatry consultation and care to people facing substance use and psychiatric conditions. His clinical interests focus on psychotherapy. Sung also is an acting instructor with Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington.


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