Last Wednesday, Mercer Islanders Mina Larsen from Grandmothers Against Gun Violence and Cornelia Swenson from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, were among the dozens who helped present over 250,000 signatures for Washington State Initiative 594 (background checks for all gun purchases) to the Washington secretary of state’s office in Olympia.
Organizers hope to gather 75,000 more signatures in order to be certain that enough of the signatures are deemed valid by the secretary of state.
Eileen Bennhoff, an Islander who has been involved with Moms Demand Action, explained how gathering signatures for I-594 has encouraged her.
“It’s really been an incredible experience for me to network with a whole group of people I never knew, who feel as passionate as I do about this. And it’s so reassuring that my grief over what happened at Sandy Hook … that I wasn’t alone in that. When I gather signatures and people from all walks of life from all communities, for the most part, support this … it makes me feel that there is hope.”
Another volunteer, Naomi Nothstein from Grandmothers Against Gun Violence, expressed it this way, “This is one approach that allows us as voters, to make a difference."
Larsen sums it up this way. “I want to change our laws because I’m concerned about the way the gun culture in our country is going. I’m concerned about my grandkids and I want to make this a better and safer world.”
To help, go to www.MomsDemandAction.org or GrandmothersAgainstGun Violence.org.
Organizers hope to keep gathering signatures. Mercer Islander Naomi Nothstein signs I-594. Eileen Bennhoff, also a Mercer Island resident, is a volunteer with Moms Demand Action. Bennhoff gathered signatures at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on Oct. 13.