Mercer Island Reporter


‘Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense’ march across the nation

July 3, 2014 · Updated 2:38 PM

Cornelia Swenson and her son Kai, walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge in the ‘Rally for Gunsense’ walk to raise awareness for background checks and gun control. / Contributed photo

On June 16, exactly 18 months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, I found myself marching over the mighty Brooklyn Bridge with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.  My son Kai, a Mercer Island High School graduate and now senior medical student at Yale accompanied me along with two of his med school buddies.

I’ve been an ICU nurse for over thirty years and have seen my share of trauma.  My son and his friends have all done ER and ICU rotations.  They’ve had to learn triage of gun violence victims and how to keep patients stable after long, complicated surgeries.

Gun violence affects us all – directly and indirectly.  Every year over 30,000 Americans are killed from gunshots.  More than 70,000 are wounded.  I’ve been intimately involved with the care of surviving victims.  It’s not a pretty picture and rarely discussed in polite company.  If the killings and injuries were due to viral infection or a faulty product, we would make changes STAT!  Instead we shrug, become habituated and resign ourselves to thinking that nothing can be done in this day and age.  We just hope that our safe island will be safe enough for our children and grandchildren.

But wait!  Maybe there IS something we can do.  Initiative 594 will be on the Washington State ballot this November. Demanding background checks for all gun purchases in our State is the least we can do to help stem the tide of gun violence. Do it Mercer Islanders!

Cornelia Swenson


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