Washington state is a dangerous place to live when it comes to guns. More than 550 people die every year. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, of which I am a board member, gave Washington state a 17 out of 100 on their annual state score card (http://www.bradycampaign.org/stategunlaws/scorecard/WA/).
Why did we score so low? You don’t have to go through a background check when buying a gun at a gun show, there are no laws preventing parents from allowing children easy access to firearms in the home, military-style assault weapons like AK-47s and Uzis are legal, and you don’t need to take a class or have safety training of any kind when you get a permit to carry a concealed firearm. And lastly, you can openly carry firearms without a permit or license. That’s why.
So what can we do?
We can start with closing the gun show loophole that allows felons, mentally ill, and terrorists to buy guns, no questions asked. Once we start taking measures to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people all of us will be safer.