PULLMAN, WASH – It’s the consistent, cycling, headlines that keep Rachel Gill, a mother of a two year old boy, up through the night worrying that the next shooting could be close to home.
“I’m scared to go out in public,” Gill stressed. “For like instance; Easton… I can’t go to Easton mall which is like a big town center with multiple shops and in general it’s scary to think that anybody could have a gun on them.”
The topic of gun reform is not a contemporary issue to Rachel. She’s an active member for the states united to prevent gun violence advocacy group and spends parts of her free time protesting for reform. Rachel says the group’s goals are to communicate, share expertise, and gain traction as a community in a common cause. She also says her experience as a police dispatcher made her more aware of the issues.
“In working with 911, the first thing we ask is if there are any other weapons or weapons on the property and if there are then we can’t send a squad in immediately because it’s not the same for them.” Gill explained.
However, given the nature of the subject being quite divisive, not everybody sees the same perspective as Rachel. Alexander Roubain, a gun-rights advocate, serves as the president of the second amendment foundation in Bellevue Washington. In a phone interview, he stated support for certain laws and that there are already systems in place to prevent dangerous people from obtaining weapons.
“The FBI (NICS), which is a National Instant Criminal check system checks over a dozen different databases. So, many times, the government doesn’t enforce their own policies,” Roubain explained. “So, we are always advocating for better background checks. We also believe that national reciprocity, specifically H.R. 38 should be put through. There’s no reason why a person should lose their right.”
James Allen is a former Idaho state lawmaker turned gun-rights advocate. He says that majority of advocacy groups, whether they be pro or anti gun are represented in legislation through lobbyists. He also states that while he understands people’s fears and personal experiences, their needs to be more education on topic.
When asked to respond to the claims by the gun-rights advocacy claims Rachel said that she feels everything they do is for a sale and that they should care more about the people affected by gun violence. Although Rachel believes that while there are law abiding gun owners in society, it’s hard to tell until it’s too late and that’s just something she feels isn’t worth the risk to her or her child.
“I mean there’s a few that are that hero but… in the end; it’s your life on the line.” Gill proclaimed.