Tag Archives: gun violence

Seattle Shooting – Another Case of Workplace Gun Violence, and Another Call to Action

By working together we can bring an end to gun violence in America



     A man entered a Seattle bar late Sunday night, January 27, 2013, and confronted his ex-girlfriend, brandishing a gun.  The gunman shot both his ex-girlfriend and the doorman before the gunman was fatally shot by Seattle police.  Both the ex-girlfriend and the doorman were taken to Harborview Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  Both were victims of senseless gun violence, but the doorman is also a workers’ compensation claimant due to this occurring while he was on-the-job.


2012 has been the worst year for these events in modern US history, with 151 victims injured and killed.


     Quoting an article published by Mother Jones (Mother Jones Investigates: The NRA Myth of Arming the Good Guys), Washington CeaseFire shared that there have been at least 62 mass shootings in the last three decades, attacks in which the killer took the lives of four or more people (the FBI’s baseline for mass murder) in a public place—a school, a workplace, a mall, a religious building. Seven of them have occurred this year alone. Along with three other similar though less lethal rampages—at a Portland shopping mall, a Milwaukee spa, and a Cleveland high school—2012 has been the worst year for these events in modern US history, with 151 victims injured and killed.

    On Tuesday, January 22nd, Washington CeaseFire presented the results of a statewide poll conducted by Alison Peters Consulting. The poll of 600 randomly selected registered Washington voters reveals a strong preference for stronger gun safety laws on both Eastern and Western sides of the state. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. Findings included :

  • 76% of state residents support tighter gun laws;
  • 87% support a state law to require that everyone who buys a gun at a gun show undergo a background check;
  • 66% support a state law to ban semi-automatic assault weapons;
  • 68% are in support of a state law to increase mandatory penalties for youth firearm possession, starting with house detention at the first offense ;
  • 68% would support a state law to limit ammunition clips on guns to 10 bullets;  and,
  • 66% of respondents are in support of a state law requiring the signature of local police on every concealed weapons permit application.

     Washington CeaseFire states that it’s time to end gun violence in America, noting that gun deaths outnumber traffic fatalities in Washington and nine other states.  Now is the time to make our voices heard.  Please consider participating in a candlelight vigil and march on February 9, 2013 in Seattle, Washington, co-sponsored by CeaseFire.  More than 1000 people attended a similar march held in January (see prior post for details) and it is hoped that the upcoming vigil and march will draw more attention to this issue.

Sandy Hook – A National Tragedy And A Case of Workplace Gun Violence – – A Call for Action

     On December 14, 2012 the shooting carried out by Adam Lanza in Newtown, CT awakened the American people to issues of gun control, school safety and mental health care.  The nation mourned the loss of so many innocent lives and lauded the heroic actions of the teachers and staff at the school. 

     I was on vacation in downtown Manhattan the morning of the shooting.  Everywhere my family and I went we heard the same topic, over and over.  On the subway, we heard conversations lamenting that children are no longer safe, even at school.  In restaurants and throughout the Christmas markets in the parks – in any public gathering – the overheard conversations were on the same topic: how to prevent this from happening again.  Our own community in West Seattle held a candlelight vigil on Alki Beach, as many, many other communities across the nation did, to gather together and, by sharing the loss and fear, lessen the pain, together.


All of the adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary were on the job; all were victims of gun violence in the workplace.


     Another issue raised by this tragedy, one that has not been mentioned in the media, is workplace safety.  All of the adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary were on the job; all were victims of gun violence in the workplace.  The families of the adult victims are now workers’ compensation claimants.  In Connecticut, death benefits are paid to surviving spouses at the rate of 75% of after-tax income, paid for life or until remarriage.  There is a $4,000.00 funeral allowance.  These benefits hardly compensate for the loss of a loved one.  An astounding 20% of all violent crime in the United States occurs in the workplace, injuring more than two million workers annually. Approximately 500 fatalities occur in the American workplace annually.  According to the Department of Labor, nearly 78% of all workplace homicides were caused by shootings. 1  The financial protection afforded by the workers’ compensation system does nothing to protect our safety and our lives from gun violence.  Only we, as a society, can take action to protect ourselves.  The change must begin with us, individually and collectively.

     For the past 30 years, Washington CeaseFire has been the only statewide organization in Washington dedicated to reducing gun violence. The organization was formed in 1983 by citizens who had been directly affected by gun violence. From a small group meeting in private homes, it has grown to an organization with more than 6,000 members across the state. Washington CeaseFire is now one of the most respected gun safety organizations in the nation and continues to work to reduce gun violence in communities throughout Washington State.

     Washington CeaseFire is sponsoring a march and rally on Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. in the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Washington CeaseFire is turning Anger into Action, as supporters march from Westlake Park to Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater. The rally, called StandUp Washington, will include speakers, music and remembrance for those lost. Most importantly, there will be a call to action on this day before the opening of the 2013 Legislative session. Washington CeaseFire will join with thousands of other concerned citizens in demanding a ban to semi-automatic assault weapons, similar to those used in the Newton shooting.


Beth Flynn, Executive Director of Washington CeaseFire, says, “We want to send a clear message to our legislators that we want to ban semi-automatic assault weapons.”


     Supporters are encouraged to bring their families and join civic, religious and education leaders in this show of support for sensible gun legislation and for the victims of all gun violence, from Newton to Seattle. Please use the hashtag #StandUpWA to spread the news on Twitter of the rally and march. A website has been set up at www.standupwa.org with further details.

     For more information, please call 206-972-1952 or email info@washingtonceasefire.org. Visit our website at www.washingtonceasefire.org. Follow us on Twitter at @WACeaseFire, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/washingtonceasefire.


1 www.elt.comTerror and Violence in the Workplace