Gun violence debate approaches boiling point in Washington

Gun violence debate approaches boiling point in Washington
SEATTLE - The local debate over gun violence could come to a boiling point this week as two gun safety measures are set to come up for debate in the state Capitol - and it's igniting action on both sides.

It seems everyone is against the recent random gun violence, and they all want to protect themselves - but some want to do so with firearms while others want tougher laws.

The issue was front and center at a Saturday night vigil against gun violence, where passionate views were on display.

"We remember all who've gone from gun violence. ... We remember all those who grieve the loss of loved ones," said one pastor who spoke. "We march because we long for a different way. We march to symbolize our move from mourning to action."

Hundreds turned out for the vigil against gun violence because they say they felt compelled to take a first step.

"People are fed up, and we want change. We want people to listen to us," said Maxine Eilander of Seattle.

They spoke not with a voice of anger, but with a tone of unity against gun violence.

"It makes me feel good to be out here doing something," said one woman, Kate, who didn't want her last name used.

She said she just couldn't sit at home any longer. She finally feels like she's found way to express her sorrow over gun violence in her family's history - against random killings and school shootings.

"I feel like I'm protecting my children," she said.

But others feel there is another way to keep their families safe - by arming themselves.

On Friday, gun rights advocates rallied against a proposed federal ban on assault weaspons and several gun bills being debated next week in Olympia.

One proposal would broaden the law for background checks. Another deals with firearm storage and security. Both measures are expetced to be heard Wednesday in Olympia.

"We the people will not have have our arms infringed. We won't allow it," said one speaker at the Second Amendment rally.

People on both sides of the firearms debate say they loathe senseless violence.

And both are compelled to stand up - to speak out, to do something.

"We're trying to make things safer and protect a lot of innocent people from this violence," says Amanda Guiler of Ballard.

Although most people would agree with that statement - they couldn't disagree more about how to accomplish that.