Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Marysville-Pilchuck High Shooting Comes As Wash. Voters Decide On Gun Measures

Ted S. Warren
AP Photo
Two people hug as others write messages on paper following a memorial vigil at the Grove Church in Marysville, Wash., Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, for people affected by a shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School earlier in the day.

The shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School Friday comes as Washington voters are about to decide two competing gun-related ballot measures.

In fact, next week two parents who lost children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are scheduled to be in Seattle to campaign for Initiative 594, which would expand background checks.

The background check campaign put out a statement shortly after the shooting that said, in part: “While the facts of today’s shooting are still unclear ... It is up to all of us to come together and work to reduce gun violence.”

Cheryl Stumbo, the sponsor of I-594 and a shooting survivor, acknowledges that most school shooters obtain their guns from home or a relative.

“[Initiative] 594, if and when it passes, is obviously not going to prevent all gun violence in our state, but it is a way for us to do something,” she said.

Stumbo said she’s convinced if passed, I-594 will save some lives.

Initiative 591 is the competing gun rights measure on Washington’s ballot. It would prevent the state from adopting a background check requirement that goes beyond what federal law requires. That campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

The National Rifle Association also held back in contrast to gun control advocates who were vocal in the hours after the Marysville shooting.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.