Cheryl Stumbo, survivor of the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle.
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  • Cheryl Stumbo, survivor of the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle.

Initiative 594 closes loopholes in background check laws so that people who buy guns through Craigslist and Facebook, or in garages, or at gun shows are required to undergo a quick background check, just like they would at a licensed store—thus making it harder for any ol' criminal or crazy person to get their hands on a firearm. "I-594 has the best chance of saving the most lives," says Cheryl Stumbo, a survivor of the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting and the initiative's citizen sponsor. According to the measure's backers, in states with universal background checks, 38 percent fewer women are killed by an intimate partner, 49 percent fewer people commit suicide, and 39 percent fewer law enforcement officers are killed. These states also have dramatically lower levels of gun crime.

As we put these words to print, the first television ad against I-594 is beaming across airwaves in Washington State, thanks to the financial largesse of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Turnout in Seattle, the state's biggest and most progressive city, is going to be crucial to passing this thing. Remember the horror of the Seattle Pacific University shooting? Remember Sandy Hook? Remember shootings at the University of Santa Barbara? Remember Columbine? This shit has to stop, and if we want it to stop, we have to break the stranglehold the NRA has on the country's gun laws by enacting reasonable regulations on lethal weapons. I-594 represents a chance to do that here at home. Do it for Stumbo. Do it for the safety of your family and friends. Vote yes on I-594.

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