Gun Laws
12:55 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Survey: Will this bus campaign change your mind about guns?

You may have seen the new ads on city buses (250 in all) warning against the dangers of owning a gun.

But will the ads make a difference to you?

The latest advertising push by Washington Ceasefire, which will run in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, comes in the wake of three recent shootings by children:

  • A 3-year-old fatally shot himself with a gun, for which his father had a concealed weapons permit, while his family stopped for gas in Tacoma.
  • The 7-year-old daughter of a Marysville police officer in Stanwood was shot when a sibling found a gun and fired while the parents were out of their car. She died the next day.
  • An 8-year-old girl was critically wounded in a Bremerton classroom when a gun fired from the backpack of a 9-year-old boy as he put it on a desk.

The ads urge the public to think twice about owning a gun, and feature statistics on gun-related deaths. Washington Ceasefire says the bus facts come from the book “Private Guns, Public Health” out of the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Here are few details from the Ceasefire campaign:

  • There are estimated to be about 6.5 million guns in Washington State alone – about one per resident – and approximately 40 percent of homes in this state have guns.
  • There is a 22-times greater chance of killing a family member or a friend than an intruder.
  • There are almost 600 gun deaths annually in Washington state – a death toll higher than that from motor vehicle accidents – including some 350 suicides.
  • When there is a gun in the home, there is a 5-times greater chance of a completed suicide.

In a video response to the campaign, the National Rifle Association countered with anecdotal testimony from a local gun store owner.

“I picture my mom, who’s 72, and she just had knee replacement surgery, so she’s not getting around real good, and some 20 year old dirtbag is in her house on meth and she’s supposed to square up with this guy with a butcher knife and go to mortal combat …”

On Q13 Fox, the owner of a Seattle gun shop, Butch Junior, said he doesn’t agree with Washington Ceasefire’s data.  He says that with the right training, having a gun in the house does not mean more accidental shootings. 

There are nearly 600 gun-related deaths every year in our state.

Ralph Fascitelli of Washington Cease Fire told KOMO News, that if the signs convince just one percent of gun owners to get weapons out of their homes, it will save 6-10 lives a year.

"We're trying to raise awareness and start a conversation that's going to lead to a safer society here in Washington State," he said.