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At schools across the country today, students are getting up from their desks and walking out when the clock strikes 10 a.m. They're participating in the National School Walkout, part of the movement that has taken hold among students to call for action to end gun violence.

Today marks 19 years since the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in which two high school students shot and killed thirteen people.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is stepping up his role as chair of the Democratic Governors Association. Inslee was in Las Vegas Thursday as part of his first major campaign swing.

Gun owner Rick Vadnais high-fives with Basilia Brownwell during their conversation at the 'Ask A Gun Owner' event at the Hillman City Collaboratory on March 31.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

The gun control debate has become a polarizing experience for many Americans. It’s unusual to hear civil discussions between the opposing sides.

The KUOW “Ask A…” series brought together gun owners and non-gun owners on March 31 to share their points of view at the Hillman City Collaboratory. Sonya Harris talked to some of them about those conversations.


Sharyn Hinchcliffe and Beatrice Cappio at KUOW's 'Ask a Gun Owner' event on March 31, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

A couple of weeks ago, a fire alarm went off at Beatrice Cappio’s high school.

“Everyone stopped to wonder, well, is there a shooter in the hall? Is it really an evacuation, should we really leave?” Cappio said.

At work, Jim Skorpik's nickname is a handle better known for missiles: "Hellfire."

As a longtime federal electrical engineer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., he's developed sensors to track missiles' readiness for battle that measure heat or impacts that could damage them.

Lately, Skorpik has turned his know-how to schools.

3 Reasons Gun Companies Are Under Pressure

Mar 27, 2018

Remington Arms Co., an American gun company with roots stretching back over 200 years, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Saddled with almost $1 billion in debt and a victim of shifting market trends, Remington, like many other gun companies, faces a constant uphill battle wrought with political pressures and changing sentiments on gun ownership. Here are three reasons why gun companies are now struggling to find profits.

Courtesy of Jamie Rand Imaging/Jamie Colman

This past weekend, students in hundreds of cities and towns around the country joined in March For Our Lives  "sibling marches." Before the March For Our Lives Seattle event, students and supporters gathered to hear speeches.

Gregory Pleasant, 17, center, and Elijah Lewis, 18, right, raise their fists in the air before the start of March For Our Lives Seattle on Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It was a great awakening – thousands of people, many of them teens and preteens, marched through Seattle on Saturday morning. They joined tens of thousands more across the country calling for laws that would curb gun violence.

Reilly Donham, 18, of Mill Creek, Washington, attends the 'March for Our Lives' rally in Seattle on Saturday morning.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

We are at the 'March for Our Lives' in Seattle this morning where 50,000 students and their families are expected to rally. We will update this post as the march progresses.

I survived the Las Vegas shooting

Mar 23, 2018
Ginny Winslow photographed at her Seattle home on Friday, March 23, 2018. Winslow was working at the Route 91 Harvest music festival when Stephen Paddock fired on concertgoers from the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel, leaving 58 people dead.
Dan DeLong for KUOW

I was working in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. I looked at Caslin, my coworker, both of us confused but wary. She said, "It’s fireworks."

"No," I said.

"Or a car starting," she said.

"That's a gun," I said. I know that popping sound.

University Prep students attend a walkout rally on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Red Square on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Student organizers say Saturday’s March For Our Lives rally in Seattle will emphasize voter registration and concrete steps young people can take to advocate against gun violence.

Hundreds of thousands will call for stricter gun control measures at "March For Our Lives" rallies across the country on Saturday.

But in Montana's state Capitol, counterprotesters are organizing a "March For Our Guns."

"I love our Second Amendment rights," 18-year-old Joey Chester says. "I don't want to see those restricted for law-abiding citizens."

"March For Our Lives" was organized by students after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. It follows a countrywide student walkout earlier this month.

Stephen Paddock, the man who rained bullets down on a crowd of concertgoers last October, killing 58 people, appears in newly released surveillance video to be an ordinary hotel guest and casino patron in the days leading to the massacre.

Dr. Fred Rivara demonstrated how quickly a lockbox can be opened to give access to guns stored there.
KUOW/Amy Radil

Washington state law generally prohibits local governments from overstepping state gun regulations. But Seattle officials say there are still measures they can take to curb gun violence.

Nearly three-fourths of U.S. teachers do not want to carry guns in school, and they overwhelmingly favor gun control measures over security steps meant to "harden" schools, according to a new Gallup poll.

Scout Smissen, a 17-year-old junior at Roosevelt High School becomes emotional while speaking to a crowd of hundreds on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Red Square on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

They wrote it in marker on poster boards; they turned it into a trending hashtag; they spelled it with their bodies across football fields: “Enough.”

Wednesday morning, at 10 o'clock, students at schools across the country will walk out of their classrooms. The plan is for them to leave school — or at least gather in the hallway — for 17 minutes. That's one minute for each of the victims in last month's school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

The walkout has galvanized teens nationwide and raised big questions for schools about how to handle protests.

KUOW PHOTO/Angela Nhi Nguyen

Community members gathered Thursday night to have an open conversation about stopping gun violence. Youth empowerment was an emerging theme. The crowd asked a panel questions about what’s being done about the issue. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan talked about the importance of preparing youth to vote.

After the recent mass shooting in Florida, Washington state lawmakers faced immense pressure to enact gun control legislation. But a bill to address school shootings made little progress, despite Democratic control of the House and Senate.

Art in the halls at Marysville-Pilchuck High School following the mass shooting in October 2014.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Last month a teen stormed into his former high school in Florida and killed 17 people. Teenagers from the school are demanding that the federal government ban assault-style guns like the one used there. 

The incident prompted a question to KUOW about counseling for school-age children. So we talked to David Bilides. He's the head counselor at Jane Addams Middle School in Seattle.

Bilides is worried about how students there are handling this latest news.

After Parkland, there have been many calls to make schools a "harder target" — for example, by arming teachers. But there's a decent amount of research out there on what actually makes schools safer, and most of it doesn't point to more guns.

More than 100 Washington high school students rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday demanding restrictions on purchases of military-style weapons and tougher background checks.

A new Washington state law designed to crack down on felons, domestic abusers and others who lie and try to buy a gun is already resulting in prosecutions.

An increasing number of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, want more gun regulation, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll that surveyed people in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting.

File: Dec. 27, 2012, Cori Sorensen, a fourth grade teacher in Highland, Utah, receives firearms training from personal defense instructor Jim McCarthy during concealed weapons training for 200 Utah teachers.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Following a mass shooting at a Florida high school two weeks ago, lawmakers and President Donald Trump have reintroduced the idea of arming teachers. In Washington, there are a few school districts that already have armed staff.

Toppenish School District near Yakima was the first to have guns on campus in 2014. Nineteen armed administrators are on school grounds including Superintendent John Cerna.


Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., right, speaks about school safety during an event with President Donald Trump and members of the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, in Washington.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

This week in a meeting with President Trump, Washington Governor Jay Inslee recommended our state’s “extreme risk protection orders” as a way to keep guns away from people in crisis. Inslee said the orders have been “supremely effective” at allowing families to get firearms away from people at risk of harming themselves or others.


Washington Republicans Propose Voluntary Firearm Training For Teachers

Feb 28, 2018

Lawmakers in Washington state continue to look for ways to prevent mass shootings in schools. On Wednesday, Republicans in the state Senate proposed creating a voluntary training program for school staff on how to respond to an active shooter.

In this Dec. 9, 2015, photo, a sales associate walks past semiautomatic rifles at Bullseye Sport gun shop in Riverside, Calif.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Kim Malcolm talks with state Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island) about why he's co-sponsoring a bill that would raise the age requirements to purchase military-style weapons from 18 to 21. Malcolm also talks with state Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch) about why he's opposed to the bill.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods say they won't sell guns to customers under 21, and both are putting new restrictions on ammunition sales.

Dick's Sporting Goods, one of the largest sports retailers in the U.S., has announced it is immediately ending its sales of military-style semi-automatic rifles and is requiring all customers to be older than 21 to buy a firearm at its stores. Additionally, the company no longer will sell high-capacity magazines.

The Washington Legislature has sent a ban on bump stocks to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. A bump stock is a trigger modification device that make a semi-automatic rifle function more like an automatic weapon.

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