Story, Photos & Video by Scott Schaefer

The day after President Obama made an emotional speech on gun control, Gov. Jay Inslee came to Burien’s Navos Mental Health facility where he announced his own new Executive Order (download PDF file here) aimed at reducing and preventing gun-related fatalities and injuries.

Inslee spoke at Revelle Hall on the Navos campus located at 1210 SW 136th Street just after Noon on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Here are some of the more interesting gun-related facts from Wednesday’s event:

  • 79% of all firearm deaths in the state are suicides
  • Burien has one of the highest rates of firearm fatalities in the Puget Sound region, with more than 11.0 per 100,000 residents
  • More people died from firearms injuries than automobile accidents – 665 compared to 497 deaths

After being introduced by Navos CEO David Johnson, Inslee spoke for a little over 12 minutes about the new initiative to a room packed with media, local dignitaries, mental health workers and concerned citizens:

Gov. Jay Inslee announces new gun control initiative at Navos in Burien on 1/6/16 from The Maury Island Incident on Vimeo.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If the video above is not yet viewable, wait a few minutes and refresh your browser…thanks!

Here’s a brief interview with Navos CEO David M. Johnson:

Inslee’s announcement comes on the heels of renewed efforts by President Obama to stop gun violence, which he announced in an emotional speech on Tuesday. Obama’s announcement new executive actions was regarding background checks, mental health, enforcement, and more.

The governor was joined by Dr. Jennifer Stuber, an associate professor at the UW School of Social Work, Dr. Monica S. Vavilala, Director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, King County Sheriff John Urquhart and several others.

The executive order uses the same data-driven approach that has significantly reduced motor vehicle deaths over the past two decades, according to a statement. Inslee said that the initiative will help the state understand the people and places most at risk of gun violence or suicide, determine the best approaches to reducing gun violence and work with its partners to develop strategies and actions to prevent gun violence.

“This will be a data-driven approach that helps us identify the people and places most susceptible to gun crime and suicide,”Inslee said. “Gun crime is a scourge that has scarred thousands of families in every corner of our state. It’s a scourge we can, should and will help prevent.”

Between 2012 and 2014, 665 people died in Washington state from firearm injuries, compared to 497 deaths from automobile accidents. Approximately 80 percent of the firearm deaths were suicides.

Burien has one of the highest rates of firearm fatalities in the Puget Sound region, with more than 11.0 per 100,000 residents.

Inslee emphasized the importance of state and local action, since Congress has failed repeatedly to take even the most modest of steps.

“I’ve watched Congress fail for years to make any kind of progress on this issue,” Inslee said. “Congress has passed laws prohibiting even basic research and data collection on gun violence in America. Yet, while Congress protects the status quo of everyday gun violence, cities, counties and states are moving forward with sensible policies to reduce firearm fatalities. As long as I’m governor, Washington will be one of those states that says ‘enough is enough.”

Inslee credited King County Executive Dow Constantine for launching a similar initiative in King County. County public health leaders voiced their support for Inslee’s executive action.

“To address the unacceptably high number of people affected by gun violence—with more deaths in Washington state and Spokane County attributed to firearms than motor vehicle crashes—as with any significant threat to the public’s health, we need a comprehensive approach,”aid Dr. Joel McCullough, Spokane Regional Health District’s health officer. “We need to track the threat, find its root causes, use the science to find gaps, offer public education, and perhaps most paramount, create public policy solutions to address the threat.”

Inslee’s order requires the Department of Health and the Department of Social and Health Services, in collaboration with the University of Washington and other state and local agencies to collect, review and disseminate data on deaths and injury hospitalizations related to firearms, as well as recommend strategies to reduce firearm-related fatalities and serious injuries.

Inslee said he also wants to further strengthen the background check law approved by Washingtonians in 2014. He is directing the state Office of Financial Management to analyze the effectiveness of information sharing between state agencies, the courts, local jurisdictions, law enforcement and other entities to determine if there are ways to improve the effectiveness of the system. He is also requesting the Attorney General’s office to analyze current enforcement practices to make sure those attempting to purchase a firearm illegally are held accountable.

He is also asking them to update a 2007 white paper regarding access to firearms for those with mental illness. The white paper included recommendations that have yet to be implemented such as a centralized background check system.

Inslee is directing agencies to submit recommendations by October of 2016.

Inslee is also directing the Department of Health to implement the Statewide Suicide Prevention Plan, in collaboration with the Governor’s Health Leadership team, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and other partners. Current data indicates that Indian Americans, Alaska Natives and veterans are among the highest-risk groups for suicide.

“The problem of gun violence in our community and only be solved by the coordinated efforts of groups that are willing to work together toward this common goal,” said King County Sheriff John Urquhart. “I am very pleased to see Governor Inslee taking a leadership role to help make this happen.”

“We know we can reduce gun violence and we have a moral and ethical obligation to do so. President Obama’s actions are important steps forward  to address the root causes of this scourge by improving data sharing, more effectively implementing current law, and advancing gun safety technology. His new actions follow the will of Washington citizens who, in 2014, also recognized the need for a cohesive background check system. Background checks help ensure that people who, by law, should not have firearms do not. They make our state and our nation a safer place. We must continue to examine our systems and laws to make sure they’re effective and I applaud the President’s efforts to do this at the federal level.

“I am also heartened by the President’s proposal to invest more in mental health care like we have done here in Washington state. While we still struggle to fund the comprehensive behavioral health care system we need, like the rest of the nation, we know first-hand the importance of services for those in crisis to combat suicide and violence against others.”

Here’s President Obama’s emotional speech on gun control that he gave on Tuesday, Jan. 5:

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

12 replies on “VIDEO: Gov. Jay Inslee launches gun control initiative at Navos in Burien”

    1. Hey “ctac” have you ever Google mass shootings and ssir drugs . Most of the mass shootings in the past 20 year’s have been by people with a mental illness on ssir drugs.
      So you think the government is trying to take your guns away. Well if your someone with a mental illness you should not have a gun in the first place. Now I know personally I have bipolar depression and can get very frustrated very easily I know that owning a firearm in my situation is not best thing since I don’t hunt large anminal’s and have other ways of protecting my home. A firearm really is just not needed in my situation.
      On a side note
      ctac how many people do you know that actullay hunt with a assault rifle. To provide a meal for their families.

    2. The people killing others with guns use illegal guns. Gun control will only leave the victims unarmed, we all know that criminals will continue to get guns illegally as they have been doing for years. The second amendment is for all to have the right to bear arms, to protect us from the government taking our freedoms away. Do your research, read the amendment, do not think how they have taught you, think for yourself. Do your research, do not be a sheep herded by the government. That is what they want, more control, just like Hitler did. Do not let them take your only weapon available to fight for our freedom if it ever comes to that! Think about it! People have been killing people for years, has nothing to do with guns, people make the choice to kill. Gus are just a weapon, they will find another way. Killers are sick, and will still kill without a gun. So do not take our only protection against the killers who will still have the guns.

  1. The real question is deeper than the superficial act on suicide, homicide and accident. Now, I’m not objecting Jay’s attempts and feel that might be the best he can do at his level BUT, rather AND I would like to address the suicide issue first. Suicide is high due to Federal Government. What is the breakdown on military committing suicide due to OEF? What is the number of native American suicides due to poverty? Stopping suicide does nothing to fix PTSD or depression due to repression! The core of majority of WA. gun violence. Accidents, can be prevented by requiring ANYONE with a gun to own a safe where the gun(s) are secured. Quick open safes take seconds to open and just as fast as getting a gun from a hidden location. Larger, wall safes prevent home theft which leads partially to homicide. Homicide is a much broader issue where education programs work on bringing a community together to fight this violence. It takes the people, the home ethics, education, the school system to reduce actions here. NOW, what Jay can do is go on attack to Hollywood and Video games. In Asia the number of violent scenes are reduced and Europe uses green blood which Microsoft supports in those regions due to LAW that the U.S. does not have. As a retired Green Beret with 20+ years in Special Operations, 18B weapons expert; I suggest making changes that effect the cause not a bandage for the superficial result of guns.

    1. Ken, your post sounds a bit contradictory to me. I agree with your point that gun use is a symptom of a larger problem: mental illness, depression, the glorifying of violence among certain cultures, poor upbringing, etc. However, at the end you make a correlation to violence in the media/video games. If anything, video games have been shown to be a safe outlet for people who might otherwise be inclined to act on violent impulses. It takes a special (albeit disturbed) kind of person to play a game or watch a show and afterwards feel a new urge to act out what they’ve seen on the screen. It’s the equivalent of saying that because you’ve thought about an action, you are going to act on it. Every single human being on this planet has had thoughts that they never have any intention of turning into action and never will. People like an easy scapegoat, but in this case, the target is unfounded. A person’s desire to harm does NOT originate from the screen; they already possessed the inclination for one reason or another. To say the opposite is a dangerous notion that could lead us into a society straight out of 1984, thought police/thought crimes and all.

  2. Don’t sell guns to mentally ill people. Don’t give guns to mentally ill people like that mom of the Sandy Hook sicko killer did.
    And if you have a concealed weapons permit, please, please, please carry your weapon so that you can stop any Paris or San Bernardino type attack.

  3. Inslee – always following in the footsteps of his hero Obama. First it was the promise to accept Syrian refugees in the aftermath of Obama’s plans to allow thousands of Syrian refugees in. Now right after Obama’s town meeting on guns – probably before Obama’s faux tears have even dried up – Inslee comes out with his own gun control initiative. Lockstep, knee jerk liberal social engineering masquerading as leadership. Gun control won’t prevent people from committing suicide. Cities which have strict gun control are more dangerous. Liberal social engineering does not work.

    1. Sorry Peter, but in my opinion if any group is in ‘lock step’, it is the NRA. Liberals in lock-step .. not so much. As far as who wants fewer guns in the wrong hands, I think you will find most citizens are begging for that.

  4. “And if you have a concealed weapons permit, please, please, please carry your weapon so that you can stop any Paris or San Bernardino type attack.”
    Its like my American express card, I never leave home without it.

  5. I heard yesterday that Obama offered to sit down other the NRA to assuage any fears they had about a possible ban on firearms, they declined. For years now, the NRA has increased their membership, and perpetuated falsly, that the president was going to ban firearms all together – this is simply not true! I don’t disagree that we need SOMETHING in place as far as gun laws go, BEFORE we all shoot each other to death! The NRA does not want to sit down with the president and clear up any misconceptions, because then their scare tactics wouldn’t work anymore.
    PS: Member of rhe NRA since 2002, so please don’t attack me by saying I am anti-gun. Thanks!

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