Safe and Sane Skagit
Safe and Sane Skagit is a grass roots organization of local people who have a concern about gun violence in our communities and is searching for ways to impact the legislative and cultural processes in order to bring more safety and sanity to firearm use and availability.
In the Fall of 2015 Margy Lavelle, SaSS founder, was driving through Roseburg, Oregon, on her way home from California. She noticed the Umpqua Community College signs in what under usual circumstances was a tranquil community. She happened to turn on the radio to learn a mass shooting had just taken place on the campus, killing nine people and wounding eight. “I listened in disbelief for most of the day. Wanting to hear more details as they were being released, wanting to understand what had happened and sick of hearing about it at the same time.” Then when she approached her home town of Edison, WA, she noticed the new gun store located next to the post office had the beginning of a large mural with AK 47s painted on the side and an increase in the number and size of their signs. “I felt sick to my stomach. This is next to a pre-school and there is an elementary school down the road.”
Margy sent an email to several friends and said she would be picketing the corner by the post office with a sign demanding better gun legislation. Ten people showed up and so Safe and Sane Skagit began.
We decided to meet monthly. In the beginning SaSS participated in monthly actions to create visibility, picketing at various locations in the county. As we grew, we participated in local events and hosted some of our own. We decided to work with a larger organization to help steer our commitments and increase our effectiveness. In March 2016 we became a Chapter Team of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility.
The Alliance was formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 and has been extremely effective and instrumental in making Washington State a leader in gun violence prevention, ranking 10th in the nation in 2021.