Seattle rally calls for assault weapons ban, stricter gun laws

SEATTLE - The issue of gun violence drew a huge crowd to Westlake Park on Sunday, as the issue of gun control loomed as a hot button issue across the country in the coming week.

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to send President Obama a list of recommendations for combating gun violence. But any crackdown on guns is expected to face resistance in Congress.

And in Seattle, a group called Washington CeaseFire rallied members of the community Sunday by marching across the city - many of them calling for "sensible gun legislation."

The rally, which included some local and state leaders, was aimed at remembering the victims of gun violence - and turning their anger into action.

"This is the short of message Olympia needs to hear," said Ed Murray as he and others marched from Westlake Center Park to Seattle Center with many moms, dads, grandparents and children. "No more children need to die."

"We have to come to really reasonable solutions around gun violence," added another attendee, Susan Weiss.

The rally, called "Stand-up Washington," is calling for a state ban on semi-automatic weapons as well as stricter gun laws.

"We had the tragedy one month ago in Connecticut. We had the tragedy at Caf Racer. We've had gun violence in this city too many times," she said.

Pro-gun advocates want to see change, too - but of a different kind.

"It's got to be positive change, and we'd like to see things that actually work instead of punishing the wrong people," said Dave Workman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

He and his group are calling for improvements in the mental health system and tougher punishment for those who violate existing gun laws.

"There is another side to this story and what the firearms community is trying to tell people is that there are millions of law-abiding gun owners in this country and they didn't hurt anybody," Workman says.

No matter what your position on gun control, local and state lawmakers are encouraging all to make their voice heard by contacting their representatives in Olympia.