Student’s civic engagement requirement at Pacific is a way to give back to the campus or local community, and broaden student’s knowledge of national and international issues. Junior Katelyn Ingaglio has achieved this with her involvement in the “Everytown for Gun Safety” campaign.
After Ingaglio moved from Philadelphia, she noticed that Oregon has similar gun violence issues. In her home state, she would target practice and hunt with her family, yet was also impacted by shootings that happened in her community and throughout the state.
“I heard about the school shooting in Portland and at Seattle Pacific University and realized there’s a lot of gun violence here as well,” said Ingaglio.
While attending the Forest Grove Farmers’ Market, Ingaglio met the Ananda Tomas who is the Washington County organizer for the campaign. Tomas informed Ingaglio that in all but 16 states people can purchase handguns online without having a background check. Only certified gun sellers require background checks. In overall gun sales, 60 percent are purchased online.
“It appalled me,” said Ingaglio.
Ingaglio was inspired to become a volunteer for this campaign, which also fulfilled her civic engagement requirement. She has since become an intern for “Everytown for Gun Safety,” a national organization working to end gun violence and build safer communities.
On Oct. 7, Ingaglio and Tomas tabled in the U.C. to encourage students to take the pledge to support gun-sense voting at the local, state and federal level. Tomas explained that the issue was brought to the state senate during last spring session.
“It wasn’t brought to a vote, because it was an election year and none of the senators wanted their necks on the line,” said Tomas.
Oregon was chosen as one of the states to have this campaign, because it was seen as a state that may be open to passing a bill to change the policies on background checks.
“We just need another vote in the state senate,” said Tomas.
Ingaglio wanted to get the campus community involved by distributing posters around campus and having the tabling event.
“It’s very important on every campus at every school because of the prevalence of school shootings,” said Ingaglio. “I mean CPS has to walk around with bulletproof vests. That’s how much of an issue this is.”
Some other activities Ingaglio has been involved in with her internship include petitioning at local events, calling registered voters in Washington County and going door-to-door on weekends sharing handouts and other information. She has also helped write letters to editors of newspapers in Washington County to spread awareness.
“We are not anti gun; we are anti gun violence,” said Ingaglio.
For studente interested in volunteer or internship opportunities with “Everytown for Gun Safety,” contact Tomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.everytown.org/oregon.