In general, Dubus said she felt the overriding tone of the session was that there are good laws in place, but that they’re not enforced in a uniform way.
“In one state, they do a really good job of taking firearms away from people with violent restraining orders. Other states don’t even touch them. If we could get some uniform enforcement of some really good gun laws, that could help,” she said.
The issue of gun violence is a personal one for Dubus. In participating in events like the conversation on gun control, she feels she’s carrying the flame for clients like Dorothy Guinta-Cotter, whose husband shot and killed her and then himself in their Amesbury home in 2002.
But she also thinks about all the individuals the crisis center has helped — and could help — if training could reach more people.
“When you can be quiet, and when you’re not thinking about policy issues and fundraising, you really reflect on the impact,” Dubus said. “You can never think about this work without thinking about the people you’ve lost and those you’ve saved. I always get teary when I’m there — it just feels so important.”
She said she feels optimistic seeing the Obama administration making gun violence a priority in their second term.
“What a special honor to be able to have some kind of impact — some positive change moving forward so that 20 years from now, our culture changes so much that gun violence is part of our history,” Dubus said.