#WearingOrange on June 2- national Gun Violence Awareness day

social_brady_wear-orange_facebook-cover-851x315-orangeOn June 2, the nation, or a good part of it anyway, will be #WearingOrange for a cause. The cause is a national day for gun violence awareness followed by the month of June with more awareness events and actions. The reason? The parents of one young girl are asking us to do this in her memory. For on June 2, tomorrow, she would be 18 years old. The reason they will not be celebrating her birthday is because she was shot and killed in January of 2013 just days after playing with her Chicago school band at President Obama’s inauguration. Her name was Hadiya Pendleton.

Here’s more about the day of gun violence awareness. Some New York lawmakers declared June to be gun violence awareness month in 2011.  The idea has since spread and now has the endorsement of gun violence prevention groups and other groups from all over the country representing tens of thousands of Americans, if not more. In 2013 a group of Hadiya’s friends promoted the wearing of the color orange in memory of Hadiya and other gun violence victims:

The color orange is a “hunter’s orange,” said Victor Taylor, a co-organizer of the project and a King senior.

“You know, when people are in the wilderness, and they don’t want to be shot by other hunters,” Taylor said. “You don’t want to be invisible.”

Hunters want to be safe from being shot while hunting. So do Americans want to be safe from the gun violence that takes far too many lives.

“You don’t want to be invisible”. Exactly. Victims sometimes become invisible. Every day in our country over 80 people die from gunshot injuries. There are many mass shootings in our country which get the attention of the public, the media and even lawmakers for a while. And then, the corporate gun lobby steps in and does their job of making themselves the victims of proposed changes to laws that would actually prevent senseless shootings. It’s totally backwards and insane, in fact, but it happens. It makes absolutely no common sense. But it is the America we have, not the country most people want or deserve.

And that is why we intend to make a difference. Mike the Gun Guy reflected on why this national day of awareness and the month of actions will make a difference:

I think that June 2, touted as Gun Violence Awareness Day, may mark a true turning-point in the argument about guns. The pro-gun community can lobby all it wants for laws that make it easier to own or carry guns, but fewer gun restrictions won’t really matter if the country’s dominant culture becomes anti-gun. And while the NRA has been promoting gun ownership as their response to the “culture wars,” the millennial culture that is emerging and will define the country appears to be solidly anti-gun. (…)

Gun Violence Awareness Day, as reported ruefully by Brietbart and other pro-gun blogs, garnered support from movie, song and media personalities like Russell Simmons, Aasif Mandvi, Padma Lakshmi, Amanda Peet, Tunde Adebimpe and many, many more.  I’m actually a pre-boomer, and I don’t have the faintest idea who any of these people are.  But I do know the celebs who show up each year at the NRA shindig; guys like Chuck Norris and Ollie North. Wow – talk about young, hip and cool.

Another master-stroke in planning this event was using orange to build identity and awareness for the folks who get involved.  Orange, or blaze orange as it is known, has always been worn by hunters and many states require it for anyone goes out after game. Brady and Shannon’s Moms, among other organizations, have lately moved into the safety space which was owned lock, stock and barrel by the NRA. Guess who now shares and could soon own that space?

Until recently, the playing field where gun violence arguments played out was controlled by the NRA. But right now the field is tilting the other way.  And notice how millennial culture has no problem attaching the word ‘violence’ to the word ‘guns.’  This alone should make the NRA wonder if their message can win or even compete for hearts and minds.  The NRA always assumed that gun owners would defend their guns while everyone else just sat by.  After June 2nd, I wouldn’t want to take that assumption to the bank.

The message is changing. That must happen before the culture and laws change. Our message is strong. We understand that gun violence has become a serious national public health and safety epidemic and we also know that we can do something about this epidemic with the right prescriptions and treatment.

From Dan Gross President of the Brady Campaign and  Nathaniel Pendelton, Hadiya’s father comes this piece about June 2 and wearing orange:

Most of us have been affected by gun violence or know someone who has. This June we are honoring the victims of this epidemic by wearing orange on June 2 and by redoubling our commitment to the solutions that will result in a safer Chicago for everyone. (…)

June 2 would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday, but because of a shooting on January 29, 2013, her young life ended. She loved this city and she had dreams: dreams of going to college and of becoming a journalist–dreams of traveling the world. Her death was not just our loss–it was Chicago’s loss. It was this world’s loss. Let her legacy be one of inspiring us to make the impact on the world that she dreamed of making when she was alive.

Participate in Gun Violence Awareness Month and remember to wear your orange on June 2. Together, we can end the epidemic of gun deaths in our nation and help to fulfill Hadiya’s Promise.

We owe it to the lives lost to promise to do something to stop others from not being able to reach their human potential. Hadiya”s young life had already shown the promise of success. Her life was taken far too soon in a senseless act of violence. You can see more information on the website named Hadiya’s Promise.

If you want more information about wearing orange, please check out this site for how you can be involved. Also on this site you can see all of the organizations who have endorsed this campaign. There will be other actions coming up for the month of June as were listed in the article by Dan Gross and Nathaniel Pendelton, linked above. Please find out how you can support gun violence awareness month and help us change the message and change the conversation so we can change the gun culture and do something positive to prevent gun violence. We know we can do this. The majority of Americans support reasonable gun laws and also want to stop the violence. No one wants to lose a loved one or a friend to a gunshot injury yet far too many of us have and do.

We are better than this. Let’s get to work. Do this for Hadiya and for the 32,000 Americans who die every year from gunshot injuries. Make your voices heard above the loud and often obnoxious din of the gun lobby’s deceptions and opposition to common sense.

Wear Orange for saving lives and common sense.

Hadiya’s parents wrote this opinion piece about the wear orange day.

13 thoughts on “#WearingOrange on June 2- national Gun Violence Awareness day

  1. J. Edwards says:

    Howdy, I have nothing but respect for the people working to end negligent gun deaths. I don’t think anyone argues that unlocked guns are a problem. The only safe place for a gun is either locked away and unloaded or on your person at all times. I’m glad to see the shift away from gun control and restrictive laws and more gun safety coming from the “Anti-gun” crowd. Gun safety is paramount and anyone who handles guns in a slight or dis-respective manner is a fool. That is a part of the reason why I detest to see actors in movies handling guns. They are never handled correctly and NEVER safely. The actors are always running around with fingers on triggers, grasping the gun too low on the grip and sweeping others with the muzzle. It is unfortunate they do not lead by example and handle the on set firearms correctly.

    1. paladin says:

      j.Edwards; the “Anti-gun” crowd uses the term “gun safety” instead of “gun control” because it sounds less “restrictive” I wish it was for the reasons you stated because we all want guns handled in a safe manner, but sadly it is not the case.

      1. It is sad that so many gun owners don’t handle guns safely. The “anti-gun” crowd or those of us who are anti gun violence want everyone to handle their guns safely and to stop shooting people. Seems like a good idea to me. I’m sure you can agree with that one. We are unsafe when so many gun owners shoot people intentionally or unintentionally.

  2. J. Edwards says:

    Commongunsense, you are absolutely right. Safe gun handling should be taught more often and in more places. We have guns in our country and they are useful tools but too many folks misuse them or are ignorant of how to safely handle them. As with most issues, the answer is in education. There are many dangerous things in life. We should not shun or ban these things because that makes us a different kind of extremist. We should recognize the danger guns represent and handle them respectfully. There is no such thing as an accidental discharge of a firearm. Someone has to load it, and pull the trigger. It can only be done by negligence, stupidity, or on purpose.

    1. Too many people do not practice safety. Guns are treated cavalierly as if nothing could possibly go wrong. As to your comment about banning or shunning, not sure I get that one- ” a different kind of terrorist”? What does that mean?

    1. paladin says:

      I think what j.Edwards is trying to say is there are many kinds of extremist’s, we just happen to like our guns. Others like whatever it is they are “over the top” about. He doesn’t want to see guns banned because of a few dumb people. You cant force people to have common sense, not everyone can drive a car correctly either. Lots of people I see driving that I would not like to see driving, nothing I can do about it but watch out for my own @ss and not infringe on other drivers.

      1. Hmmmm. I hope Mr. Edwards thinks it’s OK for you to speak for him. Are you a gun extremist? No one is talking about banning guns by the way. But if these dumb people keep it up, you gun guys are going to need to think about what to do to stop them. No you can’t force common sense. But at least cars are registered and people are licensed to drive and we have a bunch of driving laws and drunk driving laws and car safety rules to keep people safe from their own mistakes and from hurting themselves or others as much as is possible. What would be an infringement on drivers by the way? Taking away their license after they have killed someone in an accident caused by drunk driving? Driving while drunk too many times in a row? Not paying child support payments? Are those infringements or do they just make common sense?

      2. cimmerianpraetor says:

        Well, commongunsense, the difference is that you right to drive a car is not protected by constitution, or to be more precise, the constitution does not prevent government from curbing you from driving without licenses like it does in case of firearms. That is why I said before that you need to have a 2A discussion first before you get to anything else on gun control.

        In the Czech Republic, where I live, we have actually gun license system that is basically on par with driving licensing. And it works, and I am really happy for it.

        “No one is talking about banning guns by the way.” That is where you are wrong. The history of gun control for example in UK as well as many other countries makes it abundantly clear that the gun ban comes in small steps. And UK is exactly what gun owners in countries like the US or the Czech Republic think of when someone says “gun control”. (Not to mention incredible rise of crime after the gun ban in UK, whether it was or was not a result of it)

  3. paladin says:

    1) I wasn’t speaking for J.Edwards, I said “I think what j.Edwards is trying to say”
    2) what is a gun extremist anyway? I like guns and I have more than one. Does that make me one? just curious.
    3) just because people are licensed to drive doesn’t mean that they are capable.
    4) an infringement on drivers would be to not allow them to drive just because “I” think they drive stupid. what I need to do is mind my own business and drive my vehicle in a safe manner and let those around me go on their way.

  4. J. Edwards says:

    When I said extremist I meant that the banning of an object just because it is dangerous is extreme. As for people talking about taking all gun away there are a rare few who hold that belief. Unfortunately they get all the publicity. The same goes with the open carry fools. They get all the publicity. The same goes for America’s LEOs. There are close to $765,000 sworn police officers right now in the US. 95% of them are honest, hardworking people that just want to do their job and go home to their family at night. Unfortunately it is that small percentage of them that we see on the TV brutalizing people.

  5. cimmerianpraetor says:

    Thank you for this article. I saw on gun blogs that this event is happening, but I had no idea what is it actually about.

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