Washington, DC (June 1, 2018) -- This weekend, the nation will wear orange to mark the beginning of gun violence awareness month. The “wear orange” movement began after 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot in a Chicago park in 2013; following her death, her friends and family encouraged people across the country to raise awareness about gun violence by wearing orange on Hadiya’s birthday -- June 2.
At the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, we are honored to participate and wear orange. We wear orange to raise awareness of gun violence in all its forms -- not just what is shown on the evening news.
We wear orange for Hadiya Pendleton and all of the young lives lost to senseless gun violence in our nation’s neighborhoods.
We wear orange for the victims of firearm suicide, which make up approximately 60 percent of American gun deaths and are preventable.
We wear orange for the students who have experienced the scourge of gun violence in the hallways of their schools.
We wear orange for the victims of domestic violence, for those who were shot and killed by domestic abusers. We wear orange for those threatened and coerced by an intimate partner with a gun.
We wear orange for families who have lost loved ones to police brutality.
We wear orange for law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty.
We wear orange for the children shot unintentionally each day by unsecured firearms. These deaths are not accidents -- they are 100 percent preventable.
We wear orange to honor those lives we have lost -- 38,000 Americans each year. We wear orange to recommit ourselves to preventing senseless deaths.
We wear orange to bring awareness to gun violence, but we must also turn awareness into action. This November, we must vote for politicians who are equally aware and who have the opportunity to strengthen our laws and reduce the number of gun deaths we see each year.
We wear orange because our time is now.