The first Friday in June is recognized as National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and activists everywhere are calling for people to wear orange to honor victims and survivors of gun violence. Why orange? It’s the color Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore to commemorate her life when she was shot and killed in Chicago when she was 15 — just one week after performing at President Obama’s second inaugural parade in 2013.
After Hadiya’s death, the Wear Orange movement was born in an effort to create change regarding the growing epidemic of gun violence in the United States. While Friday marks the actual day of awareness, events are taking place nationwide all weekend long. Many public figures — including President Obama, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Senator Kamala Harris, and more — took to social media to share their reasons for wearing orange and to encourage others to do the same.
Last week, it was Virginia Beach. But day after day and year after year, too many families and communities are shattered by senseless gun violence. We can't get numb to this. On National Gun Violence Awareness Day, pledge to speak out, #WearOrange — and vote — to protect lives.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 7, 2019
According to the official Wear Orange website, 100 Americans are killed every single day with guns. Firearms are also the second leading cause of death for American children and teens, and access to a gun increases the risk of death by suicide by three times. In the first six months of 2019 alone, there were 150 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks gun-related incidents in the U.S. (The site defines “mass shooting” as an incident in which at least four people are either killed or wounded.)
To find a National Gun Violence Awareness Day event near you this weekend, visit the Wear Orange website.