We have another national health crisis in America besides COVID-19. It is one that has been with us for a long time and kills a hundred Americans a day. It can happen to anyone, just as COVID-19 can affect anyone. It happens in schools, churches, on our streets, and in our homes. I am talking about America’s gun-violence problem. We have the distinction of this being unique to America of all civilized nations.
Friday, June 5, is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. We wear orange to memorialize the victims of this health crisis and raise awareness. Orange was the favorite color of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old victim of gun violence in Chicago, killed one week after participating in the second inaugural parade for President Barack Obama.
Her friends and family adopted wearing orange in her honor. It is the color that hunters use for safety as well. It has become the color that gun safety groups wear to remember all victims now. We listen prayerfully and thoughtfully to the thousands of stories of lives ripped apart from this violence.
We recognize the rippling effect on every parent, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparent, friend and community of those lost. And we cannot help but be touched and driven to act to reduce the violence.
Please join gun safety groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety, the Brady Campaign, Sandy Hook Promise, Giffords, Students Demand Action, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America in remembering the victims of gun violence. Listen to their stories online, and get involved to end this other national health crisis. There are many ways to reduce this violence. Gun owners and non-gun owners alike are working together in these organizations to make it happen.