June 2, 2015, will be the first annual “National Gun Violence Awareness Day,” according to Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun-control organization funded by billionaire business magnate Michael Bloomberg.
Everytown is asking everyone to “wear orange” to honor the “88 Americans whose lives are cut short by gun violence every day — and the countless survivors whose lives are forever altered by shootings each year.”
The inspiration for the idea came from classmates of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high school student who was fatally shot in Chicago on Jan. 29 by known gang member, Michael Ward, who targeted a random crowd in Harsh Park after a rival gang killed one of his peers.
Ward told police according to DNAinfo that Pendleton had nothing to do with the gang rivalry, rather “She was just there.”
“If we keep standing for this, we are going to be some straight bitches,” Ward allegedly told police after his arrest.
“It hurt,” he said of his friend who was killed. “It hurt to a point where everyone had to go.”
Given these facts, one would think that the color orange is either meant to send a message to the prison inmates responsible for the vast majority of gun-related violence or a warning that if you take innocent lives, you’ll end up in prison — but no, it was chosen “because hunters wear orange to announce themselves to other hunters when out in the woods.”
Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Why call out hunters who are overwhelmingly safe and responsible? I mean, unless Everytown is worried about deer, turkey, waterfowl and other commonly hunted animals, the idea makes zero sense. Once again, the group is targeting the wrong group of people, i.e. law-abiding citizens. Instead, it should be focusing on inner-city gangs and drug dealers.
Nevertheless, First Lady Michelle Obama will be there to deliver a speech for attendees.
“Our daughter Hadiya was a beautiful girl who was full of laughter and had her whole life ahead of her,” reflected her mother, Cleopatra Pendleton. “Too many Americans are dying every day from senseless acts of gun violence and it has to stop. We don’t want other parents to endure the pain and suffering our family has these past few years. We are honored to know that so many Americans will join us and Wear Orange on June 2nd to celebrate Hadiya’s life and the lives of all those taken by gun violence.”
Other headliners at the event will include actress Julianne Moore, comedian Sarah Silverman and R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe.
More about the importance of wearing orange:
Originating in hunting culture, orange acknowledges that America has a proud heritage of responsible gun ownership. But orange also reflects the value of human life. When hunting in the woods, it’s expected you’ll take aim at a deer or bird – but you’re also obligated to take care with your life and the lives of fellow hunters. By wearing orange on June 2nd, Americans will pledge to:
● Honor the lives – and lost human potential – of Americans stolen by gun violence
● Do all we can to keep firearms out of the wrong hands
● Be responsible gun owners and keep our children safe
So, that’s “National Gun Violence Awareness Day.” What are your thoughts on it? Will you be celebrating it?