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Gun Violence Awareness: Wear Orange

PHOTO: Those who choose to wear orange Tuesday are asked to make three promises: to honor the lives of those lost to gun violence, to pledge to do all possible to keep guns out of the wrong hands, and to be responsible gun owners and keep kids safe. Image courtesy of Everytown for Gun Safety.
PHOTO: Those who choose to wear orange Tuesday are asked to make three promises: to honor the lives of those lost to gun violence, to pledge to do all possible to keep guns out of the wrong hands, and to be responsible gun owners and keep kids safe. Image courtesy of Everytown for Gun Safety.
June 1, 2015

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - It's the color hunters wear to protect themselves and others in the woods, and tomorrow it will be the color many Michiganders don to recognize the inaugural National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Grant Grimard, 21, of Ann Arbor will be among those dressed in orange, which he says symbolizes the value of human life. Grimard, a college student and a gun owner himself, says it's time for both sides of the debate to come together to find a solution to the nation's gun violence epidemic.

"At the core, gun violence in America often disrupts our freedom, and I think it's important to spread that awareness, to eliminate the polarization on both sides," says Grimard.

The idea was inspired by a group of Chicago teens who asked their classmates to wear orange to commemorate the life of their friend who was shot and killed just one week after she marched in President Obama's second inaugural parade.

Grimard, who grew up in an age of school lockdown drills, says the impact of gun violence on everyday life really hit home for him when he volunteered in a middle school in a rough neighborhood, and had to go through a metal detector and security checkpoint each day.

"I can't imagine being a 6th, 7th, and 8th grader, fearing school because like 'Oh, what if someone doesn't go through the security? Am I safe? Am I not safe,'" he says.

Several nationwide organizations have signed on to take part in the first Gun Violence Awareness Day, including Amnesty International USA, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI