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'Wear Orange' Activists to Honor Victims of Gun Violence

Some North Dakotans are wearing orange as part of National Gun Violence Awareness Day to honor those who've died from gun violence. (Morguefile)
Some North Dakotans are wearing orange as part of National Gun Violence Awareness Day to honor those who've died from gun violence. (Morguefile)
June 2, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. – As gun related violence continues to be a problem in North Dakota and across the country, gun control advocates are wearing orange today to focus on the issue.

It's National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and several groups, including Everytown for Gun Safety, are taking a cue from the hunters who wear orange to protect themselves from other sportsmen.

Lauren Quinn, a group leader with Moms Demand Action, says that four years after the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., more needs to be done to curb gun violence.

"We're helping to make it harder for people who have been accused of domestic violence to get their hands on guns,” she points out. “We're also battling bad legislation that's coming from the gun lobby every day that would force guns onto campuses and into schools."

Unlike federal law, North Dakota does not ban domestic violence offenders from possessing guns.

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association has called the Wear Orange event a "thinly veiled anti-gun stunt."

The idea was started in 2013 by a group of South Side Chicago teens that wanted to honor their friend Hadiya Pendleton. The 15-year-old girl was shot and killed just days after performing for President Barack Obama at the White House.

Quinn says the annual event has turned into a national movement.

"Last year, on June 2, what would've been Hadiya's 18th birthday, a broad-based coalition came together to launch the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and asked people across the country to honor Hadiya's life and the lives more than 90 Americans killed every day by gun violence by wearing orange," she states.

Quinn says anti-gun violence groups are holding Wear Orange events in about 190 cities across the country.

According to the latest numbers from the Center for American Progress, from 2002 to 2011, gun violence killed more than 570 people in North Dakota.


Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - ND