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Idahoans Wearing Orange This Weekend to Protest Gun Violence

More than half of women killed by guns are killed by an intimate partner. (S Pakhrin/Wikimedia Commons)
More than half of women killed by guns are killed by an intimate partner. (S Pakhrin/Wikimedia Commons)
June 1, 2018

BOISE, Idaho – Idahoans are raising awareness about gun violence this weekend by painting the state orange. Friday is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and advocates are marking it with events across the nation and throughout the weekend.

At 8 p.m. Friday, a vigil for the victims of gun violence will be held at the Linen Building in Boise in partnership with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. Both the Linen Building and One Capital Center will be lit in orange.

Amber Labelle, Boise lead of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, says there is a lot of energy around ending gun violence this year.

"It's a tragic thing that that momentum is necessary but it's also encouraging to see everyday Americans standing together with their neighbors, with their family members, with their co-workers and saying, 'This is something that's important to us,'" says Labelle.

Orange was chosen because that's the color the friends of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed in Chicago in 2013, wore in her honor. Labelle also notes it's the color hunters wear to be seen and is meant to reflect the value of life.

On Saturday, there will an event at 10 a.m. at Boise Town Hall Plaza, and Moms Demand Action also is sponsoring the YWCA Embrace Race Color Run in Lewiston.

School shootings tend to attract the most attention, but Labelle says another tragic piece of gun violence occurs between domestic partners. She says more than half of women killed by guns are killed by intimate partners, and that American women are 16 times more likely to be killed by guns than in other developed countries.

Labelle says some very loud voices push back against sensible gun restrictions and drown out other Idahoans, but don't represent most Second Amendment supporters in the state.

"We know that the majority of gun owners support legislation that prevents dangerous folks – and that includes people who have been convicted of intimate-partner violence – from accessing guns," says Labelle.

Labelle says folks can get involved simply by tying an orange ribbon around a tree in their front yard in order to raise awareness about gun violence. More than 400 events are planned around the country for Wear Orange Weekend.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID