National Gun Violence Day, also known as Wear Orange Day, is an annual event aim at raising awareness and taking action against senseless gun violence. It is followed by Wear Orange Weekend and was first established on June 2, 2015, by teenagers in Chicago who wanted to honor their friend, Hadiya Pendleton, after she was tragically shot and killed.
The friends of Hadiya decided to wear orange as a protest against gun violence, and their efforts had a significant impact, leading to the participation of various states in Wear Orange Weekend. During this time, there will be numerous events where people can learn more about ending gun violence and supporting victims.
Advocates urge individuals to attend these events and join in demanding change. According to safety experts, last year was one of the deadliest years on record for gun violence in the United States, a fact that many residents of Baltimore can attest to. The Baltimore police reported 333 homicides in the city last year, with some victims being children.
Anti-violence organizations in Baltimore continue to spread the same message and encourage people to get involve. They emphasize the importance of healing, creating safe spaces for conflict resolution, and developing conflict management skills. While conflict may be inevitable, they believe that violence is not necessary and can prevented.
Erricka Bridgeford, a representative from one of these organizations, expressed her passion for healing, providing safe spaces for conflict resolution, and teaching conflict management skills. She emphasized that conflict does not have to lead to violence and that there are alternative ways to address and resolve disputes.