Social media turned a little more orange than usual on June 1.
It's National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and for the past several years, people have marked the occasion by wearing orange. The tradition was started by the friends and family of Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed in 2013 at the age of 15 on the south side of Chicago. There was nothing particularly unique about Pendleton's death. Every day, innocent children get shot. With her death, however, a community came together to say "enough," similar to the movement we saw after the February 2018 Parkland shooting.
Orange has long been associated with gun safety, typically worn by hunters so they stand out to others while shooting. Safety, not confiscation or regulation, was the driving message of the movement, which made orange the perfect color to represent it.
Celebrities and everyday citizens took to social media to show their support for the gun safety movement by wearing orange.
Actors Mark Hamill, Julianne Moore, Melissa Joan Hart, Alyssa Milano, and Mayim Bialik posted images.
Let's all #WearOrange for #NationalGunViolenceAwarenessDay honoring the 96 Americans killed every day w/ a gun & th… https://t.co/U2fJJfAIqq— Mark Hamill (@Mark Hamill)1527867304.0
I #WearOrange because I beleive that every American has the responsibility to change our culture and work to end gu… https://t.co/QnZ23gvUOm— Julianne Moore (@Julianne Moore)1527857880.0
I #wearorange today for Jaime Guttenberg. She was 14 years old when she was murdered in the Parkland shooting. Jaim… https://t.co/AHrjJH9esq— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa Milano)1527861671.0
Today, I #WearOrange to give a voice to the 96 Americans who die, and the hundreds more who are injured, by gun vio… https://t.co/P765ODeyOw— Mayim Bialik (@Mayim Bialik)1527869273.0
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kate Walsh, Ike Barinholtz, Ben Platt, and Patrick Fabian took part as well.
Today, I #WearOrange to give a voice to the 96 Americans who die and the hundreds more who are injured by gun viole… https://t.co/9A4BAFPE1V— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@Julia Louis-Dreyfus)1527884411.0
Today, I #WearOrange to give a voice to the 96 Americans who die and the hundreds more who are injured by gun viole… https://t.co/4urtSfZ2Sy— Kate Walsh (@Kate Walsh)1527868801.0
Today I #WearOrange to honor the victims of gun violence. We need common sense gun laws NOW! Text ORANGE to 644-33… https://t.co/6WMXZvDEhm— Ike Barinholtz (@Ike Barinholtz)1527866172.0
Enough is enough is enough. Today I #WearOrange because the US has a gun violence epidemic and thanks to the NRA ou… https://t.co/5WqDAMnooz— Ben Platt (@Ben Platt)1527869925.0
I support common sense gun laws. #WearOrange #VoteThemOut https://t.co/18kRqWNnVj— Patrick Fabian (@Patrick Fabian)1527869705.0
Felicity Huffman, Clark Gregg, Angela Basesett, Katie Aselton, and Kevin Bacon added to some of the actor-based campaign images.
Let’s paint America orange for gun violence awareness! I #WearOrange to give a voice to the many who are impacted b… https://t.co/NVDeTjsCUz— Felicity Huffman (@Felicity Huffman)1527881458.0
Musicians such as Ani DiFranco, Spoon, The National, Cyndi Lauper, and Andrew Bird joined in.
i dream of a world where “everything is a sanctuary and nothing is a gun” (@danez_smif) -ani #WearOrange @everytown https://t.co/VnXHdUZN3W— ani difranco (@ani difranco)1527867648.0
June 1st is Gun Violence Awareness Day – today we honor the victims and survivors of gun violence. https://t.co/4F8NiZ1IrT— SPOON (@SPOON)1527864122.0
“I’m choosing to wear orange tonight in solidarity with National Gun Violence Awareness Day. BONUS: It matches my… https://t.co/WEaD2uigPG— The National (@The National)1527880276.0
Designers Christian Siriano and Zac Posen took part in the campaign.
Today we #wearorange to honor the lives that have been lost and to end gun violence. Text ORANGE to 644-33 to find… https://t.co/WlAjThT2Oy— Christian Siriano (@Christian Siriano)1527871232.0
Today, I #WearOrange to give a voice to the 96 Americans who die and the hundreds more who are injured by gun viole… https://t.co/eUisBk9vqt— Zac Posen (@Zac Posen)1527864884.0
Journalist Katie Couric did, too.
It’s #NationalGunViolenceAwarenessDay & I #WearOrange because 96 people are shot and killed in an average day in Am… https://t.co/TC5ziZ0TMu— Katie Couric (@Katie Couric)1527854235.0
Gun safety is a cause we should all be able to rally around, no matter where we land on the political spectrum.
We all want a safer country, and we all believe our children should be able to go to school without having to worry about whether or not they'll come home at the end of the day. While the "National Rifle Association versus the rest of the world" mentality plays a big role in media coverage about responses to gun violence, the truth is that even the NRA's own members support many of the same actions supported by organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety.
After you share your #WearOrange look today, make sure you text ORANGE to 644-33 and find a Wear Orange event near… https://t.co/N3vFWf2K0o— Everytown (@Everytown)1527880509.0
A Monmouth University poll found that nearly 70% of NRA members support closing background check loopholes which allow the private sale of firearms from one person to another (compared with 78% support among non-NRA members). Taking steps to ensure that every person who obtains a gun has passed a background check would be a good start in keeping firearms out of the hands of people who shouldn't legally have them.
Another idea that's gaining support in some states is banning people convicted of domestic abuse from owning guns. While a federal law already bans possession for some abusers, states are making it easier for police and prosecutors to enforce.
The truth is that we're in this together, even if it's not always easy. If there's hope of changing this culture of gun violence, it has to begin with acknowledging the problem, drawing attention to it, and mobilizing for change — and that starts with all of us. If you want to take action on gun safety, visit wearorange.org for more info about how you can get involved.