The participants of the action are in favor of tightening control over the circulation of firearms.
Every year, on the first Friday in June, anti-gun violence activists hold rallies in cities across the United States. They wear orange clothing in solidarity with the Pendleton family of Chicago, whose daughter Hadiya was shot and killed in the winter of 2013. A few months after the funeral, friends, and classmates of the murdered Hadiya held meetings in memory of Hadiya. Everyone came in orange T-shirts. Cleopatra Pendleton– mother of the deceased-recalls:
“Her friends came up with the Orange Tree project. Vests of this color are worn by hunters. It means: don’t shoot me.”
The action of schoolchildren from Chicago gradually developed into a nationwide movement Wear Orange. Lisa Geller, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence State Affairs Manager, says: “From June 4 to 6, we celebrate the “orange weekend”. That’s why I’m wearing an orange tank top. We call on the state and federal governments to declare June as Gun Violence Awareness Month and encourage them to take action to address this violence.”
Every day, more than a hundred Americans are killed by bullets, more than 230 are injured. According to human rights activists, the past year – the year of quarantine due to the COVID 19 pandemic-worsened the situation with violence in the country, and sales of small arms broke all records. In 2020, nearly 40 million Americans applied for identity checks with the FBI and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The campaign will last all of June, and dozens of partners of the Coalition for an End to Violence will tell Americans about the dangers of firearms. According to Lisa Geller, over the past year, the situation with violence in the country has worsened, while the sale of weapons broke all records: “When the pandemic began, people were locked in their homes. At this time, gun sales increased dramatically. This was an all-time high. As a result, there is an increase in gun violence.”
Anti-gun violence activists hope the Joe Biden administration will help make society safer. Lisa Geller states: “We are happy to have Joe Biden in the White House. For forty years, he has been an advocate for the prevention of armed violence. Biden defended the Law against Violence against Women, which is now stuck in the Senate and requires reconsideration to protect women, and not just them, from domestic violence. So we are confident that the Biden administration will do more.”