In wake of Virginia Beach shootings, gun reform activists will turn Morristown orange, June 7

Volunteer ties orange ribbon around tree, to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Photo courtesy of Moms Demand Action.
Volunteer ties orange ribbon around tree, to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Photo courtesy of Moms Demand Action.
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Activists in Morristown plan to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day by painting South Street orange, from 10 am to 11:30 am this Friday, June 7, 2019.

The event is hosted by Morris County Moms Demand Action, and comes in the wake of last week’s shooting at the Virginia Beach municipal building, where a gunman killed 12 people.

So far in 2019, some 149 people have been killed and 585 have been injured by gun violence nationwide, according to Wikipedia.

The awareness day will commence on the steps of Morristown Town Hall, at 200 South St., where participants plan to paint South Street orange in honor of victims of gun violence.

Orange ribbons will be tied around lampposts, the spotlights of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church will turn orange, and store owners will be asked to hang placards in their windows.

“We Wear Orange because we have had enough of senseless, daily gun violence. Thoughts and prayers, nice as they may be, accomplish nothing. We want to show the country that we will not stop fighting until we eradicate senseless daily gun violence,” said Jeri Patasnik of Morris County Moms Demand Action.

Moms Demand Action outside Morristown town hall in 2018. Photo courtesy of the organization.
Moms Demand Action outside Morristown town hall in 2018. Photo courtesy of the organization.

The handguns and gun suppressor used by the suspect in Virginia Beach were purchased legally, according to authorities.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam now is repeating calls for a ban on assault weapons and ammunition magazines holding 10 or more rounds, universal background checks, and limiting gun purchases to one per month–steps he said the state Legislature refused to take after 33 people were gunned down at Virginia Tech in 2007.

The National Rifle Association said the governor was “exploiting a tragedy” to deflect attention from his political problems.

The Wear Orange movement began in 2013, after Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl from Chicago, was shot to death just one week after performing at President Obama’s second inaugural celebration.

After her passing, Hadiya’s family wore orange to honor her life. Since then, orange has become the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement across the country.

About Moms Demand Action

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created by a grieving mother, Shannon Watts, after the 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Mayor Tim Dougherty presents proclamation to Moms Demand Action gun reform activists, May 14, 2019. From left: Terri Laurens, Fern Wolkin, Theresa Piliero, Joni Gilton, Thea Lintern and Jeri Patasnik. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Mayor Tim Dougherty presents proclamation to Moms Demand Action gun reform activists, May 14, 2019. From left: Terri Laurens, Fern Wolkin, Theresa Piliero, Joni Gilton, Thea Lintern and Jeri Patasnik. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The organization now has chapters in every state. The nonpartisan grassroots organization has volunteers working to change local, state, and federal laws. Members partnered with Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2013.

Moms Demand Action supports the second amendment, but believes guns bring responsibility.

“Enforcing common sense gun safety measures would close loopholes in our current system and save countless lives. We urge our legislators to affect change and take action to end the gun violence epidemic that is killing far too many of our loved ones,” the organization said in a statement.

Vowing to keep pressing for reforms, Moms Demand Action asserted: “We deserve better and our loved ones deserve better. We will continue to educate, motivate, and mobilize supporters to take action to finally reclaim America’s safety.”

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