On June 3, 2019, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro and Summit County Council passed a resolution recognizing June 7 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day and called on residents to honor and remember all victims and survivors of gun violence. At-Large Councilmembers Elizabeth Walters and Clair Dickinson sponsored the legislation. Executive Shapiro encouraged County employees to wear orange in recognition of the awareness campaign.
The Wear Orange Campaign began in response to the death of a Chicago teen in 2013. Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed at age 15, just one week after she performed at President Obama’s second inaugural parade. Her friends wore orange in her honor and asked for others to stand up and speak out against gun violence. The selection of orange as the campaign color is a nod to hunting culture and acknowledges that America has a proud heritage of responsible gun ownership and reflects the value of human life.
“Every day we lose family members and friends to preventable tragedies. We can and must do better,” said Executive Shapiro. “I know our state and federal lawmakers can find shared ground to balance 2nd Amendment rights with common sense gun laws that will protect our communities from devastating gun violence.”
According to the Wear Orange Campaign, 100 Americans are killed each day by guns and firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children and teens. Research indicates that access to a gun increases the risk of death by suicide by three times.
“More children are dying from gun violence than ever before and each year we are seeing more school shootings than the previous year,” said Councilmember Walters. “By raising awareness, we encourage our state and federal lawmakers to take steps towards real change on this issue. Enough is enough.”