Councilwoman Sexton Smith and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America call for everyone to wear orange today
Louisville – Every day in this country, 100 Americans are killed by gun violence and on average there are nearly 13,000-gun homicides every year. Just in the last two weeks, Louisville Metro has experienced eight homicides and six shootings. All connected with gun violence.
Today, Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed with guns than people in other developed countries. Firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children and teens.
“Statistics like these are not acceptable. Our communities are our direct connection to one and another. Violence breaks that connection forcing us to be fearful. We cannot ignore the tragedy of gun violence and its effects on all of us,” said Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith (D-4), who joined Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America on Friday, June 7th.
Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day across America. It is a day to wear orange and work toward an understanding that gun violence touches everyone in all communities.
"In 2013, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendelton marched in President Obama’s 2nd Inaugural Parade with her high school. Just a few days later she became a statistic when she was shot and killed in Chicago, another innocent victim of the plague of gun violence. After her death, her friends wore orange to raise awareness about gun violence in their community. Then, Hadiya’s friends asked all of us to Wear Orange to honor her and all the other Americans killed and injured by gun violence every single day,” said Cathy Mekus, the Louisville Local Group Lead of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Since the launch of Wear Orange and the first ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day in 2015, the effort has reached millions of Americans and Orange has become the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement.”
Councilwoman Sexton Smith announced that for a third year, Historic City Hall’s Clock Tower will glow in the color of orange for this weekend. For a third year, the Big Four Bridge will also turn orange to remind travelers of the importance of this effort.
This year, anyone who walks downtown will notice that all CityPost Kiosks will glow orange at night during the weekend to remind everyone that gun violence has taken a toll on far too many people and families in this country.
Since the beginning of the year, Louisville Metro has seen a total of 39 homicides and 83 shootings.
“I encourage everyone to join us. Wear orange today and through out the weekend,” said Sexton Smith. “Stand with us and send the message that together we can resolve our differences without a gun. We must raise our awareness of this problem in our country. Together, we can honor the lives of gun violence victims and at the same time show our compassion in calling for change.”
“The statistics of gun violence are staggering. Every year, nearly 40,000 Americans are shot and killed. This is such a complex issue - homicides, suicides, urban issues, rural issues, domestic abuse, unintentional shootings due to unsecured guns - these are all results of complicated factors,” said Mekus, “But no matter the causes, we join together to demonstrate that more can and should be done to reduce gun violence in our communities. This is an epidemic that must be tackled from all sides and it will take all of us, from our unique perspectives and walks of life, to make positive change.”
On Saturday, June 8th, the Kentucky-Louisville Wear Orange Picnic will get under way at Sheppard Park beginning at 12:00pm. There will be a community walk to demonstrate commitment to gun safety, then a celebration to that commitment with a free picnic in the park. There will be music, games, face painting, group yoga and exercise classes, and more. Important information about keeping you and your family safe from gun violence will be available and don’t forget, WEAR ORANGE!
Sheppard Park is located at 1601 Magazine Street.
To learn more about WEAR ORANGE and National Gun Violence Awareness Day go to: www.wearorange.org