In an effort to call attention to the issue of gun violence, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson proclaimed June 4 as Gun Violence Awareness Day throughout the city.
Gun violence is one of the most pressing issues in the country. Every day, more than 100 Americans die from gun-related violence and another 230 are injured, according to nonprofit organization Wear Orange. Mayor Johnson included the organization in a recent tweet to announce Gun Violence Awareness Day.
“I have officially proclaimed today Gun Violence Awareness Day in the @CityOfDallas,” Johnson wrote in a June 4 Twitter post. “Today, we mourn for those we have lost to this scourge, and we #WearOrange to raise awareness of this issue. We must work together to end this senseless violence so our communities can thrive.”
The Wear Orange is based on the color that friends wore to remember 15-year-old Chicagoan Hadiya Pendleton who was fatally shot after performing at the second inaugural parade for former President Barack Obama in 2013. According to Sandy Hook Promise, the color was chosen because hunters wear orange to protect themselves. Citizens were encouraged to wear orange on June 4 to raise awareness and show support for the campaign.
“Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States,” according to Wear Orange’s website. “Every year, more than 3,000 children and teens are shot and killed, and another 15,000 are shot and wounded – an average of nine children and teens shot and killed and 42 shot and wounded every day.”
Pendleton was from Chicago, but the movement is being followed nationwide. Nonprofit organization Sandy Hook Promise is also raising awareness for Wear Orange and Gun Violence Awareness Day. In 2012, a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School claimed the lives of 20 students and six teachers.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, more than 2,000 people perished in domestic-violence-related shootings last year, a 4% jump from 2019, reported PBS News. Some experts believe that COVID-19 related reasons may be exacerbating the problem.
“Domestic violence is a public health crisis that existed before COVID. But certainly, as with all the things we see relating to COVID, it’s almost like a Petri dish,” Maisha Colter, CEO of the nonprofit Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA), said, according to PBS News. “If you had a problem before COVID in whatever sphere — domestic violence, health issues, racism — COVID has elevated it.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control data (CDC), approximately 23% of all American killings from 2010 to 2019 were domestic violence related homicides, and more than half of those involved gun violence.
The 2017 study from the CDC revealed that roughly half of all female homicides are caused by a current or former male partner.