National Gun Violence Awareness

We have an obligation to respond. Violence — in our homes, our schools and streets, our nation and world — is destroying the lives, dignity and hopes of millions of our sisters and brothers.
– U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1994

The local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is reaching out to faith communities in our region to inform us that each year the first weekend in June is set aside to acknowledge and amplify the impact of gun violence in this country.

Friday, June 2nd will be recognized as the 9th National Gun Violence Awareness Day followed by Wear Orange Weekend, June 3rd & 4th. During Wear Orange, everyone who believes we can and must solve the problem of gun violence in America will take action and stand together in a bold statement of resilience and fortitude as we advance our efforts to prevent gun violence.

On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a high school student from Chicago, marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed on a playground. Hadiya’s childhood friends decided to commemorate her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. Wear Orange originated on June 2, 2015, and it is observed nationally on the first Friday in June and the following weekend.

There are countless stories behind every gun violence statistic – parents who never got to kiss their kids goodbye, gunshot victims living with physical and emotional wounds, and entire families heartbroken by gun suicide. During National Gun Violence Awareness weekend, we take stock of the terrible human toll of America’s gun violence crisis – and recommit ourselves to preventing it.

We are asking that you recognize the weekend of June 2-4th in a way that is appropriate to your faith tradition; such as a prayer, wearing an orange ribbon in support, a moment of silence, or lighting a candle. We also wish to extend an invitation to your congregation to attend an interfaith observance of National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2nd, 7-8 PM at St. Johns Episcopal Church, 405 N. Saginaw Rd., Midland.

Gun violence in any form leaves an enduring mark on the lives of those who are personally impacted. The United States has faced at least 131 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. There have been more mass shootings than days in 2023. More than likely, gun violence has affected people in your faith community, and is definitely on the minds of our teachers and school children.

If you would more information about our local group, please contact Kathy Kinkema. Thank you for your spiritual support in this effort.