Through the efforts of Delran Council, Mayor Kenneth Paris and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a non-partisan grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures to help reduce gun violence, the township has taken a stand on the national conversation.
The council has declared the first Friday in June as National Gun Violence Awareness Day to honor and remember all the victims and survivors of gun violence and to declare that, as a country, they must do more to reduce gun violence.
“We are extremely excited that Delran has joined the many towns and cities around South Jersey and the country in recognizing June 7 as Wear Orange and National Gun Violence Awareness Day,” said Vandana Nittoor, the local communications lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We are very grateful to the officials of Delran for honoring our request and issuing the proclamation declaring June 7 as Wear Orange and National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The fact that towns like Delran have issued this proclamation demonstrates that there is grassroots support for a conversation on gun sense in our country.”
According to Nittoor and the council, Wear Orange and National Gun Violence Awareness Day was inspired by Project Orange Tree, an awareness campaign to commemorate the life of Hadiya Pendleton. A group of Hadiya’s friends asked their classmates to wear orange because hunters wear orange to announce themselves to other hunters while they are in the woods. The color symbolizes the value of human life.
“Pendleton was shot and killed at the age of 15, just one week after performing at President Obama’s second inaugural parade in 2013,” said Nittoor. “In June 2015, on what would have been her 18th birthday, a broad-based coalition launched the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Participants were asked to stand up, speak out, and wear orange to honor the life of Hadiya and the lives of all other victims and survivors of gun violence.
“Therefore, to honor the more than 100 Americans who are shot and killed every day, and the hundreds more that are injured,” Nittoor continued, “the Wear Orange campaign invites everyone who agrees that we can do more to save American lives from gun violence to do one simple thing, wear orange.”
According to Nittoor, the Moms Demand Action group supports the Second Amendment, but it recognizes that with the right to own guns comes the responsibility of making sure communities are safe.
Moms Demand Action has partnered with Project Wear Orange and has been instrumental in obtaining proclamations declaring June 7 as Wear Orange and National Gun Violence Awareness Day in several towns across South Jersey including Delran, Cherry Hill, Voorhees and Mt. Laurel.
While June 7 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, those looking to do more can join family and friends for a Walk Orange Peace Walk on Saturday, June 8. The walk will be followed by family-friendly music, activities and food, co-sponsored by the Camden County Freeholders and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, at Roosevelt Plaza Park in Camden. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For those looking for more information or want to get involved, they can visit the Moms Demand Action official website at momsdemandaction.org.