Mayor’s Column: Gun Violence

Voorhees Township is recognizing Friday, June 4, as National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Voorhees Township is again joining thousands of municipalities across the country in recognizing Friday, June 4, as National Gun Violence Awareness Day. It is a day to wear orange to honor and in remembrance of the victims and survivors of gun violence and to recognize that more must be done to reduce gun violence.

Every day in America, an average of 300 men, women and children are shot, nearly one-third of them fatally. After car accidents, gun violence is the leading cause of death of people under the age of 20. Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States.

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.

Since 1968, more individuals have died from guns in the United States than have died on the battlefields of all the wars in the history of the United States. Gun suicide claims the lives of over 23,000 people in the United States each year.

Fifty-eight percent of American adults or someone they care for have experienced gun violence in their lifetime.  Approximately three million American children witness gun violence every year.

More than 14,000 people die in gun homicides.  The United States gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than that of other high-income countries.

Gun Violence Awareness Day is not an anti-gun or pro-gun movement. In our country, we have the right to bear arms, but we also have the responsibility to bear arms safely. Support for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns away from dangerous people. This day is about recognizing that there is a gun violence problem in our country and more can be done to save lives from gun violence.

The idea of National Gun Violence Awareness Day was inspired following the death of Hadiya Pendleton, a teenager who was shot and killed on January 29, 2013 in Chicago just one week after she performed with her high school marching band at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. Her friends and classmates chose to commemorate her life by wearing orange because hunters wear orange in the woods to protect themselves and others from gunfire and orange is the color that symbolizes the value of human life.

Stand up, speak out, get involved and wear orange on June 4 to raise awareness.

**The Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation will host its 1st Annual Golf Outing at Little Mill Country Club, Marlton. 100% of the proceeds will continue to benefit hospitalized children being treated for cancer or other life-threatening illnesses through our Alicia’s Art Cart, and Teen Kit programs. To reserve your Sponsorship Foursome, contact: gdinatale@arvf.org., or call: 856-784-0615\Sponsorships & Tee Signs available at https://e.givesma

** Voorhees Township is offering discounted tickets to Morey’s Piers in Wildwood. Tickets are available in the Municipal Clerk’s Office at Voorhees Town Hall. Prices vary according to the type of ticket and several options are available to residents and non-residents. For more information about tickets, visit voorheesnj.com.