According to a press statement released by Wear Orange.org, “more than 200 organizations, cultural influencers, elected officials and Americans across the country participated in the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day by wearing orange.”
Apparently unconcerned about the irony of wearing “Prison Orange” to denounce gun violence, more than 55,000 people pledged their support for the “Wear Orange” campaign. The new gun- ban tradition was:
“…inspired by a group of Chicago teens that asked classmates to commemorate the life of their friend, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed one week after marching in President Obama’s second inaugural parade – by wearing orange, a color that hunters use to protect themselves in the woods.”
The attempt to link hunting with gun violence was not lost on the NRA. In an article published in the NRA’s official journal America’s 1st Freedom that:
“…if you see any friends or neighbors wearing orange on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, consider the possibility that they: a) don’t support your right to self-defense; and b) have a rather naïve view of what constitutes real activism.
The color orange is supposed to relate to hunters’ safety gear, but the connection is unclear; mostly this is an opportunity for people to feel “socially conscious” while Bloomberg’s minions boast of ostensible “grassroots” support.”
As an alternative activity, the NRA suggested that readers mark the day by going to a shooting range, splurging on that new gun or taking someone shooting for the first time.
Event organizers say that what started out as a high school activity “has grown into a national movement, elevating orange as a symbol for the value of human life – and a way to visibly honor the “88 American lives cut short by gun violence every day…” (need citation)
Highlights of National Gun Violence Awareness Day included:
• President Barack Obama, Julianne Moore, Russell Simmons, Sarah Silverman, Michael Stipe, Katie Couric, Aasif Mandvi, Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael J. Fox, Jason Bateman, Padma Lakshmi, Rachel Dratch, Reverend Al Sharpton, Andrew Bird, Kristen Schaal, Alyssa Milano, TV on the Radio and Piper Kerman who tweeted #WearingOrange,
• House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Gun Violence Chairman Mike Thompson, and the House Democratic Policy and Steering Committee who wore orange in conjunction with National Gun Violence Awareness Day to highlight the need for legislative action to protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence,
• The New York Mets which became the first pro sports franchise to join the campaign releasing a photo of the entire team wearing orange,
• Four national women’s magazines – Cosmopolitan, More, Essence and Nylon Magazine – who voiced strong support for #WearingOrange,
• More than 60 organizations joined the coalition including American Academy of Pediatrics, Amnesty International, Americans for Responsible Solutions, The Brady Campaign, Everytown for Gun Safety, Hadiya’s Promise, Media Matters for America, Moms Demand Action and Moveon.org Civic Action,
• 68 mayors from 21 states representing 24,118,777 people including De Blasio (New York), Garcetti (Los Angeles) Nutter (Philadelphia) and Walsh (Boston) – cities with gun ban ordinances that have seen sharp rises in gun crime following the birth of the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” movement,
• HBO debut of a trailer for its “hard-hitting new documentary”, Requiem for the Dead: American Spring 2014 and,
• In Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel has curtailed police powers and shootings are up 28% over this same time last year, the Wear Orange campaign hosted a Wear Orange Party for Peace to honor the lives of those affected by gun violence…
…And other pointless, ineffective, “we care” feel-good activities nationwide.