Friday, June 7, is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, followed by Wear Orange weekend on June 8-9. Wear Orange is a nationwide event aimed at bringing awareness to the problem of gun violence in our country.
Orange is the color that the friends of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton chose to wear to honor her life after she was killed by gunfire in Chicago, just a week after performing at President Obama’s 2013 inauguration.
Gun violence is a growing problem in America. Roughly 100 people are killed each day by guns. This means that every year, over 36,000 Americans are killed in acts of gun violence, making America’s gun death rate 10 times higher than other high-income countries.
Firearms are now the second-leading cause of death for children and teens in our country, and the leading cause of death for Black children and teens.
Furthermore, the firearm suicide rate in the U.S. is eight times that of other high-income countries, and women in the U.S. are 16 times more likely to be killed with a gun than women in other high-income countries.
Here in the Valley, we have experienced our own problems with gun violence, including the tragic shooting at the Yountville Veterans’ Home last year and a mass shooting threat at Napa schools in January.
There are, however, several ways in which members of our community can take action and help solve this problem: wear orange this coming weekend to bring awareness to the issue of gun violence; participate in Rock the Ride on June 29 in Yountville (rocktheridenapa.com), a ride/walk to raise funds for local and national organizations working towards a future free from gun violence; write elected representatives to voice support for common sense guns laws; learn about gun violence restraining orders; practice safe gun storage; and consider joining the Napa Valley chapter of Moms Demand Action (text READY to 644-33), a nonpartisan group supporting gun violence survivors and working for common sense gun laws.
Our group will be at the Napa Farmers Market on June 3 to hand out orange ribbons ahead of this weekend’s events, and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss solutions with market attendees. On Tuesday, we will also be receiving proclamations from the city of Napa and the town of Yountville declaring June 7 National Gun Violence Awareness Day in both Napa and Yountville.
We thank Mayor Techel and Mayor Dunbar for their leadership on this issue, and we hope you'll consider participating in one of the many Wear Orange events taking place in the North Bay this weekend (wearorange.org).
Ilana Adleson, Yountville
Monica Boyles, Napa
Napa Valley Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America