NEWTOWN, Conn. — Over 200 people — all decked out in orange — marched on Edmond Town Hall in Newtown late Thursday afternoon in a call to action as part of National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
The event was organized in part by Connecticut Against Gun Violence and its executive director, Ron Pinciaro, who was among the leaders who addressed the crowd.
Pinciaro told the crowd that little has been accomplished by lawmakers to stem the type of gun violence that hit Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, where 20 first-graders and six educators were slain.
Thursday's rally was part of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which called for citizen to come together to fight for an end to gun violence in America.
The participants were decked out in orange — and #wearorange was the event's hashtag — to symbolize the value of human life.
The movement was borne out of tragedy. On Jan. 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high school student from the south side of Chicago, marched in President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed, the WearOrange.com website says. To honor Hadiya, her friends chose to wear orange. They chose orange because that’s what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.
It has grown into a national movement – and orange is becoming the symbol of gun safety.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released a statement Thursday to honor National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
“Today, the nation recognizes National Gun Violence Awareness Day. But the many Americans whose lives have been forever altered by a gunshot endure the ruthless reality of gun violence every day," he said. "From the parents whose innocent children were horrifically murdered at Sandy Hook, to the families who lost loved ones to gang violence in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend, to the countless friends and relatives who mourn a loss after a suicide or deadly domestic dispute, their wounds are open and their hearts are heavy every single day of the year.
"Congress is complicit in these deaths through its inaction. Until we make meaningful reforms, the list of loved ones lost, families shattered, and communities heartbroken will only continue to grow. We need commonsense gun reform, and we need it now.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.