AUGUSTA, GA. (WJBF)- Coverage you can count on begins in Richmond County where local activists gathered around at St. Paul’s Church to raise awareness for a stop to gun violence.
For those a part of the Moms Demand Action local group, wearing orange has never meant more than right now as the group’s aim is to minimize the acts of gun violence right in our community and beyond.
“To honor the life of Hadiya Pendleton who was shot and killed by gun violence and her family and friends decided to honor her by wearing orange and that has spread nationally,” Local Group Lead at Moms Demand Action Ellie Benson said.
That young woman’s death was the start of the inaugural “Wear Orange” event.
“We wear orange for her because it’s the color that hunters wear– this, this hunter orange– to be seen in the woods so you could stay safe. It’s the color of safety and that’s what this is all about keeping people safe and helping people who have been victims, find some peace,” Volunteer at Wear Orange Kevin de l’Aigle said.
Event organizers say they wear the stand-out color to raise as much awareness for the stand-out message.
“There’ve been so many shootings, we’ve had two shootings just on thursday night, 92 shootings in the last year in Augusta, in the CSRA. So, I’m really happy to be here on this hollow ground at St. Paul’s where we were kindly allowed to have this remembrance today for people that we’ve lost to gun violence is far too many,” de l’Aigle said.
The goal is to make sure people understand the impacts the lack of gun safety knowledge can have on people and ways it targets all people.
“It overlaps with domestic violence, overlaps with homelessness, food insecurity, hate crimes, all kinds of things that gun violence is a part of. And so I think on the front end, we can start to solve some of those problems by problem solving with our city and community partners to see how we can prevent those things,” Benson said.
And that message is being heard by leaders in the city of Augusta who have the power to make change.
“Awareness is huge. Yesterday was National Gun Violence Awareness Day and we got the Mayor to sign a proclamation for the city to acknowledge that it is a huge problem, it’s a problem here too and we need to address it,” Benson said.
Gun violence is something that has the ability to impact everyone everywhere, and event organizers say they want peace and love to win.