I’m #wearingorange for Shaq

I’m #wearingorange today for my little cousin Shaquille, who would’ve celebrated his 22nd birthday on this very day with his family, friends, and daughter that he never had the opportunity to meet face-to-face because she was born the day before his funeral. He lost his life at the hands of someone else. The issue of gun violence is far beyond my cousin’s life, but everyone else who has lost someone because of another person’s careless acts.

11266593_10100595077137896_3977332200622561631_nSo why do we wear orange? Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. According to the Wear Orange, “The color orange symbolizes the value of human life. Hunters wear orange to alert other hunters that they’re there – as a way to care of their own life and the lives of others.” However, a few years ago in Chicago, a group of teenagers set out a call to action for their friends to wear orange on this day in honor of their friend who lost their life to gun violence.

Writer Danica Davidson shared “15 Things to Know about Gun Violence that will Have You Wearing Orange Tomorrow” on MTV’s Web site. The statistics were heartbreaking. For instance, did you know that in the United States, a person is “twenty times more likely to lose your life from a gun than you are in any other first world nation” or “Federal law doesn’t stop people guilty of domestic violence and stalking from owning guns. State laws vary on how they handle this issue, but the majority of American women killed by guns are killed by a significant other.”

What are ways to bring awareness to gun violence and those lives lost to it?

  • Host a balloon release in memory of those lives lost to gun violence
  • Sponsor a walk to raise support for the cause
  • Contact your representatives in Congress and local newspaper to tell your story
  • Find local organizations to get involved with who focus on gun violence prevention
  • Mentor the youth. It starts early.
  • Attend a peaceful demonstration or public prayer service
  • Ask worship and/or community leaders to host educational workshops to end gun violence
  • Learn your state’s concealed weapon laws

For more information about National Gun Violence Awareness Day, visit http://www.wearorange.org.

Did I miss something? What are other ways to prevent and bring awareness to gun violence prevention? Share with me.

❤ Starkey

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