MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The Mayor and Borough Council recognized the 5th National Gun Violence Awareness Day to be celebrated on June 7 at the Tuesday, May 21 council meeting. Mayor Paul Mirabelli read a proclamation honoring the day. Pam Zajac of Moms Demand Action also spoke at the meeting urging everyone to support gun violence awareness and to wear orange on June 7.

“Every day, 100 Americans are killed by gun violence and on average there are nearly 13,000 gun homicides every year,” the proclamation read. Furthermore, “support for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns away from people with dangerous histories,” Mirabelli read.

The Annual Gun Violence Awareness day is honoring victims of gun violence. Among them is Hadiya Pendleton, a teenager who marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade in January 2013 was shot and killed just weeks later. The idea of wearing orange was inspired by a group of Hadiya’s friends who asked her classmates to commemorate her life by wearing orange, the color that hunters wear to announce themselves to other hunters in the woods. The color also symbolizes the value of human life.

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Zajac noted that only the big shooting events make it to the news although shooting deaths occur every day. There has been 121 mass shooting in the United States so far in 2019. Sadly we only remember the most recent tragedies, she said.

She asked for a moment of silence to honor all shooting victims, especially those not being reported in national news. “If we spent one minute of silence for every victim killed this year we would have to remain silent for 252 hours, one and half week of silence, and the year is not even over yet,” she said.

Furthermore, Zajac noted that while the moment of silence honors the victims, “we must also honor the victims by using our voices as loudly as we possibly can.” This is the reason why we are here tonight, she added. “We need entire communities to join with our neighbors and come together and say - no more! We can end gun violence but it is going to take you to stand up, to show up and to speak up,” she stated.

Zajac invited everyone to the first Union County Wear Orange Peace Walk for Gun Violence Awareness to honor the victims of gun violence to be held at Nomahegan Park in Cranford on June 8 at 9 am.

Joan Peters told Tapinto that the next Moms Demand Action Membership/New Member Meeting will be at LaGrande Park Building in LaGrande Park in Fanwood (on LaGrande and Martine Ave.) on June 11 at 10 am. There will be orientation for new members, calendar updates along with opportunities to learn about the advocacy and letter writing campaigns.