CAMDEN, NJ — In response to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, last weekend, the Camden City Hall building and the James J. Florio Center for Public Service will glow orange beginning tonight to promote gun violence awareness.
The lights facing the buildings will remain the color until the end of August, a county spokesperson said.
Flags outside of Camden City Hall on Monday flew at half-staff to mourn the 31 victims and dozens more who were wounded in the attacks. The shooting in El Paso on Aug. 3 left 22 people dead and 24 others injured, then just 13 hours later, the shooting in Dayton saw nine people killed, and another 27 injured.
Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said the "senseless killings" in this country will not end "until we are willing, as a nation, to identify the problem and call it what it is."
“We have a gun violence epidemic in the United States which is driven by the widespread availability of military-grade, assault-style weapons," Cappelli said. "These weapons of war have no place in a civilized society, and they should not be available for civilian purchase.”
With the two latest incidents in El Paso and Dayton, the number of mass shootings in America in 2019 reached 251, according to the Gun Violence Archive. This uses the definition of a mass shooting of an event involving at least four people being shot.
Since 2015, the country has suffered through six of the 12 deadliest mass shootings in American history.
“We are mourning those who died, and keeping their families in our thoughts,” Cappelli said. “We’re using these colors to say enough is enough. It’s time to stand up and do something to protect our families and our neighbors from this horrific violence.”