DENVILLE, NJ – Denville Mayor Thomas Andes has proclaimed Friday, June 7, 2019, as “National Gun Violence Awareness Day.” Formally observed on the first Friday in June, National Gun Violence Awareness Day began in response to the killing by gunfire of Hadiya Pendleton, an honor student and drum majorette who marched in former U.S. President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade one week before being fatally shot in the back.
Adele Black of Rockaway Township, Laura Kaufman of Denville Township, Maureen Mulvaney of Boonton Township and Tiffany Starr of Denville Township accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Morris County division of Everytown for Gun Safety. Everytown for Gun Safety is a national movement of activists working to end gun violence and build safer communities.
The survivor of gun violence in 1994 at the age of 15, Starr is an Everytown Survivor Fellow. While Starr survived her gun violence incident, her father was not as fortunate. He was shot and killed at the age of 42 in their family home in the act of saving Starr and her mother and sister from an intruder wielding a rifle.
Starr shared her story and thanked Mayor Andes for once again recognizing National Gun Violence Awareness Day. She encouraged everyone to show their support by wearing orange on June 7, the official color of the movement. Hunters wear orange to protect themselves, and Pendleton’s friends wore orange in her honor after she was gunned down.
According to Everytown’s website, “Every day, 100 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured.” Substantiating the foregoirng, 12 individuals were shot and killed and several injured by a lone gunman in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Friday, May 31.
“The effects of gun violence extend far beyond [the] casualties—gun violence shapes the lives of millions of Americans who witness it, know someone who was shot, or live in fear of the next shooting,” Everytown’s website further states. “Fifty-eight percent of American adults or someone they care for have experienced gun violence in their lifetime. Approximately three million American children witness gun violence every year.”
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