MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Activists and supporters of ending gun violence wore orange on Friday to show solidarity in the nation's fight to stop the unlawful use of these weapons.
"We want to get legislation on the books that doesn't violate people's second amendment rights," said Diane Dredale, chairperson of the National Council of Jewish Women's gun violence prevention committee.
Dredale, a resident of Summit, came to a Maplewood Township Committee meeting this week along with members of the grassroots group Moms Demand Action to advocate for ending gun violence. They urged members of the community to raise awareness about the dangers of gun violence and about creating and enforcing stricter gun laws.
"When gun bills are going through the statehouse, change happens," Dredale said.
The advocates who spoke during Wednesday's meeting want to see laws passed that address gun trafficking, fraudulent gun purchases, keep illegal guns off the streets, and that require guns to be stored safely.
"My area is teaching moms on gun violence prevention strategies," said Malia Herman, a Maplewood resident and mom with Moms Demand Action.
Herman, the mother of two children, said she first got involved with activism to prevent gun violence after the Sandy Hook Massacre.
"It really hit home for me to see all of the children on television," Herman said.
She spoke about the importance of wearing orange clothing or displaying an orange object at local businesses. Herman, Dredale and the other members of Moms Demand Action read a proclamation during the township committee meeting. She also spoke about the importance of wearing Wear Orange Day is June 7, and is part of the Wear Orange movement.
The Wear Orange movement started after Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago a week after she performed in the inaugural parade for then President Barack Obama in 2013. Pendleton was 15 when she died. Her friends wore orange in her honor.
South Orange will honor the Wear Orange movement during the Board of Trustees meeting on June 10.