Durbin, Duckworth, Kelly Introduce Resolution Establishing "National Gun Violence Awareness Day"

To bring attention to the issue of gun violence, Americans are encouraged to wear orange on June 2nd – what would’ve been Hadiya Pendleton’s 20th birthday

CHICAGO – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL) joined together to introduce a resolution in the House and Senate establishing June 2nd as “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” and designating June as “National Gun Violence Awareness Month.”  Every day in America, an average of around 300 men, women, and children are shot, 93 of them fatally.  Establishing a day to bring attention to the issue of gun violence honors the thousands of Americans who are victims of gun violence every year, including Hadiya Pendleton who was shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois on January 29, 2013.  The resolution also urges citizens and community leaders to concentrate heightened attention on gun violence during June, when gun violence typically spikes at the start of the summer months, and to work together to make our communities safer from this violence.

“June 2nd would have been Hadiya Pendleton’s 20th birthday.  To honor her and the tens of thousands of people who are killed by gunfire each year, I will be proud to wear orange on June 2nd,” said Durbin.  “There have been too many funerals, too many families and communities devastated by gun violence.  On this Gun Violence Awareness Day, I urge Americans of all backgrounds and political views to come together and focus on ways to keep Americans safe from this gun violence epidemic.  That should be something that everyone can get behind.”

“Far too many of our citizens and loved ones have had their lives tragically cut short by senseless gun violence,” said Duckworth.  “I encourage Illinoisans and Americans across the country to wear orange on June 2nd to honor Hadiya and every other victim of gun violence.  National Gun Violence Awareness Day is a time to reaffirm our commitment to taking action that will protect our children and keep our communities safe from gun violence.”

“Each June 2nd, we wear orange in honor of the thousands of Americans needlessly lost every year to gun violence because of Washington’s inaction.  This is America – moms shouldn’t be afraid to send their children to the playground, school or the corner store,” said Kelly.  “The resolution is a renewal of our commitment to do something and save lives.  As a nation and community, we are committed to passing life-saving, common sense gun reform laws, ending illegal interstate gun trafficking and creating opportunities.  Our young people deserve an America where communities challenge them to pick up pencils and books instead of weapons.” 

Senators cosponsoring the resolution include: U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Tim Kaine (D-VA).

Representatives cosponsoring the resolution include: U.S. Representatives Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29), Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA-44), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Katherine M. Clark (D-MA-05), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO-01), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO-05), Danny K. Davis (D-IL-07), Diana DeGette (D-CO-01), Val Butler Demings (D-FL-10), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH-11), Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL-04), Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), James R. Langevin (D-RI-02), Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI-14), Gwen Moore (D-WI-04), Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ-10), Stacey E. Plaskett (D-VI), Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08), Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02), Bobby L. Rush (D-IL-01), Bradley Scott Schneider (D-IL-10), Terri A. Sewell (D-AL-07), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS-02), Mike Thompson (D-CA-05), Norma J. Torres (D-CA-35), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12).

Gun violence is an issue that affects communities in every state across the country.  Each year, more than 32,000 people in America are killed and 80,000 are injured by gunfire.  On June 2, 2017, people across the nation will join together in the third annual “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” and will wear the color orange to bring attention to the issue of gun violence.