Durbin, Kelly, Duckworth Introduce Bicameral “Wear Orange” Resolution In Observance Of National Gun Violence Awareness Month

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02), along with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), introduced theWear Orange Resolution, which supports the designation of June 2, 2023, as “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” and June 2023 as “National Gun Violence Awareness Month.” 

Each year, more than 43,000 people in the United States are killed, and 76,000 are injured by gun violence.  

June 2 is the birthday of Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed in a Chicago park in 2013, just days after performing in the parade for President Obama’s second inauguration.  This tragic event moved the lawmakers to designate the first Friday in June as a time to recognize Hadiya nationally.  This resolution marks June 2, 2023, as National Gun Violence Awareness Day in her honor. 

In Hadiya’s memory, the resolution encourages people to wear orange, the color hunters wear for safety, to promote awareness of gun violence, and to serve as a reminder that people are not targets.  Additionally, this resolution aims to bring community leaders together and promote new approaches to creating safer communities.

“It’s clear: gun violence is a public health crisis in this country. From horrific mass shootings to the daily toll of gun deaths and injuries, too many families are losing children, parents, siblings, and loved ones to gunfire,” said Durbin. “As we head into the summer season when shootings typically increase, we remember the victims of gun violence like Hadiya Pendleton.  We must recommit ourselves to real solutions to curb this crisis. I urge my Republican colleagues to work alongside Democrats to pass additional, commonsense gun violence prevention measures to address this national tragedy.” 

“Gun violence is a public health crisis that causes pain and trauma for thousands of Americans across our communities on a daily basis.  Children should not be afraid of getting shot when they are simply living their lives in their own neighborhoods”, said Kelly. “I am committed to passing common-sense solutions that address the root causes of this crisis and stop the cycle of violence.  Our current reality is unacceptable, we have no choice but to act.” 

“It’s heartbreaking how often our nation just barely catches its breath only for that breath to be stolen almost immediately as another wave of preventable gun violence rips loved ones away from each other,” said Duckworth. “During this year’s Gun Violence Awareness Month, we must not only honor the victims of gun violence in Chicago and throughout our country, the teachers and students in far too many schools and patrons in stores and theaters, we must commit to taking action that will protect our children and help keep our communities safe. American families depend on it.”

In the Senate, along with Durbin and Duckworth, the resolution is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Alex Padilla (D-CA). 

The resolution has over 100 original cosponsors in the House of Representatives.