NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Friday is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and the start of Wear Orange Weekend, and the Moms Demand Action organization rallied at North Charleston City Hall to honor victims and survivors of gun violence.
Wearing orange to make a difference.
“Orange honors the 110 lives cut short each day and hundreds more wounded by gun violence in this country,” Moms Demand Action member Vicki Schmidt said.
Schmidt lost her best friend in the Sandy Hook School Shooting in 2012. She says we should not have to live in fear that gunfire can ring out at any moment.
“We want to be able to go to church,” she said, “the movies, a concert, a club or the grocery store without fearing the worst.”
She’s part of Moms Demand Action, a group that says gun violence is a national public health crisis affecting both adults.
“South Carolina has the tenth highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S.,” Kristen Moldenhauer, a member of Be Smart for Kids, said.
“Gun violence is now the leading cause of death in children,” Moldenhauer said. “Every year, more than 1600 children, under the age of 18, are killed by guns in the United States.”
That danger came close to home after a shots fired situation at a youth baseball game in April led to calls for reform.
North Charleston police says it’s going to take everyone coming together to find a solution to the problem.
“The kids,” North Charleston Police Lt. Tireka Wright said, “the parents, the schools, legislation, everybody has a part. Sitting on the sidelines, you can’t do that. We have to actually be reactive and active to what’s going on.”
Organizers of the event say 17 lives have been lost to gun violence in North Charleston since the beginning of the year.