HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Local chapters of the NAACP joined forces with Moms Demand Action to raise awareness of gun violence. A group of people donned orange shirts and carried signs calling for gun reform in Big Spring Park on Saturday.
Orange is a color used to signal gun violence awareness nationwide. Advocates say they are trying to create a safer world and orange makes sense because it is the color worn by hunters to protect themselves and others.
Wear Orange marches and rallies are taking place in cities across the country. The events all raise awareness about gun violence, but each is uniquely shaped by the local organizations hosting it.
“I wanted it to be centered around community engagement because I think that’s the most important thing right now,” said Wear Orange event project coordinator Ava Greene.
In Huntsville, speakers impacted by gun violence, moved by recent mass shootings and looking to improve local gun safety measures addressed the gathered crowd.
“It’s an opportunity for people to have their voices heard,” said Alabama Senate Candidate Korey Wilson. “A lot of people I’m speaking to as I’m going door to door, as I’m making phone calls, are saying that we sound have things like background checks.”
The NAACP is putting forth several proposals to counter gun violence including requiring universal background checks, banning assault rifles and enacting tougher penalties against gun traffickers.
“It doesn’t stop here. It’s hard work, but I believe with enough of us, together we can make long-lasting change,” Greene said.
Alabama NAACP President Benard Simelton said he hopes Saturday’s event leads to future action.
“Hopefully it will help motivate people to take further action by calling their state senator, their U.S. Congressman, their federal or state senators and talk about the subject of gun violence and not let it die down,” said Simelton.
In an address on Thursday, President Biden called on Congress to enact measures to curb gun violence in the United States, including banning assault weapons or raising the age to be able to buy one from 18 to 21.