HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT) – National End Gun Violence Day is on Saturday, so you may notice folks around Huntsville, and the state of Alabama, wearing orange in honor of the lives that were lost to gun violence in the United States.
This day of recognition started in 2015 when a teenager named Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed by a stray bullet while with friends in a park in Chicago. She had just performed at events for then-President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Hadiya’s favorite color was orange. The President of the Alabama chapter of the NAACP says the color also has a deeper meaning.
“How are we going to stop this epidemic that we see with guns? We’re putting law enforcement in that position where they have to make that difficult decision,” Bernard Simelton tells News 19.
The epidemic of catastrophic proportions has raged across the country in recent weeks. It has dominated the headlines in the United States frequently since the death of Hadiya, which continues to put a spotlight on gun violence.
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“Local legislators and government officials, as well as individual citizens, have said, ‘well the answer is to give more guns to people’ and that way you don’t know who is carrying a weapon so you’re not going to do anything and that is absolutely not the solution,” said Simelton. “The solution is common-sense gun laws in which Alabama and a lot of the southern states have refused to implement or pass has infuriated those who have pushed for gun safety.”
Linda Biegel Schulman lost her son Scott in the mass shooting at Stoneman Marjorie Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. She is very critical of Governor Kay Ivey and recent legislative gun laws.
“It’s not gun control, it’s gun safety. She is not worried about her constituents, not what-so-ever, because we are not asking to take guns away, we’re not asking to control. we’re asking for gun safety,” said Shulman.
Simelton added, “you’re not infringing on their rights as citizens or their second amendment right. You’re trying to protect your family and my family and other families out there.”