Moms Demand Action, gun safety advocates host "Wear Orange" event in Harford County

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Jun. 7—The Harford County Moms Demand Action group held a community cleanup and resource fair Saturday at the Edgewood Recreation Center to draw attention to the need for gun safety. The event was among several held throughout the state by the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action as part of Wear Orange Weekend and in recognition of National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 3.

"We were thrilled with the community's participation in creating a cleaner, healthier space for our children to play, while also providing essential resources to families," said Heather Cantos, Moms Demand Action Harford County local group lead. "The event was an important reminder of the many lives taken unnecessarily due to gun violence. Our hope is to continue to be a presence in the community, build partnerships, and connect resources to help keep kids and families safe, as well as to continue to advocate for common-sense gun sense laws that help protect all."

Volunteers were clad in orange as they worked on "cleaning and greening" the area, according to a spokesperson from the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action. They hosted a free community fair outsidethe recreation center with information from local resources, entertainment and snacks provided. The group partnered with a number of local organizations to offer information and resources to benefit the community, include the NAACP Harford County Branch, Harford County Health Department, HarCo for Social Justice, SARC, Y.E.S. Youth Enrichment Society and more.

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While the nation grieves in the aftermath of several mass shootings that occurred throughout the country over the weekend, volunteers with the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action, in partnership with the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, is working with community organizations on dozens of events to honor the lives of those affected by gun violence and elevate gun violence prevention efforts nationwide.

"As gun violence has grown, so too has the movement to stop it," said a spokesperson for the organization.

"While mass shootings are not the most common form of gun violence, they are happening all too often as we've repeatedly seen over the last few days and weeks," Cantos said. "We must demand that our lawmakers not look away from the gun violence that is ravaging our communities. We must demand they take action on gun safety."

The Wear Orange campaign was inspired by activists in Chicago and New York City. Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton's friends wore in her honor to raise awareness about gun violence after she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 in 2013.

Since then, orange has been the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement. New York City gun violence prevention advocates declared orange as the color of peace, and orange is the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others, according to a news release.