What are you wearing this weekend?

National Gun Violence Awareness Day
Friday, June 7, 2024
#WearOrange this weekend

Hadiya Pendleton was 15 years old when she was shot and killed at a Chicago playground just one week after she performed at President Obama’s second inaugural parade. To commemorate her life, Hadiya’s friends wear orange, the color hunters wear for protection.  

On June 7-9 we will stand with our partners at Brady United and thousands of others in wearing orange to honor Hadiya and the 43,000 Americans killed with guns annually and approximately 76,000 more who are wounded. 

Every day, 327 people are shot in the United States — we have no time to lose in ending the violence. The following statistics point to the magnitude of the problem: 

  • Americans are 26 times more likely to be shot and killed than people in other high-income countries (source)
  • Guns are the leading cause of death of children and teens. 
  • The US is the only country with more firearms than people. (source)
  • There are more licensed gun dealers in the U.S. than McDonald’s franchises (source). 
  • Well over half of gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides (source). 

However, as Brady puts it: past movements, like car safety and anti-smoking, prove that change is possible. While wearing orange is an important symbol of solidarity, the moment demands more from us. JustFaith Ministries has accepted the challenge to take a step further, and we invite you to join us.

Past movements, like car safety and anti-smoking, prove that change is possible. While wearing orange is an important symbol of solidarity, the moment demands more from us.

Here’s our thinking: 

Most churches in our wider JustFaith community include both gun owners and non-gun owners. Despite our differences, what we hold in common is this: we — gun owners and non-gun owners alike — believe that all people are created in God’s image, and that we as Christians are called to end violence in all its forms. 

Our current approach of working separately is not working. Non-gun owners need gun owners’ knowledge and experience in order to make the changes we all want to see. Our newest program, Preventing Gun Violence: From Rhetoric to Real Solutions, brings both groups to the table — not with the goal of changing other people, but rather to build relationships through our common faith to find solutions everyone can get behind. 

Churches are naturally centers of healing and support; at the same time, complex church security systems and police stationed outside sanctuaries point to the possibility that congregants are feeling afraid.

Clergy and laypeople want to address gun violence. Churches are naturally centers of healing and support; at the same time, complex church security systems and police stationed outside sanctuaries point to the possibility that congregants are feeling afraid. In these divided times, it can be difficult to bring up the conversation for fear of further anger and division. 

This is where our newest program, Preventing Gun Violence: from Rhetoric to Real Solutions, comes in: we’ll give you all the tools and support you need to to bring the conversation to your church or community and discern how you will take action.

What else can you do this weekend?

Register to join us this month at our upcoming webinar, “Understanding Gun Violence and Solutions in America,” to hear from Robert Schentrup, Organizing Manager – Team ENOUGH, Brady and the brother to Carmen Schentrup, one of the 17 victims of the Parkland School Shooting.

Sign up for our program information session to learn about on how to begin conversations to your church or community about gun violence prevention plans, suicide prevention, addressing trauma with healing, and advocacy ideas that we can all get behind.

Share this blog post or one of our posts on social media to invite others to #wearorange this weekend