BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This weekend is wear orange weekend; an initiative to end gun violence.
Yesterday was National Gun Violence Awareness Day, but gun violence is something that Baltimore is aware of every day.
More than 100 people have been shot to death in Baltimore this year, many others wounded in gun violence incidents.
Mayor Jack Young has led crime walks through city neighborhoods, urging residents to cooperate with police investigations, while residents continue to advocate for an end to gun violence.
On Saturday, students at Coppin State University joined in wear orange weekend.
Joshua Turner is involved with Students Demand Action, a national initiative created by teens and for teens and young adults.
“The whole purpose of Students Demand Action in Baltimore is not only to get the youth involved in the conversation, but actually have us propose and create solutions by attacking the root cause of systematic issues,” Turner said.
Why wear orange? Those who participate wear orange because it is the color hunters wear to avoid being accidentally shot, reflecting the value of human life.
“It’s no longer acceptable and cool to do all the wrong things, but we can’t just say these things we have to act and how do we challenge our youth and those who have the burning desire to take action,” Antonio Moore, of Students Demand Action, said.
Advocates emphasize the importance of addressing the trauma that young people suffer before they even pick up a gun.
“We have a huge gap between the elderly and the younger youth,” Wesley Hawkins said. “You have the elderly saying they’re scared to come out of their front doors, they’re scared to interact with the youth, they’re scared to even speak. But you have the youth saying what do you want us to do? What do need from us and what are we supposed to be doing because we don’t have resources.”
A Saturday night vigil brought an end to a daylong series of events in Baltimore and across the State of Maryland to end gun violence.
The wear orange weekend was not just limited to Baltimore or Maryland. Wear orange weekend was observed across the country.