June 4, 2021: Gun Violence Awareness Day

WHEREAS, every day, more than 100 Americans are killed by gun violence, more than 230 are shot and wounded, and there are more than 13,000 gun homicides every year; and,

 

WHEREAS, Americans are 25 times more likely to die by gun homicide than people in other high-income countries; and,

 

WHEREAS, Michigan has more than 1,200 gun deaths every year, with a rate of 12.1 deaths per 100,000 people, and, Michigan has the 31st highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S.; and,

 

WHEREAS, protecting public safety in the communities they serve is among a legislator's highest responsibilities; and,

 

WHEREAS, support for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens is inextricably linked with keeping guns away from people that shouldn't have them; and,

 

WHEREAS, gun violence prevention is more important than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate gun violence after more than a year of increased gun sales, increased calls to suicide and domestic violence hotlines, and an increase in city gun violence; and,

 

WHEREAS, in January 2013, Hadiya Pendleton was tragically shot and killed at age 15. To recognize her birthday in June, people across the United States has annually recognized the first Friday of June as National Gun Violence Awareness Day by wearing orange in tribute to Hadiya Pendleton and other victims of gun violence and the loved ones of these victims; and,

 

WHEREAS, the idea was inspired by a group of Hadiya's friends, who asked their classmates to commemorate her life by wearing orange; they chose this color because hunters wear orange to announce themselves to other hunters when out in the woods, and orange is a color that symbolizes the value of human life; and, 

 

WHEREAS, anyone can join this campaign by pledging to wear orange on June 4th, the first Friday in June of this year, to help raise awareness about gun violence; and,  

 

WHEREAS, by wearing orange on June 4, 2021, Americans will raise awareness about gun violence, honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors, renew our commitment to reduce gun violence, pledge to do all we can to keep firearms out of the wrong hands, and encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our children safe; 

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim June 4, 2021, as Gun Violence Awareness Day in Michigan.