Sunday, June 2 – National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Started in 2015 and observed annually on June 2, this day was created to call national attention to gun violence and express hope for a future free of its destructive consequences.
Grandparents Against Gun Violence, members of the Heartland Coalition Against Gun Violence and others will rally at the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain on the Plaza from 1 to 3 pm. Please join us and wear your GAGV shirts or something orange. We created signs at our April meeting, bring your own or make one on-site; poster board and markers will be available.
Saturday & Sunday, June 8 & 9 – Gun Violence Awareness activities continue, organized by Everytown and MOMS Demand Action. Groups from Johnson County will march in the Old Shawnee Days parade on Saturday June 8 from 10 am to noon and a Kansas City group will meet Sunday, June 9 at 1:30 pm at the Kansas City Public Library’s Lucile H. Bluford Branch, 30th and Prospect.
This year more than ever, it’s critical we make people aware of the public health damage caused by gun violence. In addition to accidental deaths, homicides, and the spiking numbers of suicides, the nation has experienced tragic acts of violence at schools and universities this past month.
Two fatal school shootings happened just weeks after the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School mass shooting, at the Highlands Ranch STEM charter school in Denver and the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. At each shooting, one student died protecting his classmates and preventing additional deaths.
Since Columbine and through mid-May of this year, there have been more than 700 firearm incidents at schools and universities, with 13 shootings leaving 127 people dead and more than 200,000 students affected.
This photo of the terrorized young student from Highlands Ranch STEM school poignantly illustrates the terrible toll of these horrific school shootings.
At events like National Gun Violence Awareness Day, we wear orange to signify our commitment to end gun violence and enact common sense gun legislation. Why orange? It’s the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from harm. Our wearing orange expresses our hope that someday we all will be protected from gun violence.
Volunteer of the Quarter
Julie Young was recognized as Pat Russell Volunteer of the Quarter at the April meeting. Julie, a retired school teacher, is an active member of the Program and Advocacy committees and has also volunteered to staff many Lock It For Love events. Her husband, Tom, is also a valued GAGV member and volunteer.
Photo: Carla Oppenheimer presenting the Volunteer Award Orchid to a surprised Julie Young!
Ready for Many Small Screens
You’ll want to see and then share our newest video about the importance of responsible gun ownership and GAGV’s Lock It For Love program. The video was created over several weeks by Madison Mustoe, a multi-talented graduating senior from Shawnee Mission East High School.
The three-minute video emphasizes the critical need for gun owners to safely store all firearms in their homes. Featured in the video are Drs. Denise Dowd and Shayla Sullivant, both of Children’s Mercy Hospital; Officer Andy Hamil, Community Interaction Officer from KCPD’s Central Patrol Division and Kansas State Representative Jerry Stogsdill of Prairie Village. Madison interviewed and filmed each participant, then edited their interviews. GAGV member Gail Roberson was executive producer of the video. Watch it here, post it on your Facebook page and ask others to share it with friends.