About a hundred people gathered Saturday for the 4th annual “Wear Orange” Loudoun Community Gathering, organized by Moms Demand Action, at the Billy Cox Pavilion at Leesburg’s Ida Lee Park.
Speakers and attendees included many elected representatives, including Rep. Jennifer T. Wexton (D-VA-10), Attorney General Mark Herring, state Sen. Jennifer B. Boysko (D-33), Del. John J. Bell (D-87), Del. Kathleen J. Murphy (D-34), County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large), Supervisors Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling) and Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg), and Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk.
The event also featured several other organizations, such as the Quaker congregation Goose Creek Friends Meeting, which handed out free trigger locks to help safely store guns in the home.
The nationwide “Wear Orange” campaign is named to honor Hadiya Pendleton, who was gunned down in Chicago at 15 years old a week after performing at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade in 2013. Pendleton’s friends wore orange to remember her.
The event came a little over a week after another mass shooting, this time in Virginia Beach. A gunman killed 12 people at the Virginia Beach Municipal Building, then died in a gun fight with police. Governor Ralph M. Northam has called a special session of the Virginia General Assembly July 9 to take up gun safety regulations.
Although the Centers for Disease Control has not collected data on gun violence since 2013, in that year, the CDC reported 33,636 Americans died due to injury from a firearm, or about 92 people a day.