Sen. Raumesh Akbari marks National Gun Violence Awareness Day

MEMPHIS — Tennessee Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) is marking National Gun Violence Awareness Day after a Memorial Day weekend that left more than a dozen people shot in Memphis.

In Nashville, a security guard was gunned down Thursday.

The gun violence in Tennessee follows high-profile shooting incidents at a church in Iowa; killings at a hospital in Oklahoma; a massacre at an elementary school in Texas; and a racially motivated attack on grocery shoppers in New York.

The proclamation, signed by Sen. Akbari and Senate Speaker Randy McNally, encourages Tennesseans to participate in the “Wear Orange” weekend campaign that coincides with National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

“Wearing orange on June 3, 2022, Americans will raise awareness about gun violence and honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors,” the Senate proclamation reads. “We renew our commitment to reduce gun violence and pledge to do all we can to keep firearms out of the wrong hands, and we encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our children safe.”

The text of the full resolution is included below:

WHEREAS, every day, more than 110 Americans are killed by gun violence, alongside more than 200 who are shot and wounded; on average, there are nearly 16,000 gun homicides every year; and

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

WHEREAS, according to Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, Tennessee has 1,273 gun deaths per year, with a rate of 18.6 deaths per 100,000 people. Tennessee has the eleventh-highest rate of gun deaths in the United States; and

WHEREAS, protecting public safety in the communities they serve is among legislators’ highest responsibilities; and

WHEREAS, support for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns away from people who should not 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 two years 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 the age of fifteen; on June 3, 2022, to recognize the twenty-fifth birthday of Hadiya Pendleton, people across the United States will recognize National Gun Violence Awareness Day and wear orange in tribute to Hadiya Pendleton and other victims of gun violence and the loved ones of those victims; and

WHEREAS, the Wear Orange Day campaign was inspired by a group of Hadiya’s friends, who asked their classmates to commemorate her life by wearing orange; the color orange was chosen 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, by wearing orange on June 3, 2022, Americans will raise awareness about gun violence and honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors; and

WHEREAS, we renew our commitment to reduce gun violence and pledge to do all we can to keep firearms out of the wrong hands, and we encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our children safe; now, therefore,

I, Randy McNally, Speaker of the Senate of the One Hundred Twelfth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, in conjunction with the undersigned, do hereby proclaim that we join with the people of Tennessee as they commemorate June 3, 2022, as National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Proclaimed in Nashville, Tennessee, on this the 1st day of June 2022.

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