Milford hosts WearOrange day to put focus on gun violence

Like cities throughout the nation, Milford will observe National Gun Violence Awareness Days this weekend by hosting a #WearOrange event starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 2, on the small green in front of City Hall.

All residents are invited to wear orange and attend the event, which will honor both victims and survivors of gun violence.

The event will begin with the reading of a proclamation from Mayor Ben Blake that recognizes June 2 at Gun Violence Awareness Day in Milford. Attendees will be asked to sign a #WearOrange Pledge that states he or she supports common sense gun safety laws and practices, but also respects the Second Amendment. It also says that in November, they will vote for candidates who do the same.

Organized by the local activist group Milford Speaks Out, the event will also include participants taking photographs holding “I #WearOrange because …” signs. Volunteers who desire will then go out in small groups to ask others to sign #WearOrange pledge cards and register new voters.

Downtown Milford merchants supporting National Gun Violence Awareness Day will display orange signs in their windows.

Milford Speaks Out is one of many Connecticut and national organizations taking part in the #WearOrange campaign, which was created to honor 15-year-old gun victim Hadiya Pendleton of Chicago. She was killed in 2013, and June 2 was her birthday. Organizers chose to include the color orange, because it’s what hunters wear to protect themselves from gunfire.

Also from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 2, an Orange Walk and Rally will take place in Newtown, led by the Jr. Newtown Action Alliance with support from CT Against Gun Violence, the Connecticut chapters of Moms Demand Action, Newtown Action Alliance and Sandy Hook Promise.

“Every day in the United States, 96 people are killed by guns, and more than twice that number injured,” Milford Speaks Out said in announcing WearOrange. “In total, more than 600,000 people have been killed or injured by guns since the Sandy Hook School shooting. Strong gun laws have led to Connecticut having the 5th lowest rate of gun deaths in the U.S., but additional sensible gun laws are still needed here.”