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Anti-gun violence advocates rally for 'Wear Orange Day'

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Posted at 7:48 PM, Jun 07, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — Moms Demand Action has history in Indiana. According to volunteers for the organization, it was started in Zionsville.

June 7 is national Wear Orange Day. The day raises awareness about gun violence and honors honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors.

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At Friday's event, people in Indianapolis gathered at the canal where they read the names of every person in Indianapolis that has died by gun violence.

Among the crowd were young people with the Brightwood Community Center. Each of them knew at least one person who has died due to gun violence, which is why they came to stand in solidarity.

"I went to school with somebody who died not too long ago,” 14-year-old Rashaun Tigner said. "It's just been really crazy because it's not supposed to happen at this age."

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"Teens have more guns now because they are so easy to get. You can get them off the street, you can get them off social media, wherever," 20-year-old Dashani Dunn said.

Some even shared their story.

Two of Antonia Bailey's children where shot and killed in their home by another teen in 2019. It's a pain that has brought her to advocate for change.

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"He was 15-years-old at the time,” Bailey, the Survivor advocate and support specialist for IMPD, said. “So, I am a firm believer that we didn't lose two children that day, we lost three."

State democratic lawmakers attended Friday's event, where they say they will be taking action during the 2025 legislative session.

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"We will continue working on the safe storage legislation, that is an extremely important piece,” Fady Qaddoura (D-Indianapolis) said. “Second, the permitless carry legislation is harmful to law enforcement and our communities."

Second amendment advocates, like Guy Relford, say more restrictions on gun access isn't the answer, but rather addressing the people committing the crimes and making sure they stay behind bars.

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"They are not afraid of life in prison,” Relford said. “They are not afraid of a murder charge. They are not afraid of dying in a shoot-out. But suddenly they are going to follow this one additional law? It's naive and it's not realistic."

Indiana is one of 29 states in the country that have a constitutional carry law.