Wear Orange Weekend event in Memphis promotes ‘gun sense’

Yes, The Walking Brain Dead Walk Among Us

This does not mean we do not have compassion for those that have suffered a loss but this rather political rattle shaking will not end the violence by evil people.


The story is by Abigail Warren, The Commercial Appeal

Binghampton resident Joyce Johnson knows what it’s like to lose a loved one to gun violence. Her son was shot and killed.

“I have no choice but to live through my son being shot 11 times,” Johnson shouted during a Saturday event to raise gun violence awareness. “Our children have to go to school the next day trying to deal with tragic deaths — that they just seen their brother, their homie, their cousin, their uncles, their dads being shot up the day before.”

Johnson was one of more than 120 people who put on orange and gathered at Lester Community Center for a purposeful picnic. The gathering was part of the national Wear Orange Weekend, which raises gun violence awareness.

The event was put on by Memphis’ Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a volunteer-led branch of Everytown for Gun Safety, a national nonprofit that advocates for gun control and against gun violence.

This was the third year Memphis has participated in Wear Orange Weekend, with this year’s theme being “Use your Voice.”

Moms Demand Action’s current campaign is Be S.M.A.R.T., which advocates securing guns, modeling responsible behavior with guns, recognizing the risks of teen suicides and spreading the campaign with others.

Katy Spurlock is a volunteer co-lead for Memphis’ Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She said 93 people die from gun crimes each day nationwide.   She said gun violence in schools and communities must be addressed.

“Moms Demand Action says we need to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and we also need to limit where and when people can carry guns,” Spurlock said. “This is about common sense legislation that keeps guns out of hands of dangerous people and keeps guns out of sensitive places like schools …”

The event featured several stations. One had postcards to write to legislators asking for “gun sense” laws. Another had a scrapbook where people could write what they would do to end gun violence.

June 2, 2018 - The portrait of a young child is displayed

The portrait of a young child is displayed on the Tennessee Mother’s Dream Quilt during the Wear Orange Block Party at Howze Park on Saturday. According to momsdemandaction.org the blocks in every quilt “uses the uniform quilting pattern known as ‘Mother’s Dream.’ Each quilt also contains at least one block composed of meaningful fabric from a victim or survivor of gun violence. Blocks representing victims and survivors are surrounded by quilt blocks submitted by mothers who share in our collective sadness over too many lives shattered by gunfire.” The event, hosted by the Memphis chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, had activities for kids and families as well as a remembrance for victims and survivors of gun violence. (Photo: Yalonda M. James/The Commercial Appeal)

Deputy registrars also came out to help register voters.

“In the first hour, we had 10 people register,” said Tracy O’Connor, director of Memphis High School Voting Project. She said they focus on registering adults in the summer months.

“One of the most critical things that can happen to effect change is the election process,” deputy registrar Susanne Landau said. “People are really interested. (Memphis) is a population where a lot of people want to register to vote.”

Several parents who lost children to gun violence attended the event. Some parents contributed to a quilt where each square represented a different child who died from gun violence.

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