Aiming to bring awareness to gun violence and to honor and remember gun violence victims, Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert has declared June 7 to be National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Princeton.
Mayor Lempert issued a special proclamation denoting June 7 as a day to remember the victims and to declare that the United States of America must do more to reduce gun violence, which claims 96 lives daily and more than 35,000 lives annually.
The proclamation encouraged people to wear orange on June 7. Orange was the color that was chosen by friends of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton to remember her after she was shot to death in Chicago, one week after performing at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade in 2013.
It was Pendleton’s death that inspired National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which is held on the first Friday in June. The weekend of June 8-9 would have marked Pendleton’s 22nd birthday, according to the proclamation issued by Mayor Lempert.
The proclamation acknowledged that while protecting the public is one of a mayor’s highest responsibilities, support for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
It also states that mayors and law enforcement officials know their communities and are the most familiar with local criminal activity and how to address it, and they are also best positioned to understand how to keep their citizens safe.
“We renew our commitment to reduce gun violence and pledge to do all we can to keep firearms out of the wrong hands, and encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our children safe,” the proclamation stated.
Declaring June 7 to be National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Mayor Lempert “encourages all citizens to support the local community’s efforts to prevent the tragic effects of gun violence and to honor and value human lives,” according to the proclamation.
“This is an important issue for Princeton Council,” Mayor Lempert said. “There are way too many senseless deaths. It is an issue that affects everybody.”
The Princeton Police Department has specific training and information for people who come in to the Princeton Police Department for a firearms permit, she said. There are safety locks for guns, for example.
“It has just unfortunately become one of the most important safety issues of our time,” Mayor Lempert said, noting that there should be improvements to the system for gaining access to guns.