Episcopalians across the church wore orange shirts, orange ribbons and even orange liturgical stoles June 2 as a sign of their commitment to reducing gun violence in their communities.
The Wear Orange movement began in 2013 after Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high school student, was shot to death on the south side of Chicago just a week after marching in President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade. Her friends asked people to honor Pendleton by wearing orange — the color hunters choose for safety — on her birthday, June 2. Their cause was taken up by gun violence prevention groups around the country who last year promoted the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
And this year Bishops United Against Gun Violence, a group of more than 60 Episcopal bishops that advocates for background checks on all gun purchases and other violence prevention measures, urged all Episcopalians to join the movement.
Bishops United also urges Episcopalians to work for handgun purchaser licensing, as supported byResolution B008 of the 2015 General Convention, the passage of an effective statute making gun trafficking a federal crime, and the development of smart gun technology.