Friday, June 4, is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. And gun safety advocates are hosting virtual events around Michigan.
The Wear Orange Campaign honors survivors of gun violence and raises awareness about gun safety. Washtenaw County Moms Demand Action Group Leader Celeste Kanpurwala says its virtual event is for people who own guns as well as those who don't.
“Their voices are so important because they show that you can be a responsible gun owner and still want the same thing. I mean ultimately, we just want things that are commonsense. We want background checks on all gun sales. We want red flag laws that keep people safe.”
The Ann Arbor-based group will hold its virtual commemoration on Sunday, June 6, at 1 p.m. on the Wear Orange Facebook page. It will include messages from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Senator Gary Peters, and other leaders. A virtual event in Kalamazoo is planned on June 9.
Kanpurwala herself is a gun violence survivor. She says many incidents involve suicide.
“Frankly, two thirds of gun violence is suicide, like my dad, and that’s over 66 Americans per day who are dying from firearm suicide. (It's) something that could be preventable, if they were given proper help, if they had their guns removed.”
Kanpurwala also says it’s important to remember that gun violence occurs in many different ways.
“It’s really important though, that we let the public know that not only are there mass shootings, but we’ve got issues with suicide, domestic violence, and homicides in cities that you don’t even hear about.”