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Wear Orange in June

June is National Gun Violence Awareness Month. Throughout June, advocates for ending gun violence wear orange as one way to bring awareness to gun violence prevention. Sisters of the Precious Blood, are inspired by the devotion to the most Precious Blood of Jesus, and our hearts are troubled by the preventable and escalating gun violence in our communities. We invite you to join us as we put on our brightest orange clothing and work together for change!

Think gun violence doesn’t affect you?

Everytown for Gun Safety reports: Every day in the United States, more than 120 people are killed with guns, and twice as many are wounded. The ripple effects of gun violence impact countless others.

The American Public Health Association reports: Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S.

And the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence reports: Americans are 26 times more likely to be shot and killed than others in high-income countries.

Wearing orange in June is a great first step in working to end gun violence. While we recognize the complexity and political sensitivities of the issue, our congregational commitment to the Gospel value of nonviolence and Catholic social justice teachings on the dignity of the individual compel us to take further steps to mitigate gun violence.

We are concerned with several areas, including:

  • Background checks: We support rigorous background checks, which help ensure that firearms are not sold to individuals with felony convictions, domestic violence restraining orders, or severe mental health issues.

  • Extreme Risk Protection Orders (red flag laws): We support red flag laws, which allow courts to temporarily remove firearms from individuals deemed to be a danger.

  • Accountability of gun manufacturers: We endorse efforts to repeal the PLCAA, which would allow gun manufacturers to be sued for damages due to unsafe business practices.

  • Assault weapons ban: We advocate for the prohibition of assault weapons and devices that modify firearms to function like them.

  • Ghost guns: We oppose the availability of untraceable firearms assembled from parts that lack serial numbers, bypassing regulations.

  • Gun trafficking: We encourage legislation and enforcement to prohibit and intervene in illegal selling of firearms both domestically and internationally.

Given the breadth of these concerns, it is crucial to prioritize initiatives. Safe storage is one such critical area in which there is broad support and can make a huge impact. Safe storage practices involve locking up guns and ammunition separately, both in homes and vehicles. It is alarming that:

– 80% of firearm suicides among children under 18 involve a family member’s gun.

– 76% of school shootings involve firearms taken from the home.

– 76% of unintentional child shootings occur with unsecured firearms typically stored in easily accessible places like nightstands.

– According to the ATF, between 2017 and 2021, there were over 770,000 private theft incidents involving firearms, with a significant number stolen from unattended vehicles.

(Statistics from The White House)

We also support Ethan’s Law, which is proposed national legislation aimed at enhancing gun safety by requiring all firearms in homes to be stored safely and securely, especially when minors are present. The law is named after Ethan Song, a teenager who tragically lost his life after accidentally shooting himself with a firearm found in a neighbor’s home.

In June, during National Gun Violence Awareness Month, we are launching several collaborative initiatives to highlight the devastating impact of gun violence in our communities. In partnership with area congregations of women religious through the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Sisters of the Precious Blood are financing a billboard campaign. The message, “Put the guns down — Nobody is winning — Let peace begin with me,” will be prominently displayed along I-75 as drivers enter the city.

Additionally, we are teaming up with Nuns Against Gun Violence to support Wear Orange, especially on June 7, National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

We are also sharing a prayer, “Seven Offerings of the Precious Blood: Hear the cry of the Blood in every gunshot,” and invite everyone to join us in this prayer.

For more information:

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