May 24, 2018

Durbin, Duckworth, Kelly Introduce Resolution Establishing "National Gun Violence Awareness Month"

To bring attention to the issue of gun violence, Americans are encouraged to wear orange the weekend of June 1st - 3rd - June 2nd would’ve been Hadiya Pendleton’s 21st birthday


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL) led 14 other Senators and 25 other Representatives to introduce a resolution in the House and Senate establishing the weekend of June 1-3, 2018 as “National Gun Violence Awareness Weekend” and designating June as “National Gun Violence Awareness Month.” Every day in America, an average of around 300 men, women, and children are shot, nearly one-third of them fatally. Establishing a month to bring attention to the issue of gun violence honors the thousands of Americans who are victims of gun violence every year, including Hadiya Pendleton who was shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois on January 29, 2013. The resolution also urges citizens and community leaders to concentrate heightened attention on gun violence during June, when gun violence typically spikes at the start of the summer months, and to work together to make our communities safer from this violence.

“June 2nd would have been Hadiya Pendleton’s 21st birthday. To honor her and the tens of thousands of people who are killed by gunfire each year, I will be proud to wear orange on ‘National Gun Violence Awareness Weekend,’” said Durbin. “There have been too many funerals, too many families and communities devastated by gun violence. During ‘Gun Violence Awareness Month,’ I urge Americans of all backgrounds and political views to come together and focus on ways to keep Americans safe from this gun violence epidemic. That should be something that everyone can get behind.”

“Far too many of our friends and loved ones have had their lives tragically cut short by senseless gun violence,” said Duckworth. “I encourage Illinoisans and Americans across the country to wear orange on June 2nd to remember Hadiya Pendleton on what would have been her 21st birthday and honor the countless victims of needless gun violence around the country. In the wake of Parkland, Santa Fe and Las Vegas, the need to take action that will protect our children and keep our communities safe from gun violence has never been more clear or more urgent. It’s time to act.”

“As we prepare to celebrate what would have been Hadiya Pendleton’s 21st birthday, another community – Santa Fe, Texas – is asking the same questions that too many Chicagoland families ask everyday: why us? Why my child? Why here? And why do Republican policymakers keep letting this happen? This is America – moms shouldn’t be afraid to send their children to school, the park or the corner store,” said Kelly. “The American people are committed to passing lifesaving, common sense safety laws; polls, rallies and increased political engagement make that clear. Congress must listen to American families. It’s past time to enact common sense gun safety laws and support our young people in picking up pencils and books instead of weapons.

Along with Durbin and Duckworth, U.S. Senators cosponsoring the resolution include: U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Patty Murray (D-WA).

Along with Kelly, U.S. Representatives cosponsoring the resolution include: Nanette Barragan (D-CA-44), Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03), Don Beyer (D-VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29), Katherine Clark (D-MA-05), Lacy Clay (D-MO-01), Steve Cohen (D-TN-09), Danny Davis (D-IL-07), Ted Deutch (D-FL-21), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL-04), Alcee Hastings (D-FL-20), Bill Keating (D-MA-09), Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), Jim Langevin (D-RI-02), Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), Gwen Moore (D-WI-04), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ-10), Stacey Plaskett (D-VI-AL), Cedric Richmond (D-LA-02), Bobby Rush (D-IL-01), Mike Thompson (D-CA-05), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12).

Gun violence is an issue that affects communities in every state across the country. Each year, more than 35,000 people in America are killed and 80,000 are injured by gunfire. The weekend of June 1 – 3, 2018, people across the nation will join together in the fourth annual “National Gun Violence Awareness Weekend” and will wear the color orange to bring attention to the issue of gun violence.