People wear orange to rally against gun violence

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – People in our area came out at rallies to support the Wear Orange campaign that are happening as part of Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Folks in North Myrtle Beach and Conway were among those who held events on Friday, hoping to raise awareness and reduce gun violence.

Wear Orange supporters in Conway met at Hwy 55 to speak out against gun violence and honor those touched by it.

Supporters held signs of a palmetto tree with nine doves representing the nine victims of the Charleston Church shooting.

“We do not want to forget them, we also want to remember Hadiya Pendleton, who was murdered in her 15th year in Chicago,” said Grace Gifford a volunteer with gun sense committee.

The Wear Orange campaign was first inspired by friends of Pendleton, who was killed by gunfire in 2013.  The first event was in 2015 and has since spread nationwide.

“We’re wearing orange today to remember the many victims of gun violence, not just Hadiya, but here in Horry County, the mothers against gun violence, each of them has lost a child right here in the county,” said Gifford.

Wear Orange supporters are working to reduce gun violence that is intentional, accidental, and self-inflicted.

“This has got to stop.  We need smart guns, with smart triggers and we need a concerted efforts from our legislators,” said Gifford.

Those who attended Friday’s event want to limit where guns can be fired in the county and tighter gun restrictions; while still respecting the rights of gun owners.

“I want to see sensible gun laws.  I want gun owners to be able to enjoy what they enjoy doing, but I also want the residents of Horry County to be protected,” Stefan Varner who attended the event from Little River.

Organizers say orange is the color of safety and they choose to wear it as a message of ‘don’t shoot.’