Tigard proclaims June 2 as Gun Violence Awareness Day


Teri Mills

Tigard City Council and members of Moms Demand Action celebrate the proclamation.

By Aishiki Nag, Staff Writer

     On May 23, the Tigard City Council chambers were filled with people wearing brightly colored orange shirts, hoping to see the Tigard City Council proclaim June 2 as Gun Violence Awareness Day, and continue the proclamation to June 4. Tigard has joined hundreds of cities in proclaiming June 2-4 as Gun Violence Awareness Day, including the City of Tualatin and Lake Oswego. Tigard is in the coalition for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan and national group of local government officials. 

     Mayors Against Illegal Guns states on their website that their mission is “advocating for life-saving gun safety reforms from local programs to state and federal legislation.”  

     June 2 was chosen as the date because it marks the 26th birthday of Hadiya Pendleton, who was tragically shot in the back and killed. Pendleton was only fifteen years old at the age of her death. Pendleton’s friends commemorated her life by wearing orange, a color that hunters wear to protect themselves while hunting. According to ‘Wear Orange’, the color orange is a tribute to Pendelton’s life, as well as a tribute to the loved ones of the victims of gun violence. 

I think this proclamation will help amplify the gun violence issues in our country.

— Rachel Wu, Senior

     Former state representative Margaret Doherty introduced the proclamation to the city council focusing on the prevalence of gun violence within the state saying, “To put gun violence in context, here in Oregon, in an average year, 544 people die and 617 are wounded by guns. Oregon has the 34th highest rate of gun violence in the United States, guns are the second leading cause of death among children and teens in Oregon, with an average of 31 children and teens that die by guns every year.”

     The proclamation language also states the city’s “commitment to reduce gun violence and pledge to do all we can to keep firearms out of the hands of people who should not have access to them, and encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our families and communities safe.” 

I think that it is good that the city of Tigard is Recognizing the importance of preventing gun violence. I understand that this issue is nation wide, and the city has little control over prevention, but I think they could still do more on educating people on how to be a responsible gun owner.

— Owen Ahlbrecht

     Teri Mills RN, is a leader in the Tigard chapter of Moms Demand Action, a group dedicated to passing sensible gun laws. She became involved with the ‘Wear Orange’ campaign in 2018 and continues her involvement to this day. She wears orange because “No family or community living in America can escape gun violence. However, when we see others wearing orange, it reminds us that others are thinking of those killed by firearms and that we are not alone in our grief and sadness.”

     During Mayor Heidi Lueb’s closing remarks of the proclamation she said, “As a proud member of Moms Demand Action, I look forward to the day where we don’t have to have this as a proclamation.”

     In a student interview with Lily Roy, a senior at Tigard High School, they mentioned the proclamation, “We have been pushing for changes of gun laws for so long, and it’s very hard to get anything done. Some people might think that making a proclaimed day this issue can be counterproductive, which I can see that, but on the other hand it can be used to push forward a lot of what we are trying to do. I think it depends as a society how we react to this day and [if] we are able to make change with it or if it blends into everything else”.

     Members of the Tigard community are encouraged to wear orange on June 2 to support the victims and to pay tribute to the loved ones who have lost someone to gun violence. 

I think it’s great that they are trying to stop gun violence but I don’t believe dedicating a day is enough. We need specific action regarding our safety to be taken in our schools. A day just doesn’t cut it.

— Katarina Ilić