June 2, 2017 was National Gun Violence Awareness Day in the USA. Thanks to the Chicago-based advocacy group Wear Orange, people across the country donned orange clothing to draw attention to the ever-growing issue of gun violence. Wear Orange began as a show of strength for Hadiya Pendleton, a fifteen-year-old who was shot in the back at school in Chicago when a gang mistook her for a member of a rival group. Over 33,000 deaths occur each year in the USA as a result of gun violence.
So why did this cause align itself with the colour orange? “The color orange symbolizes the value of human life,” the coalition of 200 non-profits explains on it’s website. They go on to explain that hunters wear orange to warn other hunters of their presence in the woods. Hunters easily spot those wearing the colour, however, deer do not for they are colour blind. More than forty states in America (and five Canadian provinces) now mandate that hunters wear “blaze orange” or “hunter orange” hats, vests and other safety wear so as not to be mistaken for game.
“It’s a color that demands to be seen,” says the Wear Orange website.