Fresh off Hollywood Beach mass shooting, a day to #WearOrange
Image via AP.

hollywood beach shooting
Gun safety awareness events, planned long before the weekend carnage, are occurring across the state.

The weekend after video footage captured scenes of terrified beachgoers fleeing the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk in a shooting that hospitalized nine, this weekend’s planned picnic bringing together gun safety advocates seems like a response.

Except that it’s not.

Before bullets ripped through the Memorial Day scene in Hollywood, hundreds of events, including a Wear Orange Community Picnic in Plantation, were planned across the country for this coming weekend to raise awareness about the need for more gun safety laws.

“It’s a bit of a coincidence that we’re having this event right after that happened in Hollywood, but gun violence is happening so frequently it’s not a surprise,” said Ania Vargas, a volunteer helping to coordinate the event chiefly organized by the 8,729-volunteer Broward County chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is on tap to speak at the picnic.

Throughout Wear Orange Weekend, there are no fewer than 19 events publicized as happening in Florida starting Thursday and stretching through Monday on the Moms Demand Action website. They are occurring from Pensacola to Jacksonville and south to Miami.

The impetus for change has never been greater, according to the Pew Research Center.

In 2021, the most recent year for which data is available, the country saw a record number of gun-related injuries, with 48,830 dying from guns due to murders, suicides, accidental shootings, law enforcement and undetermined causes, Pew found.

The rate of those deaths per 100,000 people hasn’t reached the peak seen in the 1970s, but the number of gun deaths by suicide came close in 2021, according to Pew Center. There were 7.5 gun suicides for every 100,000 people in 2021, compared to the high — 7.7 per 100,000 — measured in 1977.

For the Broward event, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action will be joined by other community partners such as Bullets4Life, Women in Distress, Chainless Change, Circle of Brotherhood, League of Women Voters Florida and the Fort Lauderdale Diaper Bank. The national group, Everytown for Gun Safety, is also supporting the effort.

“The speakers will be purely focused on gun safety with the purpose of saving lives,” Vargas said.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


2 comments

  • Broward Voter

    June 1, 2023 at 10:08 am

    We are working hand in hand with Debbie W.S. to edit some of the video footage to prove beyond a shadow of doubt The Commander In Chief’s statements that White Supreamists are the most danger to our Nation are really true.
    We have plans to get in early on these kinds of shootings and properly cast the white blaim.
    I dont know how anyone could possably think these evil White shooters were of any other race than what The Commander In Chief said they are.
    Sunny From Broward

  • The NRA is a Terrorist Organization

    June 1, 2023 at 10:35 am

    Where was the “Good Guy with a Gun” this time? Or anytime?
    It’s weird how the NRA and all these gun nuts keep on saying “Good Guys with Guns will stop shootings!” but even in places like Florida and Texas the “Good Guy with a Gun” is never around. Weird.

    It’s almost like the “Good Guy with a Gun” doesn’t exist.

Comments are closed.


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