CLEVELAND— People were wearing a bold color to convey a bold statement on Saturday. It’s part of a national movement to end gun violence, and many in Northeast Ohio participated by sporting ‘orange’.
At the Boys and Girls Club on Broadway Avenue, the microphone was given to young men and women and they spoke their minds on the issue of guns. There was talk of fear, vulnerability, and sadness when it comes to the violence that can result from gun usage.
Whether through song or spoken word, people at the event organized by “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” had a message to send.
“This is a celebration of wear orange, which is national gun violence awareness day,” said volunteer, Laura Lewis.
It’s part of the movement throughout the country this first weekend in June to honor the victims of gun violence.
“We did a poem called moment of silence and we wrote it in the wake of Stoneman Douglas when everything was really, really fresh,” said Rajah Morales, a college student who performed on Saturday.
“We are losing lives constantly; it's like a war, except nobody's prepared for it,” Lionel Morales said.
T’Kaia Perkins, who just graduated eighth grade, used a poem performance to find her voice.
"You get used to it, but at the same time you kind of don't,” she said of gun violence.
Perkins tells Fox 8 guns in schools are not the only problem; they are in our backyards.
"You know one day that could come up and that could be someone in your family or someone that you've known."
Many at the open mic event believe that potential laws like “Stand Your Ground” would be harmful to Ohioans. If passed, people would be able to use force to protect against perceived or actual threats.
“Every state that has passed it has been seeing increases and gun violence so we know that it’s not something that’s good for Ohio so we’re definitely again at the Statehouse talking to lawmakers opposing it and encouraging folks to call their lawmakers as well,” said Molly Crowe, of Moms Demand Action.
Not everyone agrees with the gun issue or that stance on “Stand Your Ground.” Many who are for Stand Your Ground believe a person has every right to defend themselves, especially when dealing with intruders.