In response to the Kentucky school shooting and other gun violence, the Town of Chapel Hill this week raised an orange gun violence awareness flag at Peace and Justice Plaza, 179 E. Franklin St.
The Marshall County High School shooting in Kentucky on Tuesday was the third incident of gunfire this week at an American K-12 school, according to a statement from the Town of Chapel Hill. According to research by the organization Everytown for Gun Safety, it was at least the 10th school shooting nationwide in 2018, and at least the 283rd since January 2013.
Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger and the Chapel Hill Town Council have participated for several years in a national movement led by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Everytown For Gun Safety and Gun Violence Awareness. The orange color of the movement symbolizes the color that hunters use to protect themselves in the woods. It also is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore in her honor when she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 in 2013, according to wearorange.org.
The orange flag is often used at local observances of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, said Jeannie Brown, aide to Hemminger. It symbolizes the town’s support for better gun education and safety, and better background checks for gun buyers, Brown said.
With the recent shootings, “it felt like it was just not enough to tweet our condolences,” and the mayor wanted to show Chapel Hill’s support for better gun legislation by flying the flag, Brown said.
“As a community, we extend our deepest sympathies to the victims, families and countless survivors forever altered by shootings each year,” a town press release stated.