SAN FRANCISCO - Advocates for stronger gun laws demonstrated Saturday afternoon at one of the most iconic spots in San Francisco, The Golden Gate Bridge.
It was National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and in light of recent mass shootings in America, many people wanted to speak out against gun violence.
There was a sea of orange at the bridge as demonstrators were unified in both their color and their desire to eradicate gun deaths.
"I just want to be a part of the change that’s going to happen because something has to happen. And it’s really disheartening watching shooting after shooting, young lives shattered, families shattered," said Dana Cole.
Moms Demand Action organized the rally, which attracted hundreds.
The color orange dates back to 2013, when a 15-year-old Chicago girl was gunned down in a playground and her friends honored her life by wearing orange, the same color hunters wear for protection.
Some demonstrators, such as teacher Lerhonda Greats, have been personally touched by gun violence. "In so many ways, unfortunately. My brother-in-law was shot and killed on the streets of Brooklyn," said Greats.
Greats and a colleague work at a private school, an educational arm largely immune from school shootings, but they’re concerned that immunity could wane if more societal measures aren’t taken to reduce gun deaths.
"I came out because it’s important for me to see other people who think this is an unacceptable situation," said Allie Curry.
Walter Hu, who came out with his wife and young boys, is urging legislators to do more. "Our country is so divided right now. I just hope we can find some common ground and try to enact something to react to the violence that’s happening to try to end it," said Hu.
Though some expressed concern America may quickly fall back into its cycle of anger then angst, which typically follows mass shootings, others say the younger generation, who have lived through drills and active shooter scenarios, will be the change.
"I think we’re going to see a big change with the young people who are reaching that voting age because they have sat by and watched adults in charge fail them," said Cole.
There will be other nationwide marches on June 11th, including a big one in Washington D.C., organized by "March for Our Lives," the youth-led group that started in 2018 after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.