Orange is the new green; Celtics advocate for change related to gun violence

Best known for the wearing of the green, the Celtics on Friday announced they are going orange, at least for a day, and advocating for change when it comes to gun violence.

“Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day,” said the Celtics in a post to social media. “In the coming weeks we are going orange and using our platform to uplift voices of those advocating for change.”

The post links to the website wearorange.org

The announcement comes as the Celtics are getting national attention while taking on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals and hours after an amazing comeback win in Game 1 of that series in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 2 is Sunday, and Games 3 and 4 are in Boston on June 8 and 10.

The Wear Orange organization was established in memory of a woman who was killed in 2013. Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed one week after marching in President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade.

“Wear Orange is now observed every June. Thousands of people wear the color orange to honor Hadiya and the more than 40,000 people who are killed with guns and approximately 85,000 who are shot and wounded every year.” according to the organization’s website.

The Boston Red Sox are also participating in the effort. The Red Sox say former US Representative Gabby Giffords will throw out the first pitch at Fenway on June 16th.

Giffords was shot on January 8, 2011, at a “Congress On Your Corner” constituent event in Tucson, Arizona. She was shot in the head by a gunman who killed six people and injured 12 others. Giffords stepped down from Congress in January 2012.

The efforts come in the wake of several deadly mass shootings nationwide. A shooting at a medical clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Wednesday killed a doctor who started his career in Boston and three other people.

President Joe Biden called for a ban on assault weapons during an address to the nation Thursday night, saying that “rational, common-sense measures” were needed in the wake of several mass shootings.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said that whatever measures are considered, he would not support them unless they are “consistent with the Second Amendment.”

“We have a Second Amendment to the Constitution. We take it seriously. There’s the right to keep and bear arms in this country,” McConnell said this week.

“And so what I’ve done is encourage some bipartisan discussions that are going on. In fact, I just had a call with one of the members of it to see if we can find a way forward consistent with the Second Amendment that targets the problem.”

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