Greensboro's African American Community Newspaper since 1967

We’ve seen enough


June is Gun Violence Awareness Month in our nation. People will attend marches, take part in social media campaigns, and wear orange to show they are joining thousands of others across the country in calling for an end to gun violence in all of its forms, including domestic violence, suicide and city gun violence.

The Wear Orange movement honors Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honors student and drum majorette whose birthday was June 2. She was shot and killed on a Chicago playground in January 2013, just days after she had performed in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. When President Obama gave his State of the Union address that year, he paid tribute to Hadiya, whose friends and family said she loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss and was so good to everyone that each of her friends thought they were her best friend. Those friends started wearing orange in her memory because it was Hadiya’s favorite color and the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from guns to signal don’t shoot. But no color protected Hadiya or the 21,000 children and teenagers who are killed or wounded by guns in the United States every year. Gun violence remains the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in our nation.

This month is a time for all those who want an end to our nation’s gun violence epidemic to speak out. One of the groups who came to Washington recently to call for common sense gun safety legislation was On Call 4 Kids, a coalition of physicians and healthcare workers who say they are on a mission to ensure children are no longer the innocent victims of gun violence. Its founder, Dr. Emily Lieberman, was at her hometown Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, with her husband and young daughters and 10 other family members in 2022 when a person armed with a military-style assault weapon began shooting, killing seven people and injuring 48 others. When the group visited Congress in May to deliver their message that gun safety is a public health crisis, one of the other doctors present was Dr. Ashlee Jaffe, who was also at that Fourth of July parade and was among the people injured in the shooting.

Dr. Jaffe was shot in the hand while standing next to her husband and five-year-old son. She described that moment to an interviewer: “I grabbed him [my son] and I shoved him under the bench, and I wrapped my hand around his head and curled up behind him. He was screaming. He saw the blood dripping from my hand onto the sidewalk. Then we heard it again—pop-pop-pop …” Dr. Jaffe explained that as a pediatric rehabilitation specialist, she had treated child victims of gun violence before her own career-altering gun violence injury: “I’ve seen unintentional shootings cause brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. I’ve seen siblings accidentally get a hold of a weapon and shoot their younger sibling.” Now, as the interviewer noted, she and many other doctors who see victims of gun violence have seen more than enough.

All of us in our nation should have seen more than enough of the all-American scourge of gun violence. Dr. Sofia Chaudhary, an Atlanta pediatric emergency physician whose young patients killed by gun injuries have included a one-month-old, said, “These patients haunt me. Their needless, senseless loss haunts me. The piercing cries of their parents haunt me.” The activism taking place across our country this weekend and all month long will be one more opportunity for thousands of Americans to raise their own voices and say it is long past time for our nation to protect children and young people, not guns.

Marian Wright Edelman is founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund. For more information, go to