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Las Vegas events to raise awareness about gun violence

If you see a preponderance of people wearing orange on Thursday, there’s a reason.

It’s National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and Las Vegas activists are joining the national Wear Orange campaign. In fact, there are two gun violence-related events in the Las Vegas Valley this week.

Volunteers with Nevada’s chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America will join gun violence survivors and activists at Henderson’s Cornerstone Park, 1600 Wigwam Parkway, at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The community event is part of a national day of action. Landmarks across the country will begin turning orange on Wednesday, including the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, Las Vegas City Hall, the Brooklyn Bridge at New York-New York, and the High Roller at The Linq.

The Wear Orange campaign was started in 2013 by the teenage friends of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old Chicago high school student killed by gunfire. To honor their friend, the teens asked classmates to wear orange – the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. Thursday would have been Hadiya’s 19th birthday.

The national gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety is promoting the event.

An event Saturday morning marks June 4 as National SAFE Day. The event, at 11 a.m. at University Medical Center, aims to raise awareness about the safe storage of firearms in homes with children. It is being spearheaded by Henderson’s Darchel and Jacob Mohler. Their daughter, 13-year-old Brooklynn, was fatally shot at her best friend’s house on June 4, 2013.

Brooklyn went to her friend’s house on the second-to-last day of school, and that friend shot Brooklynn with a handgun that was left in a kitchen cabinet.

The Mohlers started the Brooklynn Mae Mohler Foundation in her memory and have become national advocates on safe storage issues.

In January, the couple attended President Barack Obama’s announcement at the White House of a series of executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence, and Darchel Mohler penned a personal essay on the loss of her daughter for Vogue magazine published last week.

National SAFE Day promotes the safety message at the core of the SAFE acronym:

S – Secure all firearms in the home

A – Ask the question about unsecured forearms in the homes your child visits

F – Frequently talk to your children about the dangers of firearms

E – Educate and Empower others to be SAFE

Contact Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0391. Find @WesJuhl on Twitter.

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