San Diego-- Hundreds of gun violence prevention activists gathered at Colina Del Sol park in City Heights Saturday, to participate in the nationwide #WEARORANGE movement.
“Just say I support gun control. Sensible gun control now,” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher said. The picnic and rally was in her district of City Heights.
The color for the "Wear Orange" coalition was inspired by an unlikely sport — game hunting. Hunters wear orange in the wild to prevent themselves from being shot. Some gun violence activists in Chicago were inspired by that and began wearing orange in 2013. Since then, it has become the official color for the movement.
“We continue to wear orange because we don’t want to be shot,” Gonzalez Fletcher said. The Assemblywoman is a staunch fighter against the NRA.
For Carina Sarabia, the movement is personal.
“We miraculously survived,” she said.
On May 23, 2014, Sarabia was a UC Santa Barbara student. She and and her roommates were walking toward the Isla Vista Deli Mart, when a man began a shooting spree.
“Even single car that past us, we would hide and try to stay safe and stay alive,” Sarabia said.
Her fight or flight instincts kicked in. She walked back to her apartment in the darkness, not knowing if the shooter was still nearby.
Sarabia survived. But six people did not. She said it was the worst day of her life.
“That was my college experience. There is no changing that anymore. So the thing I have got do now is accept it, and do something so that that’s not anyone else’s experience,” the Isla Vista shooting survivor said.
That is why she continues to wears orange. Sarabia graduated the next spring, and moved back home to San Diego to start a career. She hopes her story of survival inspires others to join the movement.
Many national landmarks will be lit orange in then evening hours this weekend, in support of gun violence prevention.
According to wearorange.org, one of those landmarks will be the San Diego Museum of Man building at Balboa Park.