In a sea of rainbow colors at Fair Park on Sunday afternoon at the Dallas Pride parade, there were dozens of participants clad in all orange as a symbol to remember those lost to gun violence and advocate for gun safety legislation.
Blair Taylor has been pushing for changes to gun safety laws since she joined Moms Demand Action in 2018 after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
The volunteer community outreach lead for the Dallas County chapter of the non-profit says interest has once again spiked after the loss of 19 children and 2 teachers in Uvalde nearly two weeks ago.
“People are really hitting a boiling point with this,” Taylor said.
The orange color is part of National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend from June 3 -5.
The grassroots organization voices support for gun safety regulations including expanded background checks, extreme risk protection orders, more commonly referred to as red flag laws and requiring the safe storage of weapons.
Taylor says interest in volunteering has predictably increased in the 12 days since the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.
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However, Taylor says support for these measures would have the greatest impact where the vast majority of preventable gun deaths derive - in incidents of isolated violence and death by suicide.
“It’s the daily gun violence that actually impacts people’s lives all the time,” Taylor said. “People aren’t coming to save us from this. We are going to have to push for this to be addressed especially by our political leaders.”
On Friday, Governor Greg Abbott thanked Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan for convening special legislative committees in the wake of Uvalde but has not called for a special session to address any specific measures.
“The status quo is unacceptable. This crime is unacceptable,” Abbott said in the immediate days following the May 24 attack.
Former congressman Beto O’Rourke, speaking earlier this week in Dallas says he wants support for gun regulations, like expanded background checks and safe storage as a driving issue in his run for governor this fall.
It is a policy issue that is inextricably linked to politics. This is why Taylor said she will keep working to gather volunteers like the ones that showed up in orange on Sunday together, some for the first time.
“Sometimes it's just really nice to be reminded that you’re not the only person who is fed up with the inaction on gun violence.”