Celeste Kanpurwala is hoping for a sea of orange T-shirts on the back lawn of Community High School on Saturday morning, June 3, when the Washtenaw chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America rallies before a march to the Federal Building. “People have been really gung ho since the election,” says Kanpurwala, perhaps in response to President Trump’s efforts to expand access to guns.
The mother of two young boys, Kanpurwala first got involved in gun safety after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, and was further shaken when her depressed father committed suicide with a gun two years ago.
The Sandy Hook killings also hit home to actor Julia Glander, who has friends with a child in the same Connecticut school district school. Hours passed anxiously before she learned their daughter attended a different school. Like everyone, Glander was shocked again by the fatal shooting last fall of Pioneer High student Jordan Klee. She’s organizing a live theatrical event on June 14 at Zingerman’s Greyline–one of several gun safety events the group is planning during June.
Why orange T-shirts? After Chicago teenager Hadiya Pendleton was killed in a gang shooting in 2013, friends and family wore them in her honor, and it was picked up by the national Moms Demand Action group. (Most chapters wear orange on June 2, Pendleton’s birthday, but the third worked better for the local group.)
Washtenaw Moms leader Theresa Reid hopes that the month of activism, whose supporters include sheriff Jerry Clayton, will bring more people into the fold. In a symbolic gesture of support, downtown’s First National Building will glow orange the night of June 2