TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Dozens of people donning orange shirts, pants and hats rallied together at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa on Saturday to put an end to gun violence.
“Enough is enough,” attendee Mike Kates said. “I don’t understand how many more mass killing every day we have to live with in this country. Why should we live in that way?”
The rally is one of 400 events held nationwide as part of the ‘Wear Orange’ campaign. The movement started after a Chicago 15-year-old was shot and killed on a playground more than a decade ago. Her favorite color was orange — it’s also the color hunters wear to identify themselves from wildlife.
The event featured guest speakers, a peace walk along the river and booths to learn more.
“What if this happened to someone you love?” asked attendee Joan Kates. “Is that what it’s going to take for people to demand change?”
The Kates brought a sign with them that read, “Stop the Insanity” and “Ban Assault Weapons.”
“The way it will happen is if people, like all the people that are here,” Joan said. “If people rise up and they say, ‘Enough is enough’.”
Nicole Wass is a local organizer with Moms Demand Action, the group putting on the event.
“Gun violence impacts us all, whether or not we want to admit it,” Wass explained. “Unfortunately, it’s a growing epidemic.”
She got involved after the 2019 mass shooting in an El Paso Walmart that killed 23 people.
“I had just seen, over and over and over in the news these mass shootings,” Wass said. “I just knew that it wasn’t normal.”
Wass said the more she can raise awareness, the more she hopes gun violence will end.