Volunteers demonstrate at Gun Violence Awareness Day event in Co - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Volunteers demonstrate at Gun Violence Awareness Day event in Conway

Volunteers demonstrating at the Gun Violence Awareness Day event in Conway. (Source: Lisa Gresci) Volunteers demonstrating at the Gun Violence Awareness Day event in Conway. (Source: Lisa Gresci)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A National Gun Violence Awareness Day event is being held Friday afternoon in Conway.

Volunteers with the South Carolina chapter of the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are at the event, which began at 2 p.m. at the Highway 55 Restaurant at Highway 501 and Singleton Ridge Road.

The event is part of a national “Wear Orange” campaign that includes over 400 influencers, corporations, mayors, and partner organizations, and iconic landmarks to kick off Gun Violence Awareness Month.

"It's truly incredible to watch this movement grow year after year - it has morphed from a moment my friends and I dreamed up to honor Hadiya to a national movement, with events in every state," said Nza-Ari Khepra, founder of Project Orange Tree and co-creator of Wear Orange. "I'm so grateful to the thousands of Americans who will turn out to turn their communities orange this weekend. Their passion for saving lives from gun violence inspires me to keep going and demanding change."

Barbara Eisenhardt attended the event and lives in the Wild Wing community but she hears gun shots more often than you'd imagine.

“We hear gun shots back there all the time and the first thing that goes through your mind is that somebody is breaking into someone’s home in the back. Somebody is being assaulted in our backyard. And we come to find out that it’s somebody on Horry County property who is shooting guns because they feel like it,” she explained.

Horry County Council has been going back and forth about a gun ordinance. and just how close people can shoot their guns to residential area.  

It's an issue, Eisenhardt isn't the only one dealing with.

“I heard a bullet pass right by my ear. I've been affected by gun violence because every day I'm afraid I could be shot right through the woods. Probably no one would even know they did it,” Grace Gifford, a Gun Sense volunteer.

This group says the kicker is they've called the cops.

“… and they're comment back to us is, we'd love to do that but there is no ordinance on the book that prohibits it. So there is nothing we can do. There's no law to back us up.

Each person here today, had a reason behind their passion to end gun violence and push for stricter laws. Eisenhardt and her husband both worked decades as a physician and nurse in the ER.

“We saw firsthand what happens when people say you don't have to worry about me... I’ll be safe with my gun and we get a child or an adult hit by a stray bullet,” she said.

“The community needs to speak with one voice as we take steps to protect our families,” Gifford added.

Now this isn't a group saying people shouldn't have guns. What they are asking for, are stricter laws to go with them. So innocent bystanders, won't get hit with a bullet that could either kill them, or change their lives forever.

Learn more about the Wear Orange campaign here: http://www.wearorange.org

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