COLUMBIA, S.C. (August 7, 2019) – In light of the recent shootings in El Paso & Dayton, as well as the over two hundred fifty mass shootings that have occurred in the United States this year & the daily gun violence that occurs across our nation, Mayor Steve Benjamin has asked City Hall to be illuminated the color orange to bring awareness to the current gun violence epidemic. The lighting will begin on Monday, August 12 and will occur daily until the Columbia City Council votes on ordinances involving gun violence.
Since 2013, the color orange has been used as a symbol of the gun violence prevention movement. The movement started after 15-year old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois, while standing with friends in a park after school.
“We can no longer sit on the sidelines while kids and community members are being killed every day by senseless gun violence,” said Mayor Benjamin.” We must use all the power we have at the local level to enact smart and well thought out policies to keep our citizens safe.”
Mayor Benjamin and City Council are working on several policy initiatives that aim to combat gun violence in our community. These include extreme risk protection orders, a hate speech ordinance, as well as implementing parts of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. These proposals were discussed in executive session during the August 6th City Council meeting and there will be further discussion during the August 20th council meeting. Public input is being solicited during this process.