It would take more than a heavy downpour of rain to keep dozens of Moms Demand Action members and supporters in Anacortes from demonstrating for common-sense gun legislation last week.

It was the first Friday in June, which is Wear Orange day. It was also just over a week after yet another mass shooting, this time at a Texas elementary school.

Wear Orange began on June 2, 2015, on what would have been Hadiya Pendleton’s 18th birthday. Pendleton died on Jan. 13, 2013, shot to death on a playground in Chicago. Her friends honored her by wearing orange, and it caught on as part of a movement against gun violence, according to the Wear Orange website.

“It’s the color of ‘Don’t Shoot. I’m a hunter,’” said Treva King of Anacortes, who helped organize the local June 3 protest.

Most of the demonstrators there also wore orange and carried orange signs calling for an end to gun violence and for stronger laws. The timing and mood were particularly raw following the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 21 people, mostly children, and injured 17 more.

Moms Demand Action is focused on keeping guns out of the hands of children, King said.

“We have military (members); we have gun owners; we have hunters,” she said. “We are not anti-gun. We are anti-gun violence. We are pro-legislation that makes sense.”

Deeper background checks and safe storage laws are two areas that should be addressed, she said.

Most Americans are for sensible legislation, but it just doesn’t pass in Congress, King said.

“It’s an uphill battle, but there are Moms Demand Action chapters all over,” she said. “That’s what we do.”

Kathleen Hughlock of Anacortes showed up to join the demonstration, though she isn’t part of the Moms Demand Action group.

“I’m just another person who is absolutely fed up. It’s just ridiculous,” she said. “There is no logic or common sense to any of this.”

She carried a sign that read: “Ban Assault Weapons Now” on one side and Vote No! with a picture of an AR-15 rifle on the other. A similar type of weapon reportedly was used in the massacre in the Uvalde school.

Barbara Cooper, who came to join the protest after hearing about it, said the latest school shooting almost had her feeling something close to resignation, but she still came out in the pouring rain.

King said there seemed to be a lull in school violence during two years of pandemic shutdowns, but as things have started to reopen, “here we are again.”

“That we are still having to do this is really sad and frustrating,” she said of the demonstration.

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