like a bouncing basketball.
But my orange is serious
like a warning sign
and a tiger on the prowl.
from My Blue is Happy
by Jessica Young
illustrated by Catia Chien
My brother played with toy guns. I did too. It is really very hard to admit that. I remember knowing, though, in my heart and in my brain that I was holding a toy. It was pretend. My brother and I would play at shooting each other, and sometimes his friends and the other neighborhood kids, too. But we always knew it was pretend. We all liked each other.
Were we all less sensitive than kids are today? I don’t think so. Were we better at distinguishing fact from fiction? I don’t think so. Were we more innocent? Maybe. More frivolous? Maybe.
Let’s face it. America is a culture of guns. Our history is guns. Our culture glorifies guns. On this Memorial Day I am aware of the irony as I speak (okay write) about the destruction, the heartbreak, the violence that guns can bring about. My father was a hero in WWII. Where would we be without our war heroes, our active military defenders, our policemen? Even traffic cops. Especially traffic cops.
Lately, we have all become more aware of the importance of gun safety. The students who became activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have made sure of that. Creating and passing laws that promote common sense and protect society’s most vulnerable people at the same time are getting attention.
Some colors call attention to themselves. I used to have a color day every once in a while for preschool storytime. After hearing stories about colors, the kids would trace their hands (with a lot of help) on their favorite color construction paper. Then they’d cut them out and paste them onto a piece of white paper with a little poem about handprints on it. Most children did not choose orange.
Although my youngest grandson’s favorite color was orange for a little while, orange is not most people’s favorite color. Orange is one of the colors most people like least.
But think about highway barrels, school busses. caution lights. Where would we be without them? And they are all orange. They are are all warnings.
Hunters wear orange. It is the “be careful” color, noticeable, attention-getting.
June 1st has been National Gun Safety Awareness Day since 2013. This weekend, June 1-3, is Wear Orange Weekend. It is organized by Everytown For Gun Safety. Events are planned in every state including Alaska and Hawaii. You can find out if an event is planned near you by looking at their website: www.everytown.org
The color orange honors the more than 90 lives cut short and the hundreds more wounded by gun violence everyday. Every day!
I don’t have any orange in my closet. Guess I’ll have to go shopping.