Join us on June 7-9th for Wear Orange, as we unite in our call to end gun violence and honor the more than 120 people who are shot and killed, and hundreds more who are wounded and traumatized, every day in our country. Read some of the stories of those affected by gun violence below.

total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Jennifer Douek

In honor of Judy Salamon

One day in the middle of the summer of 2013, I got a call at work. Something bad had happened to Judy, and I had to call my cousin, her sister, in California. I live in Canada, where gun violence is definitely not as rare as it should be, but still, it’s not on my radar as a daily issue.

It didn’t occur to me that violence of any kind could be part of the story of the bad thing. I was thinking along the lines of a heart attack. That’s the kind of safety and privilege I come from. I know many people don’t and live with threat of violence is on their minds every day.

Judy, who was 66 at the time, and stood 5 feet 2 inches and weighed maybe 105 pounds, was shot at point-blank range in her car a few blocks from her home in Oakland. She had witnessed a robbery. We don’t know all the details. How menacing could she have been?

Judy was a feisty person. She liked to argue. She was very bright and very sensitive. She had a lot of compassion for animals and little children. I don’t think her life was easy; her parents were Holocaust survivors who didn’t recover enough from their hurt to give her quite what she needed. But she nevertheless had a lot of love.

I can’t wrap my head around the senselessness and the malice of killing someone who really can’t hurt you, killing them just because you have a gun and maybe you’re nervous, or maybe it’s a dumb thoughtless act, or maybe it’s cruelty. I also cannot get over the senselessness of letting people just… have guns. I mean, for what?

Why do you need a thing whose sole purpose is to kill people? And if you arm a whole nation and spread hatred and mistrust and fear? When you go overseas to fight wars, what exactly is there to defend?

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.