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.

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Two years ago, after attending a sweet gong meditation in Mid Phoenix, I was standing under a streetlight, catching up with my girlfriend who had invited me. I had my yoga mat under one arm and my purse on the opposite shoulder. My friend had her yoga mat, a special bag and her car keys. Three young men walked from across the street; one said, “Give me your purse now and please don’t argue.” The second guy just stood there very serious, but when I looked at the third guy, I saw he had a big gun pointed at us. The first guy was grabbing my purse and my friend’s yoga bag.

It all happened very fast, and we were very fortunate that neither of us were harmed. We were very shaken. We called the police from the ashram and made a report. I still can picture that night and am careful, but it was only 9:00 p.m. They did not get any cash, and my cards got canceled right away.

I think about these boys and am curious how their lives had been to this point, where they thought they needed to choose this type of interaction. I am sad they had access to a big, machine-looking-type gun. My hope for them is that they can find a different way of living in this world that does not involve robbing, guns and violence. That they can find love, meaning and connection that would fill them, so that they would not need to choose this type of dangerous activity but have rich ways of contributing to our society.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.