Families of gun violence victims Wear Orange at State House

Families of gun violence victims Wear Orange at State House

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The State House grounds turned orange Saturday as dozens gathered to speak out against gun violence.

Midlands families say they are fed up with gun violence taking over our community, especially when they lost loved ones as a result.

Friday was National Gun Violence Awareness Day, but some gathered in Columbia for a second day because they say it's a message the city must hear.

They wore orange in what's become a national effort to speak up across the United States against gun violence impacting our communities.

"It's happening every day so it could happen to any one of us," said Stephanie Green, who lost her son, Preston, to a stray bullet almost five years ago.

"He went out with his friends, he was standing in the parking lot talking to a girl. A group of guys started fighting, one shot into the air, one shot into the crowd. He shot Preston. Preston was shot in the head. There was another soldier, same age as Preston, 21. He died that night."

Preston Brown had just returned from deployment when he was shot and killed.

For his mother, the words about that night are hard to put together

"When they said that Preston had been shot in the head, it just took me," she said.  "A lot of what happened that day I can't remember."

But there are many other things about her son she does remember.

"Preston was one of those kids who smiled all of the time. He never got mad," she said. "When you commit such crimes, you affect a lot of people."

According to Wear Orange, gun violence kills more than 90 Americans a day.

Dozens of others who lost loved ones joined Green at the rally Saturday.  They said the color orange represents the color that hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved.