Wear Orange Day: Activists hold gun violence awareness event in Canoga Park

CANOGA PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- It took just one brainstorming session for a group of Canoga Park residents to select a place in their community to serve as a permanent reminder for those lost every day to gun violence.

Volunteers wore orange and planted marigolds in Lanark Park on Saturday as part of Wear Orange For Gun Violence Awareness, a national call-to-action organized by About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

This year's day of service was held locally for the first time, and the flowers planted are unique to Canoga Park.

"We just kind of were brainstorming one day at a coffee house and came up with it, and now I'm just so excited by it. It really turned out beautiful. It made me tear up at what it turned into," said Samantha Dorf, Moms Demand Action California chapter co-lead.

Dorf joined the grassroots organization after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016. As the mother of two young children, she says she doesn't want to get rid of all guns, but definitely wants more regulation.

"In the state of California, we are really trying to push funding for something called CalVIP, which is the California Violence Intervention Program. For years it's only been $9 million but we're trying to get to $39 million," Dorf said.

She has even traveled to Sacramento, meeting with state Assembly Member Jesse Gabriel, who is pushing for stricter gun legislation.

"We actually have about 18 bills that are working through the legislature. We'v had really productive conversations with our governor, Gavin Newsom. He thinks, as we do, that California should be a national model for states that want to step up and fight gun violence," Gabriel said.

The volunteers said they didn't want the statistics to turn into a meaningless numbers, so they planted 100 marigolds to represent the 100 lives lost every day to gun violence.

"It's shocking that it's a 100 people per day, and 100 marigolds don't do enough, but at least now we have something to stop by and remember them by," Dorf said.

Ruth Kennedy-Mountjoy wants to protect her children, Luke and Miles, and says this is the best way to do it.

"The great thing about Moms Demand Action is that you don't have to have a ton of time. I have a full-time job, two little kids and there's so many different ways to get involved, so many different things to do," she said.

The action replaces the venting she did on social media every time she heard about another mass shooting.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.