Vice President Kamala Harris (right) held her first event in Maryland this year to emphasize the importance of gun control in the November election. (Courtesy photo via X)
Vice President Kamala Harris (right) held her first event in Maryland this year to emphasize the importance of gun control in the November election. (Courtesy photo via X)

Vice President Kamala Harris held her first event in Maryland this year with local leaders such as Gov. Wes Moore, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.) to emphasize the importance of gun control in the November election. 

“I believe the right to be safe is a civil right,” Harris said Friday at the event in Landover, noting that gun violence is the number one cause of death for American children. 

The campaign stop also welcomed leaders from groups like , and to partner on raising awareness on the impact of guns when left uncensored and unmonitored. 

June 7 marked the 10th annual Gun Violence Awareness Day, a moment marked with the color orange, initially in honor of the life of Hadiya Pendleton, and the more than 2,000 youth who die due to gun violence in the U.S. annually. Pendleton was a Chicago teen killed just one week after performing at former President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, less than a mile from his Chicago residence.

“It’s bone-chilling to think about what our young people have been going through,” said Harris after surveying the room to see which students have been through an active shooter drill.  

Kayla Austin, a Howard University student from Chicago, founded My Gun’s Been Moved to increase consciousness among gun owners and encourage them not to leave their weapons improperly stored.

“This month, I wear orange and [My Gun’s Been Moved] T-shirts to honor the eight children who are accidentally shot every day due to unsafe firearm storage,” she posted after attending the event. “[My Gun’s Been Moved] is on a mission to though technology and by promoting safety and responsible firearm ownership among parents.”

She is currently selling the , a connected appliance that helps gun owners safeguard their firearms through the My Gun’s Been Moved app. This allows the gun owner to know if the gun is ever removed from its standard location and respond immediately through the My Gun’s Been Moved App to confirm if there is an emergency or not.

Statistics show that in 2022, youth accounted for 48% of all youth firearm deaths although they made up only 14% of the U.S. youth population. The Black youth rate of deaths ranks substantially higher than any other racial and ethnic group and six times higher than white youth. 

“It is an indictment on us as a society that the number one way that a child dies in America is not by disease or by accident but by gun violence,” Alsobrooks said during her remarks while wearing an orange pin. 

She highlighted the strength of a local mother, Tiffani Evans, who lost her 8-year-old son to gun violence, and issued a charge to all present.

“It is true that every single person in this room has an obligation to change that fact,” Alsobrooks said passionately.

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