National Gun Violence Awareness Day

Orange is a color associated with safety.  Everything from life vests to traffic cones are orange, and orange is the color hunters wear to protect themselves and others.  Orange also was the favorite color of Hadiya Pendleton, whose friends organized the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day in 2015 to honor the talented young woman who was shot and killed at the age of 15, just one week after performing at President Obama’s second inauguration. The vision of these young friends has become a national movement–June 2 is now Wear Orange Day across America.

Join with WAVE Ed Fund to rise up and speak out May 31-June 2—Wear Orange to send an urgent and powerful message: We CAN, and we WILL, end gun violence!

Here’s how you can participate in 2018:

Wear Orange on June 2. Encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to do the same. Share photos on social media using the hashtag #WearOrangeWI

Show your thanks to our local partners. From the Milwaukee Brewers to the Milwaukee Bucks to the Milwaukee County Historical Society to the Domes, and more! Milwaukee’s skyline will turn orange June 1-3 to raise awareness. Let these partners know you like how they #WearOrangeWI.

Ask your elected representatives to Wear Orange. Contact your local and state elected officials to ask them to join you in wearing orange to end gun violence on June 2.

Attend or organize a community event. WAVE Ed Fund is co-sponsoring events in Madison, Milwaukee, and Appleton throughout the weekend. Other events across Wisconsin can be found at

Thursday, May 31: Press Conference, 10 am at the State Capitol in room 225 NW
Saturday, June 2: Raising Awareness, 8 am – 2 pm at the Dane County Farmer’s Market on Capitol Square

Thursday, May 31: Rally, 3:30 pm at O’Donnell Park in downtown Milwaukee
Friday, June 1: Vigil, 5 pm – 8 pm at the Sojourner Family Peace Center
Saturday, June 2: Community Event, 12 pm at the Northside YMCA

Friday, June 1: Press Conference, 9:45 am at the Appleton Public Library

wave2018National Gun Violence Awareness Day
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Now hiring student interns for summer!

Youth-WAVE Event Team / Summer Internships

WAVE Educational Fund is a grassroots, statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to preventing gun violence by strengthening our state’s gun laws.

We are hiring 2-4 high school or college summer interns passionate about preventing gun violence.

We need your help to reach out to other youth who are concerned about gun violence and people who will be eligible to vote in November 2018. As part of the Milwaukee summer Event Team, you will assist with voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities, lead weekly events to raise public awareness about gun violence prevention, and coordinate a larger community event for the end of the summer.


  • Develop an understanding of Wisconsin’s gun laws and the ways in which stronger gun laws can save lives.
  • Talk with young people across Greater Milwaukee about the importance of voting. Help eligible new voters get registered using a voter registration app on a smart phone or tablet. (Note: WAVE does not support any specific candidates or political parties.) These conversations will happen at block parties, festivals, concerts, or other community events.
  • Raise awareness among young people and their families about gun violence prevention and ways they can get involved to demand stronger gun laws. Each week the Event Team will plan and lead local actions like rallies, protests, sit-ins, etc. that provide opportunities for teens to take action and capture the attention of the public and followers on social media.
  • Plan and coordinate a larger community event for the end of summer. This newsworthy event will focus on the impact of gun violence on kids and communities. The Event Team will help with all aspects of designing and planning the event.
  • As part of this job, you will transport, set up, and break down event equipment (tables, tents, banners, etc.).

Skills required:

  • Event Team members should have an enthusiasm and optimism about preventing gun violence and a strong desire to share those feelings with others, whether in a personal conversation, on social media, or as part of an action or event.
  • Event Team members must be positive, energetic, reliable, responsible, mature, and capable of engaging and interacting with a diverse population. The ability to speak Spanish or Hmong is a plus, but not required.
  • With either your own transportation (valid driver’s license and auto insurance required) or public transportation, you must be able to travel around Greater Milwaukee to attend actions and events, including on some nights or weekends. Most actions and events will take place outdoors.
  • All Event Team members must be able to capture photos from actions and events to share on social media.
  • You must be able to regularly stand and walk for significant amounts of time and lift objects of less than 35 lbs.
  • Experience with sales, customer service, or political organizing is preferred.


  • This is a paid internship that will require from 10 hours per week up to 15 hours per week for 10 weeks (beginning in mid-June). Working hours will likely vary from week to week and will include some nights and weekends.
  • You will be paid an $800 stipend for the summer. You will receive one payment of $250 after completing three weeks and a payment of $550 after completing ten weeks.
  • WAVE Ed Fund can also assist interns in seeking school credit for their summer internship.

To apply:

Please send your resume and a cover letter to Kristina Paris at


wave2018Now hiring student interns for summer!
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WAVE Voter Guide to Gun Violence Prevention

This guide offers facts about the impacts of gun violence on children, families, our communities, and the economy. It also presents evidence-based policy solutions proven to save lives. We hope you will use it to become more informed about the issue and the ways in which gun policy reform can improve our safety.

wave2018WAVE Voter Guide to Gun Violence Prevention
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Our activities and achievements



Over the past year, WAVE helped form the Wisconsin Gun Safety Coalition, a group of organizations and individuals devoted to preventing gun violence and building safer communities. After meeting regularly for several months, the coalition was formally kicked-off at a press conference April 2017. Coalition partners have already worked together to fight the dangerous “permitless carry” bill and, going forward, will work on a proactive, lifesaving agenda, including the advancement of a criminal background check bill.

WAVE volunteers turned out to support the kick-off press conference of the Wisconsin Gun Safety Coalition at the State Capitol. The coalition’s endorsement of a bill to require background checks on every gun sale was also announced at that time. Coalition members include: End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, Dr. Elizabeth Neary, Jean Papalia, Mental Health America of Wisconsin, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Wisconsin Chapter, National Physicians Alliance Wisconsin Chapter, National Association of Social Workers Wisconsin Chapter, Rep. Terese Berceau, Rep. Melissa Sargent, Rep. Lisa Subeck, Rep. Chris Taylor, Sen. LaTonya Johnson, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, WAVE Educational Fund, Wisconsin Council of Churches, Wisconsin Physicians for Social Responsibility.


WAVE volunteer activists attended legislative hearings, town hall meetings, school board meetings, and face-to-face meetings with elected officials to ensure gun violence prevention is part of the agenda.

Members of our Milwaukee-area action team attended a town hall meeting with their state senator. Of the approximately 30 citizens at the meeting, more than half were there to speak out about the “permitless carry” bill being considered by the legislature. No attendees spoke in favor of that bill, and no other policy topic generated more than a single speaker. Although the senator began the meeting uncommitted on the topic of “permitless carry,” after hearing from so many constituents opposed to the bill, by the end of the meeting she had voiced her opposition to the proposal. Our volunteers then went on to testify against the bill during a public hearing in Madison. The day after the public hearing, Governor Walker stated that he did not see a need for the bill.


Our highly-engaged supporters hosted WAVE education and awareness events in Madison, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Monroe, Appleton and elsewhere. These events included concerts, movie screenings, panel discussions, press conferences, and virtual meetings.

Our Madison group, for example, created a one-day display of 92 pairs of shoes at the Capitol to represent the 92 Americans killed in gun violence each day. The display generated a tremendous amount of media coverage and resulted in many signatures on a petition to pass a federal background check law.


WAVE staff and volunteers gathered signatures on petitions at numerous community events and neighborhood gatherings all across the state, including Fond du Lac, Waukesha, Wauwatosa, Appleton, Madison, Oak Creek and Milwaukee.

After one of the worst mass shootings in American history, WAVE activists gathered signatures at events across Wisconsin’s First Congressional District, and constituent volunteers called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to move forward a bill for universal background checks. The petitions were delivered by WAVE’s volunteers to Speaker Ryan’s staff at his district offices and during mobile office hours.


WAVE volunteer activists advocated to school boards across the state to pass resolutions opposing any change in state law to allow concealed carry on school grounds. At least 15 school districts have now passed resolutions, including: Whitefish Bay, Oak Creek-Franklin, Shorewood, Madison, Nicolet, Fox Point-Bayside, Wauwatosa, Appleton, Brodhead, Kaukauna, Mequon-Thiensville, Monroe, Middleton-Cross Plains, McFarland, and Monona Grove.

WAVE staff held informational sessions for our action teams. Many of our volunteers then went to their own school boards, urging them to pass resolutions opposed to any legislation that would allow guns in schools. After having success with their own school boards, our volunteer teams began recruiting other parents to take similar actions. Our volunteers explained their experiences to other supporters on a statewide conference call that WAVE hosted. Next, the volunteers created an activist toolkit, which they shared widely. As a result of their efforts, more than a dozen districts have passed resolutions, and many more are in the process of doing so.


WAVE volunteers across the state provided local expertise to print and broadcast media outlets.

We trained volunteers to talk to the media about the issue of gun violence prevention and its impacts on their families, neighborhoods, and communities.


WAVE activists participated in rallies and protests across Wisconsin to bring attention to the issue of gun violence prevention.

Gun violence prevention policy is intertwined with many other policies and issues. This past year, WAVE volunteers joined the Women’s March, the March for Science, and Moral Mondays, as well as the Wear Orange, Disarm Hate, and We Need Nine campaigns.

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Get The Facts

Shoe display representing the lives lost to gun violence each year in Wisconsin. 

Gun Violence by the Numbers

Every day in the United States, approximately 300 people—including 65 children and teens—are injured or killed with guns in murders, assaults, suicides, and accidents.

In Wisconsin, approximately 500 men, women and children are killed with guns each year, including the 75% who die as a result of suicide.

In 2014, 133 Wisconsin veterans died by suicide, including 86 by firearm suicide. The suicide rate among veterans in Wisconsin is over twice the rate among the general population.

In 2014, there were 742 firearm injury-related emergency department visits in Wisconsin.

Gun deaths devastate families in both urban and rural areas, while Wisconsin’s urban areas are disproportionately impacted by homicides; the state’s less populated areas experience greater rates of gun suicide.

Since Sandy Hook, there have been nearly 300 school shootings in America, about one per week.

Gun violence costs our country $229 billion in combined direct and in-direct expenses annually.

For more data:

The Gun Violence Archive is an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 2,500 media, law enforcement, government, and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence. The Archive DOES NOT include gun suicide data.

Everytown for Gun Safety compiles daily school shooting incidents, defined as “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds, as documented by the press and, when necessary, confirmed through further inquiries with law enforcement or school officials. Incidents in which guns were brought into schools but not discharged, or where the firearm was discharged off school grounds, are NOT included.”

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Policies to Save Lives


1) Require background checks on all gun sales.  

  • Eight out of ten Wisconsin residents, including gun owners, support a law requiring background checks on all gun sales.[iii]
  • When Missouri repealed its permit-to-purchase law, which required a background check prior to purchasing a handgun, firearm homicides in the state soared by 25%. That means an additional 49 to 68 people are murdered every year.[ii]
  • In the 10 years following Connecticut’s passage of its law requiring prospective handgun buyers to first obtain a permit -by passing a criminal background check- firearm homicides declined by 40%.[i]
  • In Wisconsin, federally licensed dealers are required to conduct a background check on all firearm sales, but private sellers are not. This private sale loophole allows just about anyone to buy a gun with no background check, no identification, and no questions asked.

2) Prohibit habitual criminals and those with violent misdemeanor convictions      from purchasing or possessing firearms for 10 years.

  • Research shows the clearest predictor of future violence is past violence. A study found that people who lawfully bought handguns, even though they previously had been convicted of two or more violent misdemeanors, were 15 times as likely as handgun purchasers with no criminal history to later be arrested for murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault.[i]

3) Create a mechanism that allows for the temporary removal of guns when individuals are at high risk of harming themselves or others.

  • Often after a horrible tragedy, such as a mass shooting or a suicide, family members will report they saw clear warning signs, but there was nothing they could do.
  • The creation of a Lethal Violence Protective Order would give family members and law enforcement officers the means to ask a judge to temporarily prohibit a person from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

4) Reinstate the 48-hour waiting period for handgun sales.

  • Evidence presented in The American Journal of Public Health demonstrates that waiting periods are an effective means of reducing gun suicide. States with a waiting period for handgun sales had 51% fewer firearm suicides per capita.[ii]
  • That same study found, “In 11 states with waiting periods, the longer the waiting period, the lower the gun suicide rate.” [iii]
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