Here's how she got involved.

By Courtney Higgs
Jun 07, 2019 @ 5:30 pm

Year after year, the death toll due to gun violence in the United States climbs higher. Just over a week ago, a gunman killed 12 people at a Virginia Beach municipal building – just one of the many recent shootings. It’s an unfortunate reality that’s left many feeling helpless, but now is your chance to get involved.

Today marks the official start to Wear Orange Gun Violence Awareness Weekend, a movement started in 2013 when a group of Chicago teens honored their classmate Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed by gunfire one week after performing at President Barack Obama's second inauguration, by wearing the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves: orange. This weekend, Wear Orange events will be taking place nationwide to continue to shed light on the gun-violence epidemic.

Last month, long-time gun-control advocates and producers J.J. and Katie Abrams hosted an intimate backyard affair at their home in Los Angeles in support of Everytown for Gun Safety, Every Town Creative Counsel and Moms Demand Action, all of which are committed to ending gun violence through community action and campaigning for more stringent gun laws. “We're living in somewhat of a dark moment, and yet the work that this group does is light and is, sadly, so deeply necessary,” J.J. said to the crowd of friends and colleagues, including Julianne Moore, Keegan Michael Key, Conan O’Brien and more. “We've been proud to be part of this group, standing for something that is not only morally correct, but also just plain sense.”

The evening included moving remarks by the Abrams', as well as Everytown president, John Feinblatt; Julianne Moore, who founded Everytown Creative Counsel; and a survivor named La’Shea Cretain, who survived being shot by an abusive partner.

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Also there to show her support was The Talk host Tamera Mowry, whose connection to this cause hits especially close to home. Her niece was killed last year in a shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA, where 11 others fell victim to the senseless violence. Mowry's niece, Alaina Housley, was 18 years old.

“I was just disgusted with myself for not doing anything,” Moore exclusively told InStyle of the impetus for starting the Every Town Creative Counsel, a coalition of artists and influential creatives who have vowed to help amplify the movement to end gun violence in the U.S. “I thought, what’s the thing that’s making me most upset right now, and where I feel like there is the least activity? And it was gun violence.”

RELATED: My Mom Was Killed in Sandy Hook. Now I'm Fighting to Prevent Gun Violence

Moore has spoken openly about trying to shield her daughter, Liv, from the news about the tragic Sandy Hook shooting; she was 11-years-old at the time and found out about the tragedy on Instagram, despite the actress’ best efforts. “It’s been interesting, because my daughter now is an activist — she's on the board of Students Demand Action. All the way at the beginning, she was the person who inspired me to become involved and now she's involved in the movement, too. Just as a human being and as a citizen and a parent, it’s important to do the things that are important for the health and safety of your children, and to model that behavior for your kids as well. We all have responsibilities to our communities.”

Ahead of Wear Orange Gun Violence Awareness Weekend, Moore’s husband Bart Freundlich directed this star-studded video, urging everyone to wear orange and end gun violence. It debuted just one day after the Virginia Beach tragedy, as a stark reminder that gun reform is needed now more than ever.

If you think making a difference when it comes to gun violence is outside your reach, Moore has a piece of advice. “Find your local chapter of Moms Demand Action and join. There are chapters all over the country and I'm telling you, these people are phenomenal. Believe me, there's plenty to do on a local level in just about every state.” You don't have to be a mom — or an A-list one at that — to make a difference on this critical issue.

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