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Dozens gather at Houston park as victims of gun violence speak out

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HOUSTON – Dozens gathered at a Houston Park on Saturday to honor the victims and survivors of gun violence as part of a national gun violence awareness campaign.

The crowd came together at Finnigan Park in Houston for “Wear Orange Day Houston,” which was organized by Moms Demand Action. Among the attendees were two teenage survivors of gun violence.

Marcel McClinton, 16, was teaching Bible study at his Houston church when a gunman opened fire. Bree Butler ran for her life when a gunman opened fire inside Santa Fe High School in May, killing 10.

“As soon as we had shut the lights out the fire alarms were going off and we decided it’s more likely for it to be a school shooting than it is for it to be a fire,” said Butler, who graduated from the school the day before.

The two teens shared their experiences with the crowd. All wore the color orange, which is used to raise awareness for gun violence. In 2013, the friends of Hadith Pendleton, 15, sparked a movement when they wore orange in her honor after she was shot and killed in Chicago.

Butler said she was one one of few outspoken student activists in Santa Fe.

“People in Santa Fe just want to stay quiet, they want to keep our quiet little town our quiet little town. I respect that completely,” she said.

The recent graduate said while she can’t change people, she can stand up for what she believes.

McClinton said he was optimistic about the future of the movement, saying he hopes it will catch on with fellow youth.

“It’s amazing, incredible, powerful,” he said. “This makes me think of a revolution ... young people rallying together and you have one common goal, just end gun violence in every community. Not just schools but in theaters, streets, in churches, everywhere.”

National Gun Violence Awareness Day was on Friday.