When I was younger I lived in Pennsylvania and I used to go deer hunting. It was a law that while hunting you had to wear X number of square inches of fluorescent orange clothing when you were in the woods. With your rifle. Hunting deer. So you would be visible to other hunters and be safe. Not shot.
I don’t know specifically if the #wearorange movement is aware of this irony or not. But this morning as I dug through my drawer to find the only orange piece of clothing I owned (a pair of leggings with orange in the print) — the realization dawned on me. The last time I probably voluntarily put orange on my body was when I stepped out into the cold northeast woods to go deer hunting.
Orange is the safety color of responsible gun owners where I come from. It was a good choice for gun safety awareness because people who know and love their guns have been wearing orange forever. They know — orange might very well have saved their lives in the woods.
If you are hunting and you are seen — you are safe. Responsible gun owners do not shoot people on purpose. If you wear orange — you are seen. And you are safe. And it is just that simple — when I was a gun owner. Where I grew up.
It’s not that simple now. But the premise is the same.
People want to be seen. People want to be safe.
That’s the bottom line. I put my orange back on today, just like I did when I used to walk into the woods all those years ago. For just the same reasons. To be seen. To be safe.