Bernal Neighbor Remembers Son, Organizes for Gun Violence Awareness Day

Neighbor Clare and Camilo in Lake Tahoe, 2013

Neighbor Clare and Camilo in Lake Tahoe, 2013

Bernal Neighbor Claire Senchyna lost her son to gun violence in 2014 . Today she brings details about Gun Violence Awareness Day, which happens on Thursday, June 2:

My son Camilo attended Little People’s Workshop Daycare Co-op on Cortland Ave when he was 2 years old. We fell in love with the neighborhood and found a place to rent on Moultrie St.

When Camilo was 9, we bought a house on Putnam St. We loved living in San Francisco and especially our little village in the city, Bernal Heights. When Camilo started a family, he was going to take over his childhood home on Putnam St to raise his kids here in the neighborhood. I worked as a Nurse Practitioner for the SF Department of Public Health, and Camilo’s goal was to also work for the city, in the Fire Department. He took Fire Science classes at City College and worked as an EMT. In December 2014 he completed a Paramedic program and was well on his way. He went out to celebrate on December 7, 2014 and was killed in a random shooting on leaving a club in the Mission to come home.

I am now the volunteer California Everytown Survivor Network coordinator, which is part of Everytown for Gun Safety along with Moms Demand Action, which started as a Facebook group after the Sandy Hook shootings of 1st graders in Newtown, CT. Our members are now millions across the nation. Guns are too easily accessible, each year 30,000 people lose their lives to gun violence. We want gun laws to change. Closing loopholes on background checks is an important first step

Thursday June 2nd is Gun Violence Awareness Day, when everyone is asked to wear orange. This is an event started by high school students in Chicago to honor their a friend who was killed in a random shooting. Orange is the color hunters wear to protect themselves from being shot by other hunters.

In San Francisco on June 2nd, City Hall and Coit Tower will be light Orange. Our SF Giants baseball Team will participate. And we hope to get hundreds if not thousands to join us in a Wear Orange walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, which starts from the SF side at 11:30 am. Please join us. I will be wearing Orange and walking for my beloved son Camilo.

If you are unable to join us please Wear Orange, take a selfie and email to or twitter to #wearorange. We need to address the issue of Gun Violence . If not us, then who?

Thank You.


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6 thoughts on “Bernal Neighbor Remembers Son, Organizes for Gun Violence Awareness Day

  1. Why do these morons target law abiding citizens instead of the criminals who are the problem? There are no loopholes in background checks in this state. Stop spreading lies. There are criminals who purchase guns or bring them in illegally from other states. All your gun control does not deter them one bit.

  2. The wear orange concept was inspired by Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was fatally shot in the back while standing with friends in a Chicago park on January 29, 2013. On her birthday that year, June 2, 2013, friends and family members of Pendleton gathered in the park where she was gunned down to promote non-violence by wearing orange, a nod to hunters who wear bright orange for safety.

    “The determination of Hadiya’s family and friends to find purpose in their pain in working to make all communities safer is an inspiration to me and to all who believe in the right of every child to live free from the threat of gun violence,” added Kelly.

    The two men who were connected to the shooting of Pendleton, Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were known gang members. Ward, the gunman, was on probation at the time of the shooting after pleading guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. In addition to that charge, Ward was arrested for breaking into vehicles, misdemeanor trespassing, and as a minor, arrested for robbery, battery and marijuana possession.

    The two men told police that Pendleton was not the intended target. The men apparently confused the group she was standing with as rival gang members.

    Perhaps, “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” misses the mark. Perhaps instead of focusing on the hardware, Bloomberg’s group and these lawmakers ought to launch a “Gang Violence Awareness Day.” After all, gangbangers are responsible for much of the violence that is perpetrated in this country, whether that be with guns or baseball bats or knives or chains or any object that can be used to cause harm.

    If we shut down the gangs, gang violence will disappear. If we ban guns like so many of these advocates would like, gang violence will still be prevalent.

  3. Claire, thank you for your dedication and good work raising awareness on gun violence! I remember
    Camilo, he was so sweet, smart & kind! My son Travis was at Little People’s Workshop at that time.
    I’ve forwarded your article to Travis, Sara, (Kim’s daughter ) and Eric (all Little People alumni).

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