Mar 26, 2018
Wisconsin high school students are marching 50 miles over four days from the state capital to the hometown of U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan to demand gun safety legislation as part of the student-led movement that has followed the massacre of 17 people in Parkland, Florida last month.
\u201cNOW: About 50 #Wisconsin students are ready to start the @50milesmore march to #Janesville and call out @SpeakerRyan, demanding gun reform. They\u2019re showing politicians the #MarchForOurLives is not over. #50milesmore #news3\u201d— Amanda Quintana (@Amanda Quintana) 1521987361
The 50 Miles More march, which entered its second day on Monday, is a continuation of this weekend's worldwide March For Our Lives. On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of students and their supporters descended on Washington, D.C., with sister marches held across the globe.
"We're picking up where so many marches left off," Katie Eder, an 18-year-old organizer of 50 Miles More, told the Washington Post. Eder addressed a crowd at Milwaukee's March For Our Lives, as more than 40 students prepared to spend their spring break marching from Madison to Janesville, Wisconsin.
"We're trying to change the laws. We're trying to change the country. The beach can wait," Eder declared. "And if the politicians won't listen to us, if the politicians won't make the change, then come November, we are prepared to change the politicians."
The organizers--who drew inspiration from the 1965 marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, led by civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King Jr.--launched a website featuring march information, a mission statement, and a clear list of policy demands:
- Military-style weapons, and all weapons of war, should be banned from civilian society.
- All accessories that turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons, such as bump stocks, should be banned.
- Four-day waiting period on all gun purchases.
- Require background checks on all gun sales.
- Raise the legal purchasing age of all guns to 21.
However, Ryan, the House's top Republican and the representative for Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District, has said that his party has no interest in passing laws that restrict the types of weapons that Americans can buy, despite the mounting death toll that resulted from mass shootings executed with AR-15 style rifles. Rather than returning home for Congress's recess, Ryan visited the Czech Republic on Monday.
As the marchers reach each mile marker, their official Twitter account is sharing short stories in honor of people who have been killed because of gun violence.
\u201cMile 19\nGina Montalto - Parkland, FL. 14. One of 17 victims shot with an AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. \n#NotOneMore #MarchForOurLives\u201d— 50 Miles More (@50 Miles More) 1522077590
\u201cMile 10\nTrayvon Martin - Sanford, FL. 17. Trayvon was shot and killed as he was walking from a 7/11 to his dad\u2019s house carrying Skittles and an iced tea. \n#NotOneMore #MarchForOurLives #50More\u201d— 50 Miles More (@50 Miles More) 1522007319
\u201cMile 2\nShamiya Adams - Chicago, IL. 11. Shamiya was at a sleepover party when a bullet went through the home and struck her. She died instantly. \n#NotOneMore #MarchForOurLives\u201d— 50 Miles More (@50 Miles More) 1521988524
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