Students demanding gun control to march 50 miles to GOP leader’s hometown

BY TRACY MATHESON / MARCH 12, 2018 /

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One day after the national March for Our Lives event on March 24, students in Wisconsin are planning an additional 50-mile march to Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s hometown to demand action on gun control.

The event, called “March for Our Lives: 50 Miles More,” will begin on March 25 in Madison, Wis., and end in Janesville, Wis.

Katie Eder, senior at Shorewood High School in Wisconsin and co-leader of the 50 Miles More March, said that “inaction” by politicians routinely follows school shootings, The Hill reported.

“We have grown up experiencing school shootings followed by this inaction, and we refuse to let it happen this time,” Eder said in a press release. “We want to make sure that when the March For Our Lives events end on the 24th, people don’t stop talking and thinking about the need for gun reform.”

Eder declared that, following the march, students will not cease their demands for change in gun laws.

“That is why we are taking on a multi-day march: when the cameras have turned off on the 24th, we will pick up the torch and carry it directly to Paul Ryan’s front door,” said Eder. “By marching together, we are showing that the issue of gun violence transcends political, racial, and geographical boundaries and that we are united in the fight we are bringing to Paul Ryan.”

According to the press release, organizers are coordinating with the sheriff’s department and local officials to plan for the event in Wisconsin. Students are planning to walk approximately 13 miles a day over the course of four days, and sleep at high schools located along the route.

Reforms sought by the group include prohibition of the sale of military-style weapons of war and raising the legal age to 21 for the purchase of all firearms, according to their website.

Among the organizations with whom Eder’s group is working is March On, a coalition of women-led political activist organizations.

Vanessa Wruble, Executive Director of March On, said her group is honored that the 50 Miles More student leaders “reached out to us and we are committed to supporting them in any way that we can. But the fact is, we look forward to listening to them and learning from them as they show the world what they are made of. They are fearless and they are pushing a level of change we couldn’t have dreamed of a month ago. We are in awe of what they are accomplishing.”

The march follows the Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 people dead.