Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of students came together for the March For Our Lives, a nation-wide protest calling for gun control and an end to gun violence in America. But for some students, the march is just beginning. A group of teenagers from Shorewood High School in Wisconsin is walking 50 miles from Madison to Janesville, the hometown of House Speaker Paul Ryan, in order to convince the congressman to support stricter gun control measures.
The students started the “50 Miles More’ March on Sunday and are planning to walk about 13 miles a day until they reach Janesville, a town located in southern Wisconsin. The students said they were inspired by the Civil Rights movement, which also often included similar multi-day marches.
“At that time, people said what they were marching for was impossible,” Katie Eder, an 18-year-old organizer, told CNN. “They made the impossible possible. We’re picking up where the young people of that time left off.”
— March For Our Lives: 50 Miles More (@50milesmore) March 25, 2018
According to the 50 Miles More website, the students are demanding that lawmakers ban military-grade weapons and accessories (like bump stocks that can make semi-automatic weapons automatic), establish mandatory background checks for anyone who wants to buy a gun, raise the legal age to buy guns to 21, and create a four-day waiting period for all gun sales. The students hope that by marching to Ryan, they might have a better chance of actually meeting him in person to share their views on the divisive topic. The Speaker is a well-documented opponent of gun control measures.
“I think we have a unique opportunity because the speaker is the most important member of the House, and he’s from Wisconsin,” said 17-year-old Brendan Fardella. “This is a unique way to catch his attention and call him out for his constant burying of possible gun legislation that would save hundreds of lives every day in this country.”