MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Some Wisconsin students are taking the momentum of weekend demonstrations against gun violence on the road — straight to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s district.
About 40 students launched a “50 Miles More” march from Madison on Sunday. They planned to make it to Janesville, Ryan’s home turf, on Wednesday for a rally.
As the students trekked through rural Wisconsin on Monday, organizer Brendan Fardella said they were determined to keep people passionate about their issue.
“We want to keep it going, we want to keep it in the news cycle, keep people empowered and passionate for as long as we can until there’s common sense gun reform or until we get to November and all of these politicians are up for re-election and we vote them out if they don’t do anything,” Fardella said.
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Law enforcement escorted the students, who chanted things like “Hey, hey NRA, how many kids did you kill today?” and carried signs like “Protect kids, not guns.”
The students said they want a ban on military style weapons, a ban on accessories to turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons, a four-day waiting period on all gun purchases, background checks on all gun sales and raising the legal purchasing age on guns to 21.
Adult volunteers were walking with students during the day. The group planned to spend the nights in schools along the route.
“The support we’ve been getting from people has been so amazing that it makes me want to keep going,” Tatiana Washington, a student from Milwaukee, said.
“I do have a bit of blisters on my feet but other than that I’m good,” Washington said. “I like it.”