For a group of Wisconsin students, the “March for Our Lives” demonstration didn’t end on Saturday. The group kept marching – walking 50 miles from Madison to Janesville, to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R) home town.
The group, which is calling itself 50 Miles More, left Madison on Sunday.
Speaker Ryan has continued to voice his defense of the Second Amendment. In a statement from his office, he “respects those expressing their views. The House recently enacted new laws to keep children safe without infringing on constitutional rights.” Last month, Ryan oversaw the passage of legislation for more comprehensive background checks.
“I believe that we have the unique opportunity to be able to march to his hometown,” says Brendan Fardella, a senior at Shorewood High School near Milwaukee. “That sends a unique message about how much we care. We didn’t just walk two miles. We walked fifty, and we marched fifty, right into his hometown.”
The marchers are demonstrating for gun law reform and, they say, to honor the seventeen people killed in the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“It’s for the lives that were lost,” continues Fardella. “It’s for our lives… Everyone’s at risk. And so, I think the reason that I marched, really, was to show that this is about stopping that much death in this country.”
“I walked because I feel like we need better gun laws and we just need change,” opined Toreya Patterson, a student at Bradley Tech in Milwaukee. “Innocent people are getting their lives taken away. I just feel like it’s really bad and we need to do something about that.”
Many of the students who arrived in Trexler Park are not old enough to vote yet, but they promise that if some type of gun control reform is not taken by the time they are, they will force change with their vote.
“Gun violence is an issue that affects every single American, especially the students of America,” Deamillian-Windorski, a sophomore at WhiteFish Bay High School said. “I want every policy maker to know that I will be voting in the 2020 election!”
Speaker Ryan is currently overseas. His office was contacted by the author, but had not returned comment at the time this article went to print.