PARKLAND, Fla., June 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the students of March For Our Lives announced a nationwide bus tour to register young people to vote and prepare them to stand up to the NRA and take steps to curb gun violence. The bus tour, March For Our Lives: Road to Change, is the next phase of the students' movement to address gun violence in communities across the country.
The tour, which will make over 75 stops nationwide, follows the nearly 800 March For Our Lives events held across the country on March 24. Millions of Americans joined marches in their communities, and many more took action by calling their representatives and demanding change. Today, the students are harnessing that energy and passion and turning it into action.
The nationwide tour launches Friday, June 15 at the Peace March in Chicago, led by students from St. Sabina Academy. From there, students from March For Our Lives will travel across the country through August, with more than 50 planned stops in over 20 states including Iowa, Texas, Missouri, California, South Carolina and Connecticut. Other students from March For Our Lives will hold a separate simultaneous tour specifically in Florida with 27 stops, visiting every congressional district and activating their local networks across the state. At each stop, the students will register young people to vote and educate them on two things: 1) the critical reforms needed that will save lives, and 2) whether their local candidates and elected officials support those reforms or, instead, support the NRA.
"Now is the time for the youth vote to stand up to the gun lobby when no one else will and say no to these dangerous policies and loopholes that are allowing kids to be gunned down every day in every community," said Cameron Kasky. "We've had enough. By empowering millions of young people eligible to vote for the first time this year, we can bring common sense to our state houses and Congress."
The students are engaging communities where the youth vote needs to be heard. More than 4 million Americans turned 18 this year, making them eligible to vote for the first time. They are also engaging areas where the NRA has had a strong hold on elected officials or candidates on the local, state, or federal level. Since the 2016 election, the NRA has given more than $1.4 million to members of Congress and their associated PACS. Because gun violence has touched communities all across the country, the students will also travel to impacted communities and meet with other victims and survivors of gun violence to share ideas on what else can be done.
"We cannot solve the gun violence epidemic in the United States unless we stand united on the issue that plagues our country every day," said Ryan Deitsch. "This issue affects every community, and we're all fighting for our lives. We need to take our communities back from the NRA, and continue this movement. We'll make our voices heard, register young people to vote, get them to the polls, and change America's gun policies so that these senseless tragedies stop."
"The shooting at our high school wasn't the first," said Sofie Whitney. "It wasn't even the first or last this year. But at the March For Our Lives, people all around the country came together to say, not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. One more teacher to have to jump in front of an assault weapon to save a student. One more family to sit around waiting for a call that never comes. We're marching forward on the road to change to make sure this time is different and results in change."
Rock The Vote, Headcount, NAACP and Mi Familia Vota are partnering with the students to support their digital and on-the-ground voter registration work. The Townhall Project will support the students efforts to hold public town halls in various communities across America.
The students are calling for common sense reforms that will save lives of more than 3,000 young people each year, including: implementing universal, comprehensive background checks; creating a searchable database for gun owners; funding the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence so that reform policies are backed up by data; and banning high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic assault rifles.
Follow the students' movement online at https://www.facebook.com/marchforourlives
Jennie Westbrook Courts, 302-379-5070
Caroline Ciccone, 202-255-9759
Cameron Trimble, 267-505-7689
SOURCE March For Our Lives