Marchers Seek Gun Control
Milwaukee’s student march was one of 800 in the nation.
Hundreds of participants in the recent March for Our Lives in Milwaukee are looking toward November to elect representatives willing to stand up to the NRA and pass legislation to limit availability of guns.
Devooght, a senior at Union Grove High School, said she expected that about 10 people would show up at a walkout she organized on March 14 in response to the fatal Parkland, Florida school shooting in February. Union Grove ended up with 170 students participating. Devooght then applied to be a student speaker at the March for Our Lives in Milwaukee on March 24.
Katie Eder, a student organizer from Shorewood High School, told the crowd, “If the politicians won’t make the change, then come November, we are prepared to change the politicians.”
Milwaukee’s march was one of more than 800 that took place across the country. The nationwide movement was started by survivors of the Florida school shooting in which 17 people were killed, including 14 students. People of all ages and backgrounds showed up to take a stand at the event, which included music, nondenominational prayer and speakers calling for stricter gun laws. Photos were shared on social media using the hashtag, #WeCallBSMKE.
Arianna Neal, a 17-year-old student at Germantown High School, 11501 N. River Ln., said she was there because kids should never feel afraid to go to school and parents should never fear for their child’s safety at school.
“Kids our age have been deemed as uneducated about government and uneducated about how the system works, when actually, we take classes about this stuff, we educate ourselves and we involve ourselves in politics,” Neal said.
The marchers left the Milwaukee County Courthouse and walked east on State Street toward City Hall, 200 E. Wells St., chanting in opposition to gun violence. Voter registration booths were set up at City Hall. For many students, it would be the first time they registered to vote.
Alondra Gomez and Jackie Foren are 13-year-old students at Bruce-Guadalupe Community School. They said that they were there to show support and demonstrate that their generation is not “messing around.”
“I am so glad that our generation is not going to stop, even when politicians say we are,” said Jackie.
Eder invited young people to participate in the “50 Miles More” four-day march, which took place immediately after the March for Our Lives. Young people from all over Wisconsin gathered in Madison and marched 50 miles to Janesville, the hometown of U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“We are directly calling out Paul Ryan for his direct role in blocking and banning any chance of gun reform,” said Eder.
Many signs criticized the National Rifle Association and called for “common sense” gun laws that expand background checks for online sales and at gun shows.
In 1963 Percy James marched on Washington during the Civil Rights Movement. Fifty-five years later, he participated in the March for Our Lives, holding a painting of his late wife, who was active in the anti-war movement.
“I didn’t realize until after she was deceased that she was a wonderful mentor to me and this is the very least I can do to memorialize her,” said James.
James, a veteran, said that he will never own a firearm. He said that the NRA represents “the perversion of capitalism.”
Members of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, an organization created in 2013 by moms in response to the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, also participated in the march. The group has 4.5 members and a chapter in every state, including 75,000 members in Wisconsin.
Chris Krasovich, the Wisconsin chapter lead of Moms Demand Action, has been involved with the organization for more than two years.
“We know that children are dying and paying the blood price for our failure to enact common sense gun legislation and we’ve had enough,” Krasovich said at the march.
“I think it’s important for the students to see that we’ve got their backs,” she added. “We aren’t sitting back and waiting for change to happen; we’re willing to be a part of the movement to make change with them.”
This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on eighteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.
More about the Gun Violence
- Senator Larson & Representative Bowen: Call on Gun Manufacturers to Prioritize “Smart Gun” Technology and Other Gun Safety Measures in Order to Reduce Gun Violence - State Sen. Chris Larson - Sep 13th, 2018
- School Safety Grant Program Avoids Larger Issues of Gun Violence - State Sen. Chris Larson - Jul 24th, 2018
- Most School Shooters Get Their Guns at Home - State Rep. Terese Berceau - May 22nd, 2018
- Governor Walker Orders Flags to Half-Staff Following Tragedy in Santa Fe, Texas - Gov. Scott Walker - May 18th, 2018
- Bryce Releases Statement on Santa Fe High School Shooting - Randy Bryce - May 18th, 2018
- Why Student Activists Did 50 Mile March - Will Kenneally - Apr 20th, 2018
- Roys Marks 19th Anniversary of Columbine Shooting - Kelda Roys - Apr 20th, 2018
- Marchers Seek Gun Control - Margaret Cannon - Apr 5th, 2018
- Giffords Endorses Rebecca Dallet for Wisconsin Supreme Court Against Gun Lobby Backed Candidate - Rebecca Dallet - Mar 30th, 2018
- Mayor Tom Barrett Applauds Passage of Bill Prohibiting Straw Purchasing - Mayor Tom Barrett - Mar 28th, 2018
- Governor Walker Signs $100 Million School Safety Plan into Law - Gov. Scott Walker - Mar 26th, 2018
- Republicans Again Did Nothing to Address Gun Violence - State Sen. Chris Larson - Mar 20th, 2018
- School safety package is rushed, needs significant fixes - State Rep. David Bowen - Mar 20th, 2018
- Tom Palzewicz Releases Comprehensive Gun Safety Reform Plan - Tom Palzewicz - Mar 20th, 2018
- Dana Wachs Responds to Gov. Walker’s Short-Sighted School Safety Plan - State Rep. Dana Wachs - Mar 15th, 2018
- Gov. Walker fails to act on gun safety - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Mar 15th, 2018
- No Child Should Ever Feel Unsafe in School: Governor Walker Calls $100 million Special Session on School Safety - Gov. Scott Walker - Mar 15th, 2018
- I stand with our children - Ald. Chantia Lewis - Mar 14th, 2018
- National Walkout Day: I Sit in Solidarity with Students - State Rep. Jimmy Anderson - Mar 14th, 2018
- Youth Council measure urges support of National School Walkout Day and March for Our Lives - City of Milwaukee Youth Council - Mar 13th, 2018
- Mayor Tom Barrett, City Leaders Call For Gun Safety from Children - Mayor Tom Barrett - Mar 12th, 2018
- The State of Politics: School Safety Bill Renews Gun Debate - Steven Walters - Mar 12th, 2018
- The Intersection of Guns and Race - State Sen. Lena Taylor - Mar 8th, 2018
- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Cosponsors Critical School Safety Legislation - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Mar 6th, 2018
- Representative Subeck Statement on Governor’s Comments on School Safety - State Rep. Lisa Subeck - Mar 1st, 2018
- Roys calls on Walker to pass common sense gun reform during proposed special session on gun violence - Kelda Roys - Mar 1st, 2018
- Op Ed: Thoughtful Discussion Needed on Guns - Kyle Hagge - Mar 1st, 2018
- Guns, Grief and Grace - Elizabeth Baker - Feb 28th, 2018
- The time for action on gun violence is now - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Feb 28th, 2018
- The Contrarian: The Real “Gun Nuts” - George Mitchell - Feb 26th, 2018
- Did Michael Screnock Promise the NRA He Supports More Guns in Schools? - One Wisconsin Now - Feb 23rd, 2018
- Universal Background Checks Fail on Party Line in WI State Assembly - State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff - Feb 21st, 2018
- Bryce Calls on Speaker Ryan to Meet with Students from his District - Randy Bryce - Feb 21st, 2018
- Republicans block school shooting precautions - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Feb 20th, 2018
- Passage of Senate Bill 408 - State Sen. Chris Larson - Feb 20th, 2018
- Republican Bill Would Put Guns in Wisconsin Schools - One Wisconsin Now - Feb 19th, 2018
- Speaker Ryan Chooses Campaign Donors Over South Florida Teacher - Randy Bryce - Feb 17th, 2018
- Dana Wachs Calls for an Overhaul of Assault Weapon Laws and Other Measures to Fight Domestic Terrorism - State Rep. Dana Wachs - Feb 16th, 2018
- GOP Chair of State Assembly Committee on Education, School Principal Shares Article Romanticizing Guns in Schools in Aftermath of Florida Mass School Shooting - One Wisconsin Now - Feb 16th, 2018
- Data Wonk: The More Guns, Less Crime Scam - Bruce Thompson - Oct 18th, 2017
- Op Ed: 5 Ways to Reduce Gun Deaths - Patrick Dunphy - Oct 16th, 2017