The student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting are taking their efforts to promote gun reforms on a national bus tour around the United States where they say they will focus on registering young voters, and educating their peers about the importance of gun control.
The bus tour, which the organisers have dubbed “March for Our Lives: Road to Change”, will make more than 50 stops in 20 states, where they say they plan on fighting back against the National Rifle Association’s influence in American politics.
“We’re going to places where the NRA has bought and paid for politicians who refuse to take simple steps to save our lives — and we’ll be visiting a number of communities that have been affected by gun violence to meet fellow survivors and use our voices to amplify theirs,” the March for Our Lives website says of the bus tour, which is slated to start on June 15 in Chicago.
The bus tour will come nearly three months after the student activists organised a massive rally in Washington to protest gun violence, which was accompanied by sister protests throughout the country.
The March for Our Lives movement was created in the aftermath of the shooting on Valentine’s Day, when 17 people were killed at the Parkland, Florida high school. Since then, the organisers have made a special effort to highlight and describe a more nuanced portrait of gun violence in the United Sates beyond the mass shootings that make national headlines.
They’ve travelled to Chicago, for instance, where gun violence is a more regular experience than in affluent communities like Parkland.
“I think that it’s important that we include everybody in this conversation, because it’s everybody that’s affected by this issue, and we have to work together to solve it,” David Hogg, one of the Parkland students, told BuzzFeed News of the bus tour. “And I think being on the ground is the best way to do that.”
“Just a handshake or looking somebody in the eye, rather than speaking to them through the TV, is a lot more impactful,” he said.