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Student Gun Control Bus Tour Arrives in Minnesota

Gun control student activists on the Road to Change" bus tour are trying to reach the 4 million American youths who will be eligible to vote this year. (wwhy.org)
Gun control student activists on the Road to Change" bus tour are trying to reach the 4 million American youths who will be eligible to vote this year. (wwhy.org)
June 25, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Led by survivors of the deadly school shooting in Florida in February, students on a Road to Change bus tour are in Minnesota through Tuesday to advocate for stricter gun control.

The Midwest tour stops in Minneapolis and Moorhead this week before the bus heads to the Standing Rock Indiana Reservation in North Dakota.

During tour stops, speakers have shared how the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., has changed their lives.

Alfonso Calderon, 16, says he's especially interested in why so many people in rural America oppose changes to gun laws.

"Americans are the ones making the laws in America,” he points out. “So, we decided that the best way to at least talk to people, or realize how they feel about this particular issue, was to have those one-to-one interactions."

The bus tour has included several town hall meetings with local students in stops along the route.

In each city, the group has held voter registration events designed to reach the 4 million youths who will turn 18 this year and be eligible to vote.

The Parkland school shooting claimed 17 lives, and helped spur March for Our Lives events worldwide on March 24.

Students on the tour are advocating for universal, comprehensive background checks; better database technology for tracking guns; and bans on high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic assault rifles.

Calderon, who will be a junior next year, says when his group talks to people who say they support the National Rifle Association and oppose stricter gun laws, they often have more in common than they realize.

"I mean, we've talked to hundreds, almost thousands, of NRA members,” he relates “They aren't against background checks, they aren't against banning bump stocks, they aren't against digitizing the ATF, but they think they are, simply because they've been told so."

The Road to Change bus tour started in Chicago and has 75 stops planned across the country.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - MN