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Teens Take Gun-reform March to US House Speaker's Hometown


U.S. Rep. John Lewis, right, leads a march of thousands through the streets of Atlanta on March 24, 2018. Participants in Atlanta and across the nation rallied against gun violence and in support of stricter gun control.

Dozens of high school students in Wisconsin have a message for U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and they are going to his hometown to deliver it.

The teens set off from Madison to march more than 80 kilometers (50 miles) to Janesville to tell Ryan: Pass meaningful gun reform legislation now.

The four-day march organized by Shorewood High School students is called “50 Miles More.”

They will walk about 12 miles a day during their spring break, starting Sunday and ending with a rally outside Ryan's office Wednesday.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks during a news conference about the massive government spending bill passed by Congress, Washington, March 22, 2018.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks during a news conference about the massive government spending bill passed by Congress, Washington, March 22, 2018.

​The march "is directed toward Paul Ryan for his lead role in blocking and burying any change of gun reform again and again,” the 50 Miles More website says. "We are ready to keep up the pressure on our nation's top leaders until gun reform is a priority for Republicans and Democrats. We are not afraid.”

It is no coincidence that the march began Sunday, exactly 53 years after Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. led thousands into Montgomery, Alabama to conclude a five-day. 54-mile march that began in Selma.

“We looked to history and an earlier generation of young leaders who fueled real change,” the website says. “In 1965, civil rights leaders organized the multi-day, 54-mile Selma to Montgomery marches. Those 54 miles took us a long way toward progress, and are the inspiration for this march.”

The march had swelled to more than 40 people by Monday.

Ryan, who along with other members of Congress is on a two-week recess, was out of the country on Monday on an official visit to the Czech Republic.

Last month he told a news conference that congressional Republicans were not interested in preventing Americans from owning certain types of weapons.

“We shouldn't be banning guns from law-abiding citizens,” he said at the time.

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