Parkland Survivor David Hogg and Parkland Victim Parent Manuel Oliver Will Join Local High School Students for 50 Mile March to Smith & Wesson Headquarters
Boston, MA– Today, Parkland shooting survivor and March for Our Lives co-founder David Hogg, and Manuel Oliver parent of deceased Parkland student Joaquin Oliver, announced that they would join Massachusetts students for their 50 mile march across the Commonwealth. The 50 Miles More: Massachusetts march, led by local youth activists, will begin in Worcester on August 22nd and end August 26th with a rally at Smith & Wesson in Springfield at 12:00pm. The march and rally aim to keep gun reform issues in the national spotlight and to draw attention to the fact that young people feel unsafe in their neighborhoods, classrooms, movie theaters, restaurants and homes.
Students are targeting Smith & Wesson for their role in producing and selling weapons used in many mass shootings – including the tragedies in Parkland, San Bernardino, and Aurora – and for their weapons’ contribution to daily gun violence in communities across the country. The students ask that Smith & Wesson:
- Cease the manufacturing and distribution of all weapons outlawed under the 2004 Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban, including weapons under Attorney General Maura Healey’s copycat weapon ban enforcement.
- Donate $5,000,000 to research violence caused by Smith & Wesson weapons and monitor illegal use of Smith & Wesson weapons to offset the lack of federal research funding for the gun violence epidemic.
“We will walk with these kids as far as they need to in order to reach our common goals” said Manuel Oliver. “My role as father is not over, and I plan to keep playing that role till the last day of my life.”
“I’m marching so that others won’t have to in the future” said David Hogg, Parkland shooting survivor.
“We are thrilled to be joined by Parkland community members,” said Sommerville student organizer Felix Brody. “The Parkland community has been an inspiration to us in Massachusetts and has taught us that students have a powerful voice in the movement to end gun violence.”
“We’re proud to march with students from our state, Florida and every state where Smith and Wesson assault weapons are wreaking havoc because of the lack of federal gun laws” said John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence. “While Massachusetts has enacted first in the nation consumer protection standards for all firearms sold in the state and a permanent ban on military style assault weapons like the Smith and Wesson AR-15 used at Parkland, weapons that do not meet these standards continue to be manufactured and exported from our state.”
Stop Handgun Violence(SHV) is a Massachusetts based non-profit organization committed to the prevention of gun violence through education, public awareness, effective law enforcement and common sense gun laws. SHV has been the lead advocate in Massachusetts for enactment of the most effective gun violence prevention laws and first in the nation consumer protection regulations. The organization does not seek to restrict Constitutional rights,but advocates only for common sense legislation that will help save lives. For more information, go towww.stophandgunviolence.org
March for Our Lives: Boston (MFOL Boston) is a Massachusetts based non-profit organization seeking to liberate communities from systemic gun violence and empower young people to be politically active. MFOL: Boston is a volunteer, student-led initiative including a coalition of students from a wide range of high schools, universities, and community youth organizations across Massachusetts. The organization engages in electoral politics and community organizing to encourage conversation and action against the gun violence epidemic in Massachusetts and in the United States.
50 Miles More is a national youth-led gun reform organization that began this spring when students from across Wisconsin marched from Madison to Janesville in a gun reform protest that gained international media attention. Taking inspiration from the 54-mile Selma to Montgomery march for civil rights, their four day, 50 mile march to Speaker Paul Ryan’s hometown was just the beginning. In the months since their march and rally in Janesville, 50 Miles More has been rallying their forces in communities across the country to take their #50More in #50States initiative nationwide. And this fall they are partnering with the leaders behind the National School Walkoutto launch a multi-state Gen-Z voter engagement campaign to make sure that the politicians in office are truly representing the people they serve.