Survivors of the mass school shooting earlier this year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have joined together for a nationwide bus tour aimed at young voters who share their vision for stricter gun laws. The passionate Parkland student activists kicked off their two-month summer bus tour, called Road to Change, with a rally held on Chicago’s south side on Friday, NPR reports.
Cameron Kasky, one of the most vocal Parkland survivors, joined recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduates Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg as well as other classmates and young activists from around the country on the first stop of the tour in Chicago, according to Time.
At a news conference earlier this week, Kasky said the teens are on a mission to educate young voters.
“We can march. We can bring our politicians into a new light and make sure they are being held accountable. But at the end of the day, real change is brought from voting. The best thing you can possibly do is vote.”
The surviving Parkland teens had the support of some famous friends at their inaugural rally. Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, a gun control advocate who was seriously wounded in a 2011 shooting during a meeting with constituents in an Arizona supermarket parking lot, was on hand to urge the crowd to vote for stricter gun laws in the November mid-term elections. In addition, singers Jennifer Hudson, Chance the Rapper, and will.i.am also appeared at the rally.
The surviving Parkland students have planned a two-month tour that will make stops in communities known for heavy gun violence or where lawmakers supported by the NRA are seeking public office. The tour will make more than 50 stops in more than 20 states, including California, Iowa, Texas, and South Carolina, as well as separate stops at all 27 of the state of Florida’s Congressional districts.
Seventeen students and staff members died during a mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14. Since that tragic day, surviving students and staffers from the school have turned into activists, quickly organizing the anti-gun the March For Our Lives rally and fueling a national debate on gun control laws.
The non-profit group Headcount was on hand to register young voters at the March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. in March and they will also do the same throughout the Road To Change bus tour.