Politics & Policy

Parkland Students to Announce Nation-Wide Gun-Control Tour

The student gun control activists of Parkland will announce an extensive bus tour Monday featuring 70 stops in 20 states, where the students will advocate stricter gun control legislation and register voters to that end.

The tour, “March for Our Lives: Road to Change,” will be led by David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, both of whom have established themselves as de facto spokespeople for the youth gun control movement that erupted following the mass shooting at their high school in March.

“I’m glad I’m getting my diploma and not my death certificate,” Hogg, who graduated Sunday with Gonzalez and their fellow Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School seniors, told Axios in an interview to promote the tour.

Gonzalez, who plans to attend the New College of Florida in the fall, believes the tour will help increase support for the youth gun control movement among lawmakers who are concerned about the political implications of publicly opposing a coalition of young people.

“If you don’t support this, … it’ll look like you’re going against kids,” Gonzalez said.

The nation-wide tour will be accompanied by a separate Florida specific tour featuring stops in all of the state’s congressional districts. As the Parkland students’ home state, Florida has featured prominently in the students’ voter registration and gun control awareness campaigns in recent months. But the results thus far have not been encouraging: In six of Florida’s seven largest counties — including Broward county, where the shooting occurred — youth voter registration is down relative to 2014.

The student activists rode a surge of enthusiasm in the wake of the shooting but public support for gun control as the nation’s top political priority has waned considerably since then. Just six percent of respondents listed gun control as the most important problem facing the U.S. in an April Gallup poll, down from 13 percent in March.

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