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Feeling Safe? Teen Gun Reform Activists Ask Paul Ryan


#1

Feeling Safe? Teen Gun Reform Activists Ask Paul Ryan

Alexandra Tempus

A mile and a half down the street from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s mansion in Janesville, Wisconsin, a wave of forty students poured over Memorial Drive Bridge and into Traxler Park. Anglers in camouflage gear fishing the Rock River lagoon looked on.

The Wisconsin high schoolers, in the final steps of their fifty-mile sojourn to Ryan’s hometown to pressure him on gun reform, represented a rainbow of backgrounds and ethnicities. Descending the bridge, they were inspired by the Selma to Montgomery marchers who crossed Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge on “Bloody Sunday” in 1965.


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Student organizers built a movement with the skills they learned in high school. Hogg, an aspiring journalist who studies TV production at Stoneman Douglas, has anointed himself the movement’s “press secretary.” Corin, the bubbly junior class president who did a 50-page term paper on gun control last year, organized roughly 100 students to travel to Tallahassee to lobby the state legislature. Kasky and Wind, both drama kids, have given some of the most emotional testimony about the shooting and their dead classmates. González gave a speech about the NRA’s influence that was informed by an AP government lesson on special-interest groups. students took turns at the podium sharing statistics on gun violence in the United States, calls for gun control measures, and stories from their time on the road in rural Wisconsin.

Fifteen-year-old Bea Millan-Windorski, of Whitefish Bay, said the marchers on Paul Ryan were happily surprised by the overwhelming support they encountered along the 50-mile way. Seventeen-year-old Maria Mendoza, who attends Ryan’s alma mater, Janesville’s Joseph A. Craig High School, promised that she and her peers would “take their voices to the voting booths.”

“We are constantly told we are too young to know what we are talking about,” said Mendoza, breaking into tears. “In reality, this is all we know.” Most certainly these students are not "are NOT “puppets of the wretched elite.” “I am a proud Wisconsin sportswoman,” said Lauren Davis, a junior at Shorewood High School, who like many local teenagers hunts deer with her family. “And I am here to tell you that our policy demands do nothing to infringe on the rights of hunters.” They have been taught to think, speak and question what realities are around them. Some of the adults think Mr. Ryan is “safe”; “The real problem was when they redistricted Beloit out of Paul Ryan’s district,” Mrs. Forbeck said. “It was a strongly Democratic district for decades before that. When they carved it out . . . they made it a much safer district for Paul.”

Seventeen-year-old Tatiana Washington of Milwaukee addressed the House Speaker personally.

“My brown and black sisters and brothers are dying every day, Paul,” she said, voice wavering. “You get to enjoy Packer games and fishing and skiing with your family, while our families are being ripped apart"!

So do you think Paul Ryan is “safe”?


#3

This is what I LOVE about teens: they will rock the boat fearlessly and show others how it’s done. Way to go, kids!
On the other hand, Ryan has shown himself to be a shameless sycophant and money grubbing petaQ. He needs to go.


#4

How awesome it would be if these teens actually kick Ryan down the road.


#5

me pay the few cents in my wallet to see that.


#6

Iron Stache
Get Mendoza in your ads.


#7

I’ll support the rights of the hunted deer. Being shot at by hunters, killed or wounded, is gun violence, too! Kids need humane education, not hunter “education” which the NRA supports.