By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — More than 100 people marched Saturday from The 400 Block in downtown Wausau to the office of U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, part of a nationwide effort to demand stricter gun laws and end gun violence.
March for our Lives is a movement led by survivors of the Feb. 14 Florida school shooting. Students and families are marching in Washington, D.C. with sibling marches organized in solidarity around the country. More than 800 protests are taking place in every American state and on every continent except for Antarctica, according to a website set up by organizers.
The mission statement on the organizers’ website calls for “a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.”
The student activists also hope to elevate gun control as a key issue in the coming midterm elections, and to build support for candidates with whom they are aligned on issues such as universal background checks and bans on assault-style weapons.
In Florida, the students’ activism helped spur a newly passed law that raises the minimum age for gun purchases and creates a waiting period for buying guns, among other things, but does not ban assault weapons or strengthen background checks.
On Saturday, the White House said in a statement, “We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today.”
Counterprotests in support of gun rights were planned in cities including Salt Lake City, Greenville, S.C., and Helena, Mont.