March for Our Lives: Boston, Stop Handgun Violence, and 50 Miles More Partner to Help in the Effort to Stop Gun Violence across the country -- PRESS RELEASE
Boston, MA– Today, Massachusetts non-profit Stop Handgun Violence, March For Our Lives: Boston, and national youth-led gun reform movement 50 Miles More announce the launch of a 50 mile march across Massachusetts. The 50 Miles More: Massachusetts march, led by local youth activists, will begin in Worcester on August 23rd 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.
“This 50 Mile walk is about accountability,” said Vikiana Petit-Homme, March For Our Lives Boston Executive Director.“Smith & Wesson continues to profit from guns used in horrific mass shootings and daily gun violence in our communities. We have had enough. We are demanding that they work with us to be a part of the solution, not the problem.”
“I am proud to live in the state with the lowest gun deaths in the nation,” said student organizer Jack Torres. “I am proud of our laws, our legislature, and governor for their stances on this issue. But what I am not proud of is that I live in the state that produces guns that are responsible for taking the lives of people all throughout this country. It is high time manufacturers join the conversation about ending gun violence. We’re bringing the fight to them because we have had enough. ”
“We are so excited to be working with the students of Massachusetts on their march,” said 50 Miles More co-founder and Executive Director Katie Eder. “This movement is incredibly powerful because the youth leading it are smart, strategic, and connected. Every step we take, we take toward the same goal — to making this country safer for everyone in it. That is why we launched #50more in #50states and why we will continue to fight tirelessly together to keep the momentum going on this movement.”
“We are proud to support the efforts of the students of 50 Miles More Massachusetts” said John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence. “For too long, Smith & Wesson has benefitted from Massachusetts’s effective gun violence prevention laws while also exporting firearms, not legal here in the Commonwealth, that are used in mass shootings like Parkland and daily gun violence in other communities across the country.”