OSSEO, Minn. (KMSP) - School shooting survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., arrived in Minnesota Sunday amid a cross-country voter registration and advocacy drive that they hope will inspire other young people to take action on political issues.
Their lives were changed forever just four months ago when a gunman opened fire at their school, killing 17 people and injuring many others. In the time since that day, a large section of the survivors have used their newfound platform to campaign for gun control legislation and encourage American youth, typically unreliable voters less interested in politics than older generations, to become involved in their communities and in the political process.
The group, made up of students from across the country, hosted a "Road to Change" Town Hall event Sunday evening to discuss issues important to young people and to reach out in the hopes that they can get the ball rolling toward meaningful change.
"What better place [to come to] than a place like Minnesota?" said Alfonso Calderon, a MSD student. "Half the people are Democrats, half the people are Republicans. [Gun control] is an issue that people don’t like to talk about, but sometimes we have to talk about those hard issues."
By registering young people to vote, organizers hope better gun legislation may soon be in the works.
In the meantime, the "Road to Change" bus tour is set to stop in districts where politicians have taken money from the National Rifle Association and have a voting record against gun reform.
Laurie Wolfe, the co-chair of Indivisible MN03, helped bring the tour to Minnesota in an attempt to stop future school shootings, a goal she says we should all be invested in.
"It is a huge anxiety that I think all of us carry with us," she said. "I worry every day, more and more as you hear about the next shooting and the next shooting. I drop [my kids] off at school and I worry and pray that nothing’s going to happen today."