Teens Plan 50-Mile March Against Gun Violence, Ending At Smith & Wesson

Aug 21, 2018

A four-day march against gun violence is taking place this week from Worcester to Springfield, Massachusetts, ending Sunday at the headquarters of gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson.

Teens for Action Springfield, a student-run, anti-violence group, is participating in the march. The group formed shortly after the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in March. They've since have held marches and rallies in Springfield.

Chinaly Chanvong, a Teens for Action co-founder, said the group is finding allies.

“When we heard of the opportunities to partner up with March for Our Lives Boston, Stop Handgun Violence and 50 Miles More, we thought this was another push in the right direction that would really keep the momentum going,” she said.

Chanvong said the march is a chance to send a message to Smith & Wesson.

In March this year, protesters called on the gun manufacturer to meet with youth organizers, and asked the company to discontinue sales of the rifle used in the Parkland shooting. The group left a letter at the company's security desk.

Chinaly Chanvong of Teens for Action Springfield.
Credit Courtesy Teens for Action Springfield

“We’re not going to wait until we get older to try to make change,” Chanvong said of this week's march. “We’re going to make sure that the society that we want to live in, the schools we want to learn in, are going to be safe for us to actually learn and thrive in -- where we’re not going to get deprived of our lives because of these illegally-bought weapons.”

Chanvong noted that David Hogg, a Parkland shooting survivor, will attend the march.

50 Miles More started with marches in Wisconsin, and later spread to Massachusetts.

“There are marches being planned in other states right now as we speak,” said Felix Brody of 50 Miles More. 

The Massachusetts march ends with a closing rally in Springfield on August 26.