Road to Change bus tour crosses U.S. in effort to mobilize young voters for gun control

Jennifer Hudson and the DC choir perform "The Times They Are A Changin'" during the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control in Washington, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Road to Change bus tour, organized by survivors of the high school shooting in Parkland and several recording artists including Chance the Rapper and Jennifer Hudson, as well as U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, hit the roads this weekend in an effort to mobilize young voters leading up to the midterm elections.

The tour, which kicked off in Chicago, is making more than 50 stops in nearly two dozen states. In Florida, the tour will stop in all 27 Congressional districts.

Organizers says the goal is to not just register young people, but to keep them engaged in the political process through summer.

According to Matt Deitsch, chief strategist for March for Our Lives, an organization established following February’s school shooting, “The main purpose of this tour is not just to educate people on gun violence and what we can do to prevent gun violence, but is also to register more people to vote.”

A Harvard University poll from April reveals that 77 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds who are likely to vote say that gun control is the most important issue.

However, Republican strategist Doug Heye cautions that the activists will need to work hard to get their supports out in numbers that will exceed those who support second amendment gun rights. He says, “”If you are a single issue voter and guns is the issue, what we’ve seen in the past is that it’s the pro-second amendment, pro-gun voter that is almost guaranteed to show up at the polls.”

In response, March for Our Lives’ Deitsch, adds, “We’re making voting something that is not just checking a box. It’s literally you being a hero and you saving lives. That’s why we have to do this.”

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