Students and activists to host die-in following Middleton shooting

Published: Sep. 20, 2018 at 5:53 PM CDT
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On Sunday Sept. 23 students and activists hosted a Die-In inside the capitol rotunda.

The protest was targeting politicians who have not supported issues like universal background checks, raising the age to purchase a firearm and a 48-hour waiting period.

Max Prestigiacomo, 17, was part of the leadership team that organized the Die-In. "If I'm old enough to get shot, then I should have an opinion on getting shot," he said.

Many of the protesters were students from Middleton High School. The event was planned following the shooting at WTS Paradigm when a man walked in with a gun and began firing at his colleagues, seriously injuring several, before he was fatally shot by police on Wednesday.

The shooting caused Middleton High School to go on lock down, which was intense for some students like Annie Warriner, 15, "There were students making jokes about it, like I don't have to go to gym now, but no it's now oh there's a family with a mother, wife, husband, father in the hospital," Warriner said.

The event started with a rally inside the rotunda with speakers including State Representatives Melissa Sergeant and Chris Taylor.

The Die-In lasted for 10 minutes for the average 600 people who died from gun violence every year in Wisconsin. Protesters and students laid on the ground while hearing the names of mass shooting victims.

After the Die-In, the protesters and students wrote down changes they wanted to see on sticky notes and posted them to Governor Scott Walker's office door.

"I'm really proud that we were able to put this on so fast, it was a short amount of time and we were trying to send a message to our politicians that this needs to change," Max Prestigiacomo said.

But, Max was not the only one there trying to send a message. William Polster was there trying to have a discussion with the students on why he disagrees with them.

Speaking about the 48-hour waiting period Polster said, "I can give examples of the other way where someone's life was being threatened and they were being put on a wait period and they ended up dying waiting for a gun. It all comes down to individual anecdotes not statistics."

Activists are partnering with Save Our Students-Madison, March For Our Lives, NextGen Wisconsin, and The Middleton Walkout Organizers.