400+ rally for anti-gun violence at Allen Co. Courthouse

Fort Wayne Students Demand Action to Prevent Gun Violence

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The country is 11 days removed from the Florida school shooting, when 17 students were killed by a lone gunman. Sunday, hundreds of people gathered at the Allen County Courthouse to rally against gun-violence.

More than 400 people gathered, declaring to lawmakers that the pressure is on.

“But now we know, we cannot expect change unless we demand it ourselves,” declared one of the rally speakers.

The event was called Fort Wayne Students Demand Action to Prevent Gun Violence. The rally’s organizer, IPFW freshman Branon Blumenherst, there is no organization behind the event. They’re just citizens who care.

“Someone’s got to do something about it and unfortunately it’s being left up to the kids and we’re the ones most affected by it,” Blumenherst said. “So if it’s not going to be led by the adults, the kids will have to take it up and lead the charge. It’s sad to see that so many people continually lose their lives and our congress and our state representatives don’t do anything to try and help us. They don’t try to pass common sense gun control legislation and that’s what today is really all about.”

Blumenherst explained that they’re demanding universal background checks on gun sales. They also want high-capacity ammunition magazines and bump-stocks banned.

Fort Wayne councilman Geoff Paddock (D – District 5) was one of the rally speakers. He said city council can’t do anything about federal and state gun laws, but there is one thing they’re working on.

“I have been in discussions with the mayor and police chief and others to see how we can look at the things that we do and how we can improve that and strengthen that and I think security in and around our schools is one thing that we can do as a city particularly with more school resource officers.”
The crowd was receptive to that.

The crowd was receptive to that because for them, at this point any action is better than no action.

“We can’t take it anymore,” attendee Josie Dunlap-Smith said. “Enough is enough. We have heard time and again about our children being killed in our schools and now is the time for that to end.”

Homestead High School Junior Zoe Moore agreed with her sentiment.

“Truthfully I started crying last week just walking through the hallways just imagining that it could happen to us,” she said. “It could happen to anyone. It could happen anywhere. It could happen to my little sisters at their schools. I don’t want to wait on any more tragedies for something to happen. I’m tired and I want change now.”

To further prove that the rally was action oriented, organizers set up a voter registration booth. They want more young voices to be heard.