In a coordinated effort to keep the conversation going and maintain momentum, students around the country organized another event to combat gun violence. Allen County’s was organized by Woodlan High School student Emily Farler.
The 16-year-old sophomore worries not just about gun violence and its impact, but also about the damage done by the divisions in our culture.
"The main thing I want to accomplish is to bring a sense of unity into our community, because I feel, not only our city, but the entire country is divided right now," Farler said before the rally. "And we're constantly arguing with each other and at odds. I think it's really important that we stop the arguing and have a conservation together, mainly to end gun violence."
So she planned the local Rally for Change, pulling together speakers from across the spectrum of ages. A small group gathered to hear them Friday evening at the Courthouse Green.
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry shared his commitment to ending gun violence, and said he's been a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns for years. Among his goals were pushing for universal background checks and banning bump stocks.
Scheduled speakers included President of Fort Wayne College Democrats Brandon Blumenherst, President of Fort Wayne College Republicans Louis Ostermeyer, high school students and other local political officials and candidates.
Farler said she hopes to see the conversation continue beyond the rallies.
"I hope this is just the beginning of the conversation. There's not much I can do as a teenager, but I hope this inspires and motivates other people to come together and continue this conversation even more."