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Students, Residents Rally Against Gun Violence

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Zach Bernard/WBOI News
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Students in Northeast Indiana are mobilizing following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this month, and held a rally against gun violence Sunday.

Hundreds of residents flocked to the Allen County Courthouse, many wearing orange in solidarity with victims of gun violence.

Many community leaders spoke, but students and educators led the discussion. Panashe Chakabva is the senior class president at Homestead High School, and says leaders have regularly listened to their coffers, not their constituents.

“Until a law is written, voted on and sent to the desk of the president for signature, those politicians can save it," Chakabva said, to cheers from the crowd.

"We need you grown-ups to do what you were elected to do: to carry out the will of the people. We need you to disregard the millions of dollars of campaign contributions from the NRA and do your jobs,” she said.

Brandon Blumenhurst manages Fort Wayne’s College Democrats, and organized Sunday’s event. He says he will be meeting with the leader of the city’s College Republicans to talk about guns, and hopes it can, at the very least, set a good example.

“I don’t know what kind of action that’s going to lead to, but I think it’s going to show a lot to our representatives, regardless of what level they’re at, to say that, ‘These students came together to find a solution,’” said Blumenhurst.

The League of Women Voters were also on hand to register residents interested and eligible to vote for state elections in 2018.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.