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Second 'March for Our Lives' comes to Indy

WATCH: Children talk about impact of gun violence
Second March For Our Lives protest in Tarkington Park
Posted at 10:30 PM, Jun 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-12 16:09:37-04

INDIANAPOLIS - The second March for Our Lives rally was held in Tarkington Park on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of Hooisers waved signs, chanted, and marched to the governor's mansion.

The first March for Our Lives rally was held in 2018 after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. This year's was held in the wake of shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and other cities around the nation.

Organizer Nichole Smith says that this is just one of more than 400 rallies held simultaneously thoughout the country.

"After Buffalo, we were tramatized. Then Uvalde was absolutely horrendous, as they all are," she says.

Many children attended the event, and some of them chanted the loudest. Some of them were old enough to understand what happened in Uvalde, and talk about it.

"Knowing there are some people who are really young who got shot, it's just really, really sad," says nine-year-old Frances Behringer.

Her little brother, Mathias, is 6 1/2, and he agrees.

"I feel sad because people that they loved died," he says.

Frances' best friend, nine-year-old Julia Larner, is angry.

"I feel sad, but I'm also really mad at the laws. Because who should be able to buy a gun at 18 years old?" she asks.

"We're not asking to take peoples guns away. But we need things like universal background checks, mandatory waiting periods, banning assault rifles," says Smith.

The children practice safe shooter drills and all feel safe at school. But they say the drills can be scary. Julia's brother, eight-year-old Joshua, says the drills without warning are the worst.

"One time we had an intruder alert, and it didn't tell us in the morning announcements if it was real or practice, and I felt kinda scared because I didn't know if it was real or not," he says.

Mathias says that the drills make him nervous, but after Uvalde, he wasn't afraid to go to school. He was brave.

"It's heartbreaking. We don't want them to ever have to think about those things or see those things on the news," says Joe Behringer, father to Mathias and Frances.

The demonstration is filled with signs. Some wear shirts with the faces of loved ones lost. Sam Moskowitz carried her brother's face on a poster.

"I was eight years old when my brother, Bryant was killed when he was 16. I have a lot of siblings, but he's the one I was closest with. This year will be 20 years since he's been gone, but it still affects my life every day. It feels like it's gotten worse over the years and nothing's changed, and the people in power don't seem to care," she says.

Many carried signs asking people to vote for politicians who support gun reform. When the group got to the governor's mansion, they chanted, "Vote him out." The governor never addressed the crowd, but Smith says she still sees a brighter future in the faces of all the young people demanding change.

"I am hopeful. I'm hopeful for the first time in a bit. The youth are standing up. They're our next generation and they will make this country better," she says.

Nine-year-old Frances also wants to see a more peaceful future.

"I want the world to be a safer place for everybody to be able to have a longer life, and be able to have a best life, and not die when they're so young, in the way that they shouldn't die, from someone shooting," she says.