Amid rash of gun violence, community activist urges people to think before pulling trigger

Amid rash of gun violence, community activist urges people to think before pulling trigger
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 6:02 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers and Mayor Linda Gorton say community members need to speak up if they have any information about any of the shootings.

This comes as the city is approaching a record number of murders for a single year.

People in the community tell us they have never seen anything like this before. Lexington has seen a shooting nearly every day since last Thursday.

It’s troubling for Ricardo Franklin. He’s running a gun violence prevention group called We Are Survivors. His mother, Anita, started it after her oldest son was killed by a stray bullet. Ricardo says he misses his brother and wishes people would think before pulling the trigger.

“You never can really replace that feeling of losing a sibling or losing a family member at all. It’s something that stays with you for a long time,” Franklin said.

Mark Bryant runs the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks shooting trends across the nation. He’s been looking closely at shootings in Lexington.

“What we’re seeing right now is more in the last couple of weeks than we would expect. We don’t normally have daily shootings,” Bryant said.

Bryant acknowledges there’s been a spike but he’s not sure if it’ll be long-term.

“I don’t know. Right now, it boils down to the very simple sentence that there are more people with more guns, and more guns causes more violence,” Bryant said.

Ricardo is trying to keep his brother and mother’s legacy alive. Anita passed away in 2020. He’s asking others to join him in the effect to reduce gun violence.

“It’s something that we as a community have to rally together to take a collaborative effort from multiple agencies, members of our community. We can do this,” Franklin said.

The We Are Survivors group is hosting a block party to raise awareness about gun violence. It will be held on September 30 at the Charles Young Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.