Activist community

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

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers and Mayor Linda Gorton say community members need to speak up if they have information about any of the shootings.

It comes as the city nears 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 almost every day since last Thursday.

It’s troubling for Ricardo Franklin. He leads a gun violence prevention group called We Are Survivors. His mother, Anita, started it after her eldest son was killed by a stray bullet. Ricardo says he misses his brother and wants people to think before they pull the trigger.

“You can never really replace that feeling of losing a sibling or a family member. 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 country. He closely followed the shootings in Lexington.

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

Bryant acknowledges there was a spike, but he’s not sure if it will be long term.

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

Ricardo tries to preserve his brother’s and mother’s legacy. Anita died in 2020. He asks others to join him in reducing gun violence.

“This is something that we as a community need to pull together to take a collaborative effort from multiple agencies, members of our community. We can do it,” 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.