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Lexington mother whose son died in shooting delivers petition to Sen. Mitch McConnell

"It doesn't matter what political party you are affiliated with. It's a people issue"
anita franklin.jpeg
Posted at 5:28 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 17:42:10-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)  — A Lexington woman who has been fighting to end gun violence since she lost her son in 2014 took a trip to Louisville to bring a petition and letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell's office.

Anita Franklin's world turned upside down in April 2014. Her 21-year-old son, Antonio, was taking a shortcut through Duncan Park when he was shot.

"Apparently there were a group of young men. They were ages 15-17 and they drove by the park here and I hear there were over a hundred bullets," said Anita.

Since then, the grieving mother has dedicated her life to stopping gun violence.

"I've said it doesn't matter what political party you are affiliated with. It's a people issue," she said.

Last week, Anita visited Sen. McConnell's office to deliver a letter signed by more than 1,200 survivors and victims of gun violence.

"Just asking him to bring the background checks and to bring the red flag law to the table," she said.

After that visit, she and another mother affected by gun violence appeared on CNN. Since then, the response from more families affected has been overwhelming.

"It's our job that if we know that someone has issues going on, that we report that and that there's a flag and that if they trying to purchase a firearm--and it's not even to commit mass murders. It's to protect them. They may be suicidal," she said.

Anita is hopeful the petition will make a difference.

"So we as mothers, we as survivors, we're drawing the line. We're saying, 'Okay Mitch McConnell, and the rest-the folks in Congress, we have done our part. We have sacrificed our children, we have sacrificed our lives.' I'm out here every day working to say 'Kids, put your guns down. Quit saying rest in peace, say live in peace,'" said Anita.

Anita Franklin told LEX 18's Claire Kopsky that she wore the same dress to Senator McConnell's office that she wore on the day of Antonio's funeral as a symbolic tribute to her son.