NewsCovering Kentucky


Walking For A Hope To End Gun Violence

Posted at 10:08 PM, Jun 08, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – The color orange is worn in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

A place touched by a deadly shooting five years ago, Duncan Park in Lexington, was the site of Saturday’s peace walk.

The victim’s mother carries on the legacy of her son, Antonio Franklin, by preaching an end to gun violence.

“People ask me when I’m going to stop doing this, and my answer remains the same. When the crime stops,” said Anita Franklin.

But until then, Franklin has made it her mission to gather the community of Lexington together in Duncan Park for peace walks.

Participants this year wore orange in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, a woman who was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15.

Orange now represents all the lives cut short from gun violence, something Anita knows too well.

“People realize now that it can happen to them. I never thought it would happen to me or my son, and we realize we have to do something. One murder is too many, and we’ve had 10,” said Franklin.

Anita isn’t alone in her grief. Kenya Ballard also knows how painful it is to lose someone you love. In 2016, she lost a family member every three months due to gun violence

“Right when you feel like you are able to cope, you are hit with something else. It’s almost like you relive it. It’s never something that completely goes away,” said Ballard.

But instead of only grieving for the lives they’ve lost, these women are looking to the future. One future that they hope will have less gun violence.