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Gorton, Kloiber discuss gun violence at Lexington mayoral candidate forum

Gorton Kloiber
Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 17:49:56-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A perfect late summer day in central Kentucky, that felt more like early fall, was marred by the dark cloud that continues to hang over the city of Lexington. The number of gun violence incidents has been on a meteoric rise here.

Nine more people were shot in four separate incidents over the weekend; two of them sustained life-threatening injuries. As a city, Lexington is on pace to break its annual homicide record and that will likely happen well before the year ends.

Gorton Kloiber

“People are using guns to settle their differences,” said Mayor Linda Gorton, before this morning’s mayoral candidate forum in Lexington.

Gorton and her opponent in November’s election, David Kloiber, were together on Monday morning to take part in a question and answer style forum, during which they covered several topics that are pertinent to the city. But gun violence, and how to deal with such, remains the most pressing issue at this time.

“It’s too much,” Kloiber said of the gun problem in the city. “And every single one of those shootings is a family member that is grieving,” the city council member continued.

Kloiber, if elected, plans to establish a “GVI” or group violence intervention program, which in other cities allows for community policing.

Gorton

“We’re going to be putting together steering communities in order to try to see how our communities work with our police officers,” Kloiber explained. “We’re going to be building a support network to make sure people in the system are kept from getting into recidivism,” he continued.

Mayor Gorton isn’t sold on that plan.

“We have, quite frankly, looked at the numbers in all of those cities and there is no evidence, with the data, that GVI is working. They’ve all had increases in homicides” Mayor Gorton said, before discussing the program she chose to launch last year.

“Miami, Florida is having some success. They are using what we’re using with One Lexington. They are going to the root cause and they are basically focusing on youth violence intervention,” she explained of the program, headed locally by Devine Carama. Mrs. Gorton also noted the city of Boston which, like Lexington, is using cameras placed across the city.

Gorton Kloiber

For Mr. Kloiber, the problem stems from other issues.

“We have people in a situation that are being pushed out of their homes and can’t afford a living wage without getting into these criminal activities,” Kloiber said.

Mayor Gorton said Lexington is still a safe city as a whole, and that our problem isn’t unique. She said gun violence is prevalent across America, and certain federal and state gun laws make the problems harder to manage on a local level.