Students host town hall on gun violence in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Some Fayette County high school students want to stop gun violence in Lexington, so they hosted a town hall Wednesday night to talk about solutions.

Trinity Gay, Maryiah Coleman and Jonathan Krueger. Those are just some of the people shot and killed in Lexington.

15 students, 14 from Lafayette High School and one from Sayre, realize the numbers are too high, and they want the gun violence to end.

So, they took a break from the busyness of the classroom, with studying and final exams, to meet at the Lyric Theater with about 50 people from the community to focus on solving what they see as one of the biggest issues in Lexington.

“Right now, there are people who fear walking down their streets,” said student organizer McKayla Weaver. “There are students who fear they’re not going to be able to come home at the end of the day. We think those fears are fears that can dissipate, so we’re looking to find solutions to make that happen.”

During the meeting, people talked with state legislators about what could be done to make Lexington safer.

Stronger enforcement of curfew, a longer waiting period for gun purchases on a national level, and an emphasis on mental health dominated the discussion.

Anita Franklin knows the pain of gun violence all too well. She lost her son, Antonio Franklin, Jr., when he was caught in crossfire at Lexington’s Duncan Park.

“I live in the East End of Lexington, so my tragedy didn’t stop at Antonio,” said Franklin. “I had a young man, Floyd Dunn, that was killed in front of my house in October. I have a bullet hole in the back of my car, and people say ‘why do you ride around Lexington with that bullet hole in the back of your car?’ Because I want them to see it. I want them to understand what’s happening to all of us.”

Franklin, a big advocate for an end to gun violence in her city shared an eye-opening story that summarizes exactly why the community must come together to solve the problem.

“There was a teacher and she asked the children ‘What do you want to be when you grow up,'” said Franklin. “The kids raised their hands, and there was this kid, I think it was an African American kid, he raised his hand and said, ‘I want to be alive.'”

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