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Lexington Gun Violence Advocate Dies


A Lexington activist known for bringing attention to issues related to gun violence has died.  Anita Franklin advocated for gun safety measures following the shooting death of her son in 2014. 

Lyndsey Sugarman worked alongside Franklin with Lexington’s Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America.  “When she lost her son Antonio to gun violence, she took that loss and she took action, and she was just tireless about it.  Anybody who reached out to Anita, Anita made time for.  She was a very special person.  She had such broad shoulders and such a big heart that she just touched everyone she met,” said Sugarman.

Sugarman said Franklin staged peace walks in downtown twice a year.   “We’d walk through the community and just bring the community in.  She loved her community.  She loved the east side.  She lived there and she brought resources there.  She was a voice of reason for people and like I said it’s just devastating, it’s just devastating,” explained Sugarman.

Sugarman said police would give her name to people who lost loved ones to gun violence because she understood their pain.   Sugarman noted those survivors will be able to come together and continue the work in her name.  A statement from her family reads, “We appreciate all the kindness and support from everyone.  Our mother was loved and respected by many.  She wanted to give back to those less fortunate and she loved the neighborhood in which she grew up.  She made it her responsibility to make it better for everyone.”?

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