Local nonviolence advocates take message of peace to Frankfort

Local nonviolence advocates take message of peace to Frankfort

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - A group frustrated with gun violence in Louisville took its message to the state capital on Thursday.

Community activist Christopher 2X, University of Louisville trauma surgeons and three gun-shot wound survivors met with Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton for a private meeting to talk about gun violence. The American Medical Association labels gun violence as a public health crisis.

"Almost every night you are on call, we take care of a gunshot wound victim," said UofL trauma surgeon Dr. Matthew Benns.

Gunshot victims Ki'Anthony Tyus, Diontae Reed and Sheronda Morris also shared their stories of surviving gun violence and described their hope for peace.

"I got shot in the park while playing basketball, but now I'm doing good because I'm running around and playing basketball," Tyus said.

Tyus was 9 years old when was shot in the leg in June 2015 during a drive by at Ballard Park.

Morris and Reed are also innocent victims of gun violence.

"This is a major public health issue," said Dr. Benns. "This is affecting our community, friends, neighbors, family, loved ones could affect anybody, our numbers are going up we're seeing that nationwide. Places like Chicago make the news, but it's happening right here in Louisville."

"The bottom line is violence that affects children is unacceptable," Hampton said in a statement. "The power to change lies within the individual."

Dr. Nash said they see the ripple effect when victims families walk into the hospital.

"As surgeons, that's why we are here," said UofL trauma surgeon Dr. Nick Nash. "Just trying to continue the message that we are seeing a lot of heartache and things being created with violence."

Community Activist Christopher 2X said they also hope to meet with Governor Bevin to discuss the issues.

Hampton awarded gold pins to the gunshot victims in honor of their courage and perseverance despite horrifying experiences.

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