"Big Red Heart" stands as reminder of gun violence in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - Radio Host Stephanie Anthony reads the names of residents killed by gun violence live over the air on WTQT.
In 2016, Anthony had to read the names of over 40 people.
"It really drives home that these are human beings and how many it is," Anthony said. "We have to explore the many facets of gun deaths in East Baton Rouge Parish and strategically eliminate them so when we come to a time when we have no gun violence programs because there's no need for them."
Precious Haney, with the Childrens and Guns anti-violence organization, joined the show as part of the Big Red Heart Project. The big red heart stands in an empty lot at Terrace and South 16th-street, a memorial to victims of gun violence.
"Guns are not the answer; it's never the answer," Haney said. "So what ever it takes to reduce gun violence deaths, that's what we need to do."
Right now the front of the red heart is empty. But organizers say every inch of this surface will be covered with names by the end of the month. And all of them will belong to residents who lost their life due to gun violence, either from murder or suicide.
The heart serves as a sobering reminder of the realities of gun violence while also paying tribute to its victims.