As gun violence surges in Burlington, mural carries message of peace

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Amid a surge in gun violence, downtown Burlington is home to a new mural with a message of peace.

Pittsburgh artist Kyle Holbrook is touring the country to spread the word. The artist has been to 39 states so far with in-person stops in Cleveland, Buffalo, and Louisville this week.

Holbrook’s mural was recently installed in a side alley off Main Street near Nectar’s. It features a peace symbol and the words, “stop gun violence.”

“When you do something public that people see everyday, especially right there on the main street, unfortunately where it’s right across the street from where gun violence has been happening in Burlington, then it draws attention to it and the more people think about it, the more people think about solutions,” said Holbrook, who says he has lost more than 40 friends to gun violence.

The installation comes as Burlington police search for suspects in the 11th shooting incident this year. Last year, there were a dozen. In 2012 to 2019, the annual average was two.  

A women from Burlington says the mural is timely and appropriate message for the city.

“Yeah, where I live there have been some incidences with gun violence there that I’ve noticed in the past few months. I mean hopefully people can get the message that peace is where it’s at,” said Burlington resident Caroline Quinn.

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