901 Now: Memphis activist wants people to put the ‘guns down and fight like a man’

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:31 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As crime continues to plague our community, Memphis activist Frank Gottie said he’s not letting up on his mission to make Memphis a safer place.

“I lost hundreds of friends and family members of gun violence,” Gottie said. “So one day I said, instead of me being a problem, I need to be the solution.”

Gottie spends most of his time in the streets. This time around, he’s not starting trouble, but preventing it.

“I’ve given the homeless blankets, fed the homeless, mentored kids, helped families that [are] going through things from losing loved ones. I’ve been changing lives,” he said.

It’s all a part of his campaign, “Guns Down, Fight Like a Man.”

“When you’re still in the streets and you’re telling people to put the guns down and fight like a man, folks are like, ‘What do you mean?’” Gottie said. “That’s violence. I’m not saying physical fight. I’m saying fight with your mind, fight with your heart, and fight with God on your side.”

Gottie teams up with other peace groups to hold rallies against violence. For nine years, “Guns Down, Fight Like a Man” has been his call to action in the community.

He said he wants to change lives, one man at a time.

“Young men walk up to me daily and tell me I’m the reason they changed their life because they seen the route I was going and seen how I turned around, so it made them want to turn their life around,” he said.

While crime is still prevalent in the city, Gottie said his unusual approach to combat crime is nowhere near finished.

“Crime is gonna be here. People have to be realistic; people say, you can’t stop the killing. Yeah, we know, we aren’t God. We can’t stop the killing, but we can say something about it,” he said. “To accomplish the mission is for the killing to go down. I know the killing isn’t going to stop, but we need it to go down. So once we calm down a little and get the ball rolling, everything is going to come back to life because Memphis is a great city and that’s why I push for it because I believe in Memphis.”

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