KFC Dumb! Center

Yep, there you go, UK fans, it is yours to use. Create T-shirts and signs and make fun of the “dumb” Yum! Perhaps the public ridicule will swing the sanity pendulum back toward human intelligence. If not, I’m sure everything will be fine … at least we have fought back against the tyrannical forces of Obama’s federal government and defended our God-given Second Amendment right to bear arms.

I will try to contain my sarcasm throughout this discussion, but for someone who really tries to see the humor in stupidity, this is going to be a difficult one to let pass.

New Year’s Eve, Kid Rock will be ushering in 2016 at the KFC Yum! Center. Along with the drinks, party favors and a balloon drop at midnight, maybe you could even get lucky and steal a kiss from the nearest guy or gal. Just hope that he or she doesn’t have a date close by, because they could be packing some heat, and, well, party over.

Honestly, I do not know if the Kid Rock event will allow firearms at the concert. That is not the point. A recent decision by the Louisville Arena Authority has eased its total ban of firearms in the Yum! Center arena. To make matters more startlingly insane, the decision on whether or not firearms will be allowed at a given event will be left to event promoters and booking agents.

That is correct: The promoters and booking agents of shows will decide whether deadly weapons will be allowed into the Yum! Center. Presumably this is because promoters are experts in weaponry, Yum! Center security, Louisville and Kentucky culture, although I have my doubts.

To its credit, the University of Louisville was absolute in its decision to continue to ban all firearms at its events.

The Arena Authority may not be entirely to blame for this policy shift. Instead, this could be in a response to pressure by the Kentucky Concealed Carry Coalition (KCCC) to apply a law passed in 2013 that prohibits any such bans by public or quasi-public agencies. The organization said they have sued 13 local agencies and challenged dozens of venues like the KFC Yum! Center. So, perhaps the Arena Authority made this policy change in an effort to appease a radical gun group. If so, I doubt it will work.

For the rest of us — those who love the revitalization of downtown Louisville, the development of Waterfront Park, the Big Four Bridge, NuLu, the new hotels and restaurants — this needs to be the beginning of our fight to draw the line. Enough easing of gun regulations!

I live and work in downtown Louisville. I’ve lived here my entire adult life. If I exercise, it is most often around Waterfront Park and the walking bridge. I walk to the Yum! Center and Slugger Field for sports and events, as well as Whiskey Row and NuLu for food. I love living here. I feel safe here. I want to see this city continue to grow and become the center of activity in the region.

Does anyone remember the stigma of violence in downtown Louisville after one night of teen “riots”? East-enders were terrified to come downtown for months. Imagine what would happen if two drunks got into a fight at the Kid Rock concert and one of them had a firearm. Game over for the Yum! Center, for downtown Louisville and all the newly developed hotels and restaurants … that’s the ballgame.

The loosening of firearm restrictions at the Yum! Center and other public facilities is not fair to the rest of us who choose to live without wanting to bear arms. It’s not fair to downtown residents or downtown businesses, all of whom invested in a downtown that did not encourage open carry of firearms. The organizations fighting for this change are not concerned about the the success of the Yum! Center, the restaurants that blossomed around it, the housing developments over the last decade or the countless hours invested in developing downtown Louisville. They don’t care about any of that. They want to push their agenda, and they will jeopardize all of the progress we’ve made as a community, as well as the safety of innocent bystanders, for their own self-righteous endeavors. I challenge any one of them to demonstrate how they have been oppressed by the Yum! Center not allowing them to bring their Glocks into the Brad Paisley, Beyonce, Beiber or Justin Timberlake concerts. My guess is that they never even tried, asked or even cared, because it’s the principle of the matter — it’s their God-given Second Amendment right.

While they fight these little battles that they feel they can win, we need to fight the battles that are worth fighting. The Second Amendment right of some Americans cannot continue to trample on the rights of others to not bear arms. That is a fight worth fighting.