The NRA has spoken!

Jan 18, 2017 at 10:18 am
The NRA has spoken!

Louisville just buried its deadliest year ever, because of guns. Now would be the logical time for our leaders to do whatever — anything — they can to curb this gun violence. What may work for rural Kentucky and rural America just isn’t working in Louisville, and we should be allowed to take action to protect ourselves.

State Rep. Daryl Owens understands this. The Louisville Democrat introduced a bill, cosponsored by state Rep. Attica Scott, among others, that would take back local control of gun laws from the state.

State Republicans, not shockingly, have other ideas: Senate Bill 7, which essentially would make getting a conceal-carry permit optional.

But don’t worry — the lead bill sponsor, Sen. Albert Robinson from London, recommends that gun owners still go through the licensing process, including gun safety training. His reasoning is that if Kentuckians carry while traveling, they would comply with other states’ conceal-carry laws. But in Kentucky, concealing a weapon with no permit would no longer be a crime, if his law passes.

Why do we need Robinson’s law?

We are not sure. It is not difficult to get a concealed-carry permit. In fact, the process for receiving one was streamlined two years ago. The law was changed to require state police to issue or deny a license application within 15 days, down from 60.

And outside of a routine criminal background check, the only requirements include a picture for the ID, a fee and completion of a safety training class. The safety course should be required of anyone buying a gun, regardless of whether they want to carry it under their coat or in a handbag.

Perhaps such basic safety training would enlighten adults who don’t properly secure, or store, their guns, leading to the deaths of children and teenagers: 48 children nationwide each day are victims of guns, including eight shot unintentionally, and three dying of self-inflicted wounds.

It is interesting that the National Rifle Association, whose only redeeming virtue is that it promotes gun safety education and training, would push for a bill that eliminates the training. But here we are. Robinson was quite candid, telling Insider Louisville, “I handle all the NRA’s legislation in the state. This is the NRA’s bill.”

Was the NRA on the ballot in 2016?

Fortunately, Owens represents his constituents in Louisville, not a national lobbying group. Conservatives should love his House Bill 101, because it is the quintessential small-government argument they love to invoke: If a city wants gun regulations, it should be allowed local control. Instead, Kentucky House Republicans are unlikely to give his bill even a committee hearing.

So who else in Louisville is standing up for this bill? Mayor Greg Fischer has spoken out for the need for local control of gun laws. But when LEO asked what the mayor was doing to support it, his spokesman, Chris Poynter, replied in an email only that: “The mayor and his team support efforts to give local governments more control over public safety/gun issues. This is one of several bills that do that.”

So we asked again: “Can you tell me what the mayor and his team are doing specifically to support the bill? Will Mayor Fischer or someone from his team testify, write a letter, hold a news conference or otherwise push to get it heard before the legislature?”

No reply.

Mr. Mayor, we need you to stand up for what you have said needs to be done. Keep hammering. Movements are not won by fighting the fights you can win, but fighting the fights that are worth fighting.

So now that the NRA has spoken, my question is, what is the endgame? No gun laws or restrictions anywhere?

You already can carry your weapon openly. Nothing like taking a walk on the Big Four Bridge with your family only to find someone with a Glock holstered on his hip. Don’t you feel safer already?

You already can purchase hundreds… thousands of rounds of ammunition, and extended magazines, allowing you to kill 30… whatever before reloading. You can buy a 31-round extended magazine for your Glock 17 for $15.95 (plus shipping, probably). And don’t worry, the same company can ship you a 100-round magazine for your AR-15 — the terrorist’s weapon of choice — for just $95.95.

Our city needs the authority to take steps to help save lives. We don’t need state senators from rural Kentucky, or the NRA from Washington, D.C., to get in the way of an issue that affects our city.