The state of Kentucky is a pretty red state, politically. The only way to call it “blue” is if you’re looking at the University of Kentucky and the state’s support for their school. That’s about it.
As a result, it’s a state that typically values gun rights.
Yes, they have a Democrat in the governor’s mansion, but they’re still a pro-gun state.
They also have a news media not very different than every other state in the nation, so I shouldn’t have been too shocked when I saw a report all breathless about how gubernatorial candidates aren’t talking about gun control after Louisville.
Many elected officials in Louisville are very clear about what changes they want to make to gun policy after a devastating mass shooting downtown: more local control over their gun laws and generally stronger restrictions on guns in the state.
Rep. Morgan McGarvey, Louisville’s Democratic congressman, has also been vocal, criticizing GOP legislators for being more willing to “ban books and pronouns” than act on guns. Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg has also called for legislative action.
But the state’s top candidates running for governor have had much less to say in the days since the shooting. And none of the Republicans running in the crowded primary have sided with Louisville officials in calling for any sort of gun control.
In general, the Republican candidates for governor have focused on mental health, not guns, in response to the mass shooting.
Well, why wouldn’t they? We know that both this shooter and the Nashville killer were suffering from mental health issues. Why not focus on those instead of guns, especially since mass murder can and does take place with weapons other than firearms?
Yet I find it very interesting that they’d focus on Republican candidates not talking about gun control.
As of right now, this is just the primary. There’s absolutely no chance of any Republican candidate that actually hopes to win the nomination will talk about gun control. Not right now, at a minimum.
That kind of thing might benefit them in a general election, if they chose to go that route, but in a primary? It’s not going to happen.
Yet the same report does go on to talk about all the Democrats talking about gun control, as if they’re somehow better than the Republicans. It’s infuriating.
The truth of the matter is that what we saw in Louisville is unlikely to have been prevented by literally any gun control measure you care to name. Even if he hadn’t had an AR-15, there’s little chance he couldn’t have killed just as many people, if not more, with the weapons available to him otherwise.
But the media has a profound tendency to just lash out for gun control, presenting it as an uncontested answer to all things violent.
Things aren’t that simple, though, and gun control is a simplistic solution to a complex problem. That literally never works out well.
These candidates aren’t talking about gun control because there’s no reason to be talking about gun control.