While Democrats pursue gun safety regulation in a few main areas - bump stock bans, curtailing high-capacity magazines, and the creation of protective order laws that take firearms out of the hands of people who pose a danger to themselves or others - Republicans continue to push bills that fit their own defining goal.
More guns. More places. Fewer reasons.
In Kentucky, the place that lawmakers want to force weapons onto is the college campus, and HB 210 is their vehicle to accomplish that:
Students at the University of Louisville and Kentucky's other public universities should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus, a state lawmaker says.
"Law-abiding citizens have a right to protect themselves," said state Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, adding that college campuses, where shootings have become more frequent in recent years, may be one of the riskier places a student ever goes.
The perpetual motion machine of the gun lobby and their legislative allies is doing a ton of work here. More guns have led to more shootings, which makes campuses less safe, and the only way to secure them is with more guns. Hand-in-hand with this is the usual victim-shaming that's always implied when legislators fantasize about armed students or teachers or theater-goers saving themselves rather than being victims:
"Take Virginia Tech for example, how do you kill 32 college students? Because no one else has a gun." Representative Wesley Morgan (R-81), who has signed on a co-sponsor for the bill, said.
Enter legislation that would prevent colleges and universities from barring the carrying of firearms on campus and limit local government control (once a hallmark of conservatism, now tossed aside in favor of their true North Star) over buildings like courtrooms and detention facilities, as well as the legislative building itself.
Democrats, along with representatives of the colleges themselves, stand opposed.
"I see that as making us less safe," [Rep. Attica Scott] said. "I look up in the (House) chambers and I'm thinking, 'Wow, what if someone up in the chambers has a gun and they're upset about a piece of legislation that we’ve passed and they decide to open fire?' We're a captive audience."
Spokesmen for the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky said their institutions want to keep their prohibitions against weapons on campus.
“Public universities in Kentucky are exempted from the concealed carry law," University of Kentucky spokesman Jay Blanton said in an email. "We support, and the officials on our campus charged with keeping our community safe support, maintaining that exemption.”
The bill is currently before the House Judiciary Committee (membership list HERE).