guns

Taylor Inman

Survivors of gun violence in west Kentucky led protests against the Friday visit of National Rifle Association leader Oliver North to a Republican rally at Murray State University.

Oliver North was invited by the Marshall and Calloway County Republican parties as the featured speaker for their ‘Night Before Fancy Farm’ event. The invitation of North to speak at a local GOP rally sparked an uproar from a community that experienced a deadly school shooting less than seven months ago.

North is a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel and in May was named the next president of the NRA. He is also infamous for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Nicole Erwin

Gun rights and gun violence have dominated national and regional headlines this year, following several shootings, including the deadly shooting last January at Marshall County High School in west Kentucky.

Now, as 3-D printed guns could potentially upend the national conversation, and as the president of the National Rifle Association visits the region on Friday, the Paducah/west Kentucky chapter of the nonpartisan group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America is looking to build consensus on gun safety. Christa Dubrock is the group's Local Lead for Paducah. 

Flickr/Creative Commons/James Case

Experts told Kentucky lawmakers that gun violence needs to be addressed as a public health crisis, advising that they consider legislation that would require gun owners to lock up their firearms.

A legislative committee heard testimony on Wednesday about how gun violence impacts young people across the state and country. The meeting came after a string of school shootings across the country earlier this year, including an incident at Marshall County High School that killed two 15 year-olds.

Flickr/Creative Commons/James Case

Gov. Matt Bevin said last week that he thinks parents should be responsible for locking up guns when they have children in the house, but he wouldn’t say whether he thinks that should be mandated by law.

Bevin made the comments to reporters after a meeting of the Federal School Safety Commission — a group of federal officials tasked with coming up with safety recommendations after a string of school shootings earlier this year.

Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin says in order to put an end to school shootings, parents need to stop over-medicating their children and steer them away from cell phones and violent video games.

The governor’s comments came during a listening session hosted by the Federal Commission on School Safety, which was created by President Trump earlier this year.

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State lawmakers on Monday heard recommendations about how to how to make Kentucky schools safer in the wake of the deadly shooting at Marshall County High School earlier this year and similar tragedies across the country.

A group of school safety experts shied away from controversial policies like arming teachers or new gun regulations, instead advising that schools improve security, hire more school resource officers and find new ways to detect and prevent possible shootings.

Updated at 10:05 p.m.

Nashville Police are warning residents to keep their doors locked and their eyes open for a partially nude man following a shooting early Sunday morning that left four people dead.

There is reason to believe, police say, that the suspect at large is carrying at least one weapon that was not found during a search of the gunman's home.

"One of his guns, a pistol, remains unaccounted for," Metro Nashville Police tweeted Sunday evening.

Deep In Gun Country, Students Speak Out On Gun Violence

Mar 26, 2018
Nicole Erwin

Gun culture runs deep in much of the Ohio Valley, where hunting is a revered tradition and the majority of state lawmakers in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia boast “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association.

But even here the growing national student activism on gun safety is taking hold in the wake of recent school shootings. With some three dozen events in the region coinciding with the national March For Our Lives protest, more students from the region are deciding to speak out.

The Ohio Valley ReSource sampled some student viewpoints from around the region.


Updated on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. ET

Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, parents and victims rallied in Washington, D.C., and across the country on Saturday to demand tougher gun control measures, part of a wave of political activism among students and others impacted by school shootings.

After the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, students across the country have raised their voices to protest gun violence: "Enough is enough." "Never again." "Not one more."

For Lela Free, a freshman in Marshall County, Ky., another phrase comes to mind.

"We should have been the last," she says.

Just weeks before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, a student armed with a handgun entered Marshall County High School in Kentucky. He killed two students, and injured 18 others.

Rhonda J. Miller

The Bowling Green community is holding a 'March for Our Lives' on Saturday in support of the national event organized to push for stricter gun laws after 17 students and teachers were fatally shot in Parkland, Florida in February. 

The Bowling Green 'March for Our Lives' is mainly to encourage legislators to pass laws to create safer schools and cut down on gun violence. Many students in Kentucky are on edge after two students were shot to death by a classmate at Marshall County High School in January, followed by the massacre at the Florida high school last month.

The Bowling Green march is being coordinated by the Center for Citizenship and Social Justice at Western Kentucky University. Leah Ashwill is director of the center and says speakers at the community event will take a broad view of gun violence.

Students Push As Lawmakers Ponder Gun Safety Bills

Mar 17, 2018
Nicole Erwin

In a recently released court video, Capt. Matt Hilbrecht of the Marshall County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s office testifies about his interrogation of Gabriel Parker, the 15-year-old accused of a mass shooting at Marshall County High School in January.

“We asked him initially when he had the thought of the school shooting,” Hilbrecht begins as he describes the events leading up to the shooting. The recording was released because Parker is being tried as an adult.

Hilbrecht explains how Parker got the 9mm pistol he would use to kill two teens and injure 17 others: Parker found it in his parents’ closet.


Flickr/Creative Commons/James Case

Kentucky legislators have introduced 24 gun-related bills this session — some to restrict firearms, and some to expand the places where people are allowed to carry them. But all but four of the measures remain stalled in committees.

One of the bills seeing some movement would give tougher punishments to convicted felons possessing firearms, and has the Louisville Metro Police Department’s support.

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Two southern Kentucky teenagers are hosting what they’re billing as a bipartisan rally for gun law reform.

Palmer Lessenberry and Autumn Harlow are friends and Glasgow High School juniors who say that while they differ politically, they agree that Congress needs to act to address the number of school shootings in the U.S.

Lessenberry says Saturday’s event in Bowling Green will feature speakers from a variety of backgrounds who will talk about what they think should—and shouldn’t—be done to prevent future mass casualty shootings.

Ryland Barton

Students from across Kentucky traveled to the state Capitol to rally against gun violence as part of demonstrations that took place across the country on Wednesday.

More than 40 students from Marshall County High School made the three-and-a-half hour trip to Frankfort.

Marshall County Junior Leighton Solomon was one of several students to speak at the rally. She called on lawmakers to put politics aside and come up with solutions to school violence.

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