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Gov. Bevin: ‘Naive’ To Think Gun Control Will Stop Mass Shootings

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin says current gun and murder laws didn’t discourage recent school shootings, so people shouldn’t look to gun restrictions to prevent future mass shootings.

“What other law would a child who’s willing to break those three laws have obeyed that would have precluded something like this from happening,” Bevin said during an interview with Steve Inskeep on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

Bevin said it was “premature” to consider any proposals related to the issue, but that when times are “less emotionally raw,” lawmakers should consider “securing our schools and our society as a whole.”

Later this week, a joint meeting of the Kentucky House and Senate education committees will consider proposals related to gun safety — including a “school marshal” bill that would allow some school staff to have access to a gun on campus.

The meeting comes after 17 were killed at Parkland High school in Florida earlier this month, and last month’s shooting in Marshall County, Kentucky, where two 15-year-olds were killed and 18 others injured.

Bevin has repeatedly said he doesn’t support any new gun restrictions, instead advocating for less violent content in video games, music, movies and social media.

During the NPR interview, Inskeep asked if Bevin would support repealing a federal that bans the federal government from studying gun violence as a public health issue.

Bevin said research on the issue is important, but steered his answer toward studying other factors.

“I think it’s important to look at everything, and by everything I mean not those things that those seem imperatively in their minds to focus on,” Bevin said. “But to look at what we are doing to our young people – the use of drugs, the depression, the lack of engagement by parents, the lack of morality in our society.”

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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