LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The mass shooting in Colorado has sparked debate about whether there should be tougher gun laws. The issue is one that resonates in Kentuckiana just as much as around the country.
“Attempting to legislate and restrict ownership [of guns] is hopeless,” says Charles Riggs, with the Kentucky Concealed Carry Coalition.
“Criminals are always going to be criminals,” says one man from Valley Station who called himself ‘Chuck.’ “And people who are going to go out and kill people are going to find ways to do it.”
“I’m a big advocate of self defense,” say Stephen McBride, a gun enthusiast from Shelby County. “I think everyone should be prepared to defend themselves from criminals.”
Many gun advocates who came to the Gun and Knife Show in Louisville over the weekend believe lighter gun laws could have prevented the shooting in Colorado from ending with 12 people dead and dozens more injured.
“If laws were less restrictive there might of been people who were armed in that theater that could of prevented or minimized the amount of damage that was done,” says Chuck.
The right to bear arms is an American tradition as Tommy Jenkins from Breckenridge County explains.
“We have certain rights that were given to us handed down from generation to generation that started out with people in a country that was rough and ready,” says Jenkins. “And we need to stay that same rough and ready mentality.”
At the Louisville Gun and Knife Show, people can legally buy sell or trade guns as part of their constitutional right. But it’s guns that were once legally bought that sometimes hit the streets and are used to commit illegal crimes that might include murder.
“I don’t believe that West Louisville or any part of Louisville is going to have enough regulation to try and get illegal guns that are saturating the community off the streets in a meaningful way,” says community liaison Christopher 2X.
Christopher 2X says there needs to be a change in the way people think, rather than a change in gun laws.
“I think the bottom line is about education,” 2X says.