LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After the Uvalde Texas school massacre, Louisville activists joined with voices across America Monday to say enough is enough.
"Who is blocking any progress on common-sense gun regulations? The two senators from Kentucky," said K.A. Owens, co-chair of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. "This is not conservatism. It's madness."
In recent days, Senator Mitch McConnell was quoted on CNN saying he encouraged GOP senators to meet with Democrats to reach a bipartisan compromise on gun control legislation.
Monday, President Joe Biden expressed optimism that McConnell may be the right person to work with on this.
"I think there’s a realization on the part of rational Republicans — and I think Sen. McConnell is a rational Republican; I think [Sen. John] Cornyn is as well," Biden said Monday. "I think there’s a recognition in their part that they — we can’t continue like this. We can’t do this."
McConnell hasn't specifically said what he'd be willing to compromise on.
In the 38 years since he was first elected to the U.S. Senate, the NRA has spent $1.3 million to get Mitch McConnell elected. That is according to the non-partisan campaign finance data website OpenSecrets. It includes money donated directly to the McConnell campaign from the NRA and its employees, indirectly from NRA-backed entities and money spent on opposition ads against his opponents.
In the 12 years Republican Sen. Rand Paul has been in office, the NRA has spent more than $100,000 to send him to Washington.
As for outgoing U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, the only Democrat representing Kentucky in Congress, the NRA hasn't spent any money supporting him. In fact, they've actually spent more than $4,000 running ads for Yarmuth's opponents through the years to keep him from getting elected.
Since the shooting, many around America have been pushing harder for school resource officers. SROs are sworn police officers stationed inside schools for protection.
Kentucky has a new law requiring all public school campuses in the commonwealth to have an SRO. If a district can't afford this or can't find the officers to staff this, they have to talk to the Kentucky School Safety Marshall to come up with a plan on how to get to that point.
The bill was championed by Republicans in the Kentucky General Assembly and had little Democratic support. Owens also expressed concerns about this new law.
"When the police are in high poverty schools, they end up arresting kids for kid-like behavior and criminalizing children," Owens said. "It's not something that actually works."
Kentucky's new SRO law takes effect in August.