FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Members of Kentucky’s Black Legislative Caucus held a press conference on Monday to show support for the “Tennessee Three” and to call for comprehensive gun control legislation in Kentucky.
Two of the Tennessee Three, both of whom are Black, were expelled from that kstate’s House of Representatives by the Republican supermajority earlier this month for their protest on the chamber floor, against a lack of action on gun reform following a mass shooting at a Nashville elementary school. But Justin Jones, D-Nashville, was reinstated by the Nashville Metro Council, while Justin Pearson, D-Memphis, was similarly returned to office by the Shelby County Commission.
Rep. George Brown, D-Lexington, who chairs the Kentucky Caucus, said the issue is very important. “Our children have the right to go to school every morning and come home in the afternoon. People should be able to go to church and come home. Kids should be able to have a sweet 16 party and come home from that party. We have an epidemic of gun violence in this country, and we need to do something about it.”
He stated that commonsense gun control, background checks, and gun safety are all part of his platform.
Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, referred to last week’s mass shooting at Old National Bank in Louisville where five were killed and eight more wounded, saying that is emblematic of what’s happening across the state and the nation.
“But it’s not just about mass shootings,” Neal continued. “It’s about individual acts of gun violence that are taking place every day, across the commonwealth. It’s not just about urban settings, it’s also about rural settings. We’re having a rise everywhere you go. It’s disconcerting.”
Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, told those on hand, “We are not even one-third through 2023, and already we have had more than 160 mass shootings in the United States. That includes two in Louisville in less than a week.”
Brown noted, “Tuesday there is a meeting in Nashville, to form a human chain from Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital to the state Capitol. We are alerting everyone to come to Nashville.”