Governor discusses gun control, mental health - News, Weather & Sports

Governor discusses gun control, mental health

Governor Steve Beshear Governor Steve Beshear

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Gun control and safety continues to be at the center of a growing discussion in Washington.

Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden met with law enforcement representatives for the first meeting of the President's task force on gun violence.

It's a topic Governor Steve Beshear wanted to talk about on Thursday as he looked back on 2012.

"The tragedy in Connecticut it's almost incomprehensible," said Beshear, "It is very difficult to get our minds around what happened."

The thought that if it happened there it could happen in Kentucky caused parents to run in fear this week to pick up their kids from Pleasure Ridge Park High School, Meade County High School, North Bullitt High School and Jeffersonville High School,  all because of an incident or social media threat.

Beshear explained, "That school in Connecticut was probably as ready as you could be. Their doors were locked and all safety stuff was in place and the tragedy still happened."

Twenty six people died  inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20 of them little children. The 2nd deadliest school shooting in U.S.  history,  prompting another argument over gun control.  he number of arguments over the topic at this point too numerous to count.

"I'm a strong supporter of the second amendment but to me this is not about the second amendment. This is about the safety of our kids," Beshear said of his stance on the issue.

Gov. Beshear will let our elected officials in Washington lead the weapons charge, but feels we do have work to start at home.

His feels, "What we can do here locally is look at mental health."

Peter Earley, a mental health advocate and author said, "We need to fix the system, it shouldn't be easier to get an assault rifle than it is to get mental health care."

One in 17 Americans lives with mental illness.  Along with that diagnosis comes the stigma and the high cost of healthcare, but doing nothing may cost us all a great deal more than money.

Beshear said, "We all ought to be open to looking and thinking about any and all options that are out there to protect our children,"

Budget cuts have caused a few "cut backs" but no problems according to the governor, "We haven't been able to perform as many school audits in terms of our safety programs but every school has a safety plan.  They are constantly reviewed and updated."

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