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Restricting guns that kill a lot is a ‘naive’ solution to school violence, Bevin says

The parents of slain 15-year-old Bailey Holt, left, wept as Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed a prayer proclamation a few days after Holt and another student died in a mass shooting at Marshall County High School. Dozens were injured.
The parents of slain 15-year-old Bailey Holt, left, wept as Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed a prayer proclamation a few days after Holt and another student died in a mass shooting at Marshall County High School. Dozens were injured. AP

Gun control and metal detectors won’t guarantee student safety in schools because evil finds a way in, especially if the nation doesn’t address it, Gov. Matt Bevin said on National Public Radio Monday.

There is no immediate solution to improve school safety, Bevin said in remarks similar to those from other Republicans who question limits on assault weapons or other gun restrictions after the mass school shootings in Florida and Kentucky. Nineteen students died, dozens more were injured in the shootings that occurred within weeks of each other.

“It’s just a matter of time before somebody will breach whatever security measure is put in place,” said Bevin in the interview on NPR’s Morning Edition, “If someone truly wants to perpetrate evil, it has always been able to be done. It’s a sad and tragic reality.”

Lawmakers have to be serious and open-minded about school safety to determine evil’s root cause.

Asked whether it should be harder to obtain a weapon that can kill a large number of people, Bevin said assuming that is a solution is “naive and premature.”

While host Steve Inskeep said the amount of guns per capita has nearly doubled in the last 40 years, Bevin argued the availability of guns is not necessarily higher.

“There have always been a lot of guns per person, and the access to them by children with no restrictions, no rules (and) no laws has long existed,” he said. “But yet children did not go to school and kill other children.”

Bevin also said studies need to look at student depression and “their psyche as it relates to social media and the use of personal devices.” Bevin repeated his contention that a culture that encourages violence through video games, TV shows and music lyrics contributes to school shootings.

By everything, Bevin said, he means “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,” he said.

Bevin emphasized many of the same viewpoints Monday evening in an appearance on CNN and offered a defense on his Facebook page, posting that “My views on the VALUE OF LIFE and GUN CONTROL are not mutually exclusive.”

Mike Stunson: 859-231-1324, @mike_stunson

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