On Sept. 14, 1989 , a disgruntled 47-year-old pressman of Standard Gravure, a printing company in Louisville, entered the plant at 8:30 a.m. He carried four semiautomatic weapons, a revolver, a bayonet and several hundred rounds of ammunition. He shot 20 people, eight of whom died. He then killed himself. This was the deadliest mass shooting in Kentucky’s history. The murderer was on Prozac and suffered from manic-depression. He had been hospitalized for his psychiatric illness.
I was the Jefferson County judge executive at the time after serving two terms as Louisville mayor. In 1990, I ran against Mitch McConnell for the Senate and strongly came out for an assault-weapon ban. Mr. McConnell supported the National Rifle Association position without hesitation and accepted large contributions from the NRA and its members. He didn’t mention the massacre during his campaign.
The weekend before the election, the McConnell campaign, which had help from Roger Ailes, flooded the airways with anti-gun-control messages. People said they liked me but feared I would take their hunting guns. I lost by less than five points.
Nothing has been done since to stem the flood of weapons designed for mass human destruction by Mr. McConnell, now the Senate majority leader. We don’t even require background checks to find psychiatric patients. Mr. McConnell has received $1.26 million in NRA contributions.
I will be in the March 24 march led by the brave students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Today it is not a rural-urban issue. It is a moral issue.
Harvey Sloane, Washington
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