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Beshear: Mass shooting at Texas elementary school is ‘just evil’

Ryan Van Velzer

Gov. Andy Beshear said it’s important for Kentuckians to be there for grieving families following a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school classroom that killed 19 children and two adults.

When asked by WKMS News about the shooting Wednesday, Beshear said the shooting “just rips to the very fabric of who we are.”

He said he has a friend who is a survivor of the Heath High School shooting in 1997 and also responded to the Marshall County High School shooting in 2018 when he was the state Attorney General.

“For somebody to walk into an elementary school and hurt those children is unspeakable and it's just evil,” Beshear said. “Right now, we grieve with our fellow Americans and our fellow parents.”

Beshear said it was “unlikely” the GOP-dominated state legislature would take up any gun control measures following the Texas shooting, but he said he’s always willing to talk with legislative leadership. He said “living in the world of the possible,” he believes what can still be accomplished politically is working to improve school safety.

“What we look at is how we turn soft targets into hard targets, how we make it very difficult for somebody looking to commit acts of violence to ever see a school as a place that they would go,” Beshear said.

The governor pointed to a bill he signed in April that would place a school resource officer in every Kentucky school as a step toward safer schools.

“There's some reasonable discussion about sometimes how that might make students inside the school feel,” Beshear said. “But certainly today, we can agree that we need to have someone there prepared to respond to situations like this.”

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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