Posts Tagged ‘gun legislation’

Agreement and Disagreement on Gun Laws

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Last week on Kentucky Tonight, we discussed the disagreement among House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and the White House over the federal budget and the Affordable Care Act. Our guests on that program seemed to agree that lawmakers would come to some agreement to avoid a government shutdown. Little did we know!

So last night, while legislators in Washington argued over that very issue, our guests on Kentucky Tonight debated another hot topic: gun laws. I asked our panelists if they thought Congress would approve any of the gun laws proposed since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last December. Our guests all said that passage of anything gun related in this session of Congress is doubtful.

A recent article in the Washington Times explored the challenges President Obama has faced in advancing gun control measures. The story highlighted a brief remark Obama made in a speech about the Navy Yard shootings. The president said, “By now, it should be clear that the changes we need will not come from Washington, even when tragedy strikes Washington.”

One issue that gun advocates frequently raise is that not enough “good guys” have weapons, while individuals with mental illness can obtain guns all too easily. That point elicited lively debate among our Kentucky Tonight panelists.

In April, the Senate rejected a bill that would have required background checks for some intrastate firearms transfers between persons who aren’t licensed gun dealers. Opponents argued that, if passed, the legislation would set up a national registry of gun owners – which provided another point of disagreement among our guests last night.

Next week on Kentucky Tonight, we’ll discuss the Affordable Care Act and see how the law is working a week after the launch of the new health exchanges.

Rep. Brett Guthrie Passionate about “Common Hope for Tomorrow”

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Note from Bill Goodman: KET just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C., for a series of One to One interviews that began airing this week. My colleague Renee Shaw provides the highlights of tonight’s One to One interview with Rep. Brett Guthrie which airs on KET tonight at 6:30 ET.

When Bowling Green Republican Brett Guthrie ran for the Kentucky State Senate in 1998, his theme was a “Common Hope for Tomorrow.” After serving in the state legislature for nine years and serving as Transportation Committee chairman, he upgraded his lawmaker status to serve as 2nd District congressman in 2009.

Since the start of his stint in public office, Guthrie says, “people are still anxious about their ability to move ahead.” That’s his number one priority in Congress – which means jobs and the economy. “We need to make Washington work so people can see that government is not in the way,” he adds.

He’s been a staunch critic of the Affordable Care Act that he says is thrusting uncertainty on the business community. He believes that fears of increased healthcare costs are sure to stifle hiring and harm the economy.

During his interview tonight with Bill Goodman, Guthrie also discusses the importance of
immigration reform and why it’s critical to the farming community in his district.

Guthrie says Western Kentucky University (located in his district) has been aggressive in luring international students to campus, only to have many of the students return to their native countries with high-level skills and knowledge that the U.S. covets.

The second-term congressman is a 1987 economics graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served as a field artillery officer in the 101st Airborne Division – Air Assault at Fort Campbell. After his military service, he worked at Trace Die Cast, a manufacturing facility owned by his father based in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Rep. Guthrie says his experience with struggling to find high-skilled workers for his father’s factory put him on a legislative quest to form policies and nurture apprenticeship programs for non-college bound kids who would rather move right into the workforce after high school.

Bill and Guthrie discuss these issues plus sequestration, gun legislation, and industrial hemp tonight at 6:30 ET on KET. Bill’s interviews with the congressional delegation resume at the same time Monday night with 3rd District Rep. John Yarmuth.

Our Capitol Excursion

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Note from Bill Goodman: Renee Shaw is with me in Washington, D.C., this week and she’ll be posting her observations about our Beltway expedition to interview the eight men representing Kentucky in Washington.

All this week, KET is inside the Beltway talking with members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation. We launched our D.C. excursion with a live broadcast of Kentucky Tonight last night from the Cannon House rotunda balcony. All of the members of Congress representing Kentucky were asked to join Bill Goodman on the balcony overlooking Constitution Avenue, and we were delighted that Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator Rand Paul and third-term Congressman John Yarmuth could join Bill on the program.

There were times when Yarmuth, the Louisville Democrat, and Paul, the Bowling Green Republican, were on the same political page. But some glaring contrasts on prominent, headline-making issues facing the 113th Congress remain, one of which is immigration.

Senator Paul says the United States is still not adequately addressing student visas and screening background checks from those with refugee status. He says Congress should not rush to pass immigration reform and instead engage in a robust, debate without self-imposed deadlines on action.

On the pathway to citizenship proposals, Yarmuth and Rand Paul gave their perspectives. Yarmuth says the government is deporting unprecedented numbers of the undocumented now and argues that deporting the estimated 11 million with questionable legal status is not prudent. Sen. Rand Paul says border security is a lingering concern for conservatives like himself and he’s poised to present a plan called “Trust but verify.”

The other lightning rod issue Congress is perhaps bracing for another round of debate about is gun legislation related to background checks. The shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn., nearly six months ago reignited gun control measures, particularly relative to background checks.

Sen. Paul says he’s concerned that some proposals like the Manchin-Toomey plan that recently failed in the Senate, shift criminal blame onto law-abiding gun owners. He instead favors examining the background checks already in place.

Rand Paul doubts public polling on firearms background checks, which he contends is sullied with high emotions about recent events. He thinks that as time passes, the emotions will subside when policy proposals are parsed out for possible unintended consequences affecting the rights and civil liberties of upright citizens.

Bill’s engaging discussion on Kentucky Tonight Monday night covered ideology on poverty and minimum wage, Medicare, Syria, and the guests’ collaboration on a golf tournament to benefit veterans.

You can watch the entire program online.

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