Can you imagine a worse place than a bar to allow private citizens to carry their legally concealed weapons?

Arguments between drinkers that today often end in a shouting and/or shoving match could end up with two drunks firing away at each other with unlucky bystanders in the line of fire.

A disagreement in a City Council meeting could erupt in gunfire because officials and spectators could be “packing heat” as they say on the street about someone who is armed.

These scenarios could become reality in Kentucky if a certain pre-filed bill were to become law in the upcoming 2019 session of the General Assembly.

That bill is sponsored by State Rep. Robert Goforth, R-East Bernstadt, who says we need to be able to defend ourselves and others at any time and any place during this time of mass shootings.

In defending his bill, Goforth claims that persons intent on committing gun violence won’t respect gun-free zones and that the average citizen must be able to exercise his or her right to bear arms, as guaranteed by the constitution.

Opponents of expanded

concealedcarry rights say too many gun owners are not sufficiently trained or experienced to use their weapons in self-defense.

A citizen with a concealed carry permit engaged the gunman who recently killed two shoppers in a Louisville food market. Neither person was hit but the missed shots could have added to the human toll.

Kentucky’s concealed carry law requires only eight hours of training and the ability to put at least 11 of 20 rounds into a paper silhouette.

More than 437,000 concealed carry permits have been issued in Kentucky since 1996. About 12,500 of those have been revoked or suspended.

Trained, experienced police officers often don’t hit their human targets in gunfire exchanges. A hit rate of 50 percent is far above average.

“Many people who say they want to return fire have never been shot at before,” said a veteran police officer. “It’s a whole different ballgame when someone is shooting back at you.”

In our view, Goforth’s bill could cause the death toll among innocent bystanders to go even higher. It should not become law.

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