The next Golden Fleece Award is given jointly to the Kentucky State Legislature and the Indiana State Legislature, both for arrant stupidity in light of the gun violence epidemic that is, and has been, sweeping the United States.

     The mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, Craig Greenberg, announced during a news conference last Tuesday that the firearm used to kill five people and injure eight in Louisville on Monday will ultimately be put up for auction to the general public.

     “To those in the national media that are joining us here today,” Greenberg said, “this may be even more shocking than it is to those of us locally who know this and are dealing with it.”

     Greenberg explained that a law the state passed in 1998 prohibits law enforcement from destroying confiscated firearms, even when they have been used in crimes. Instead, those firearms, including the AR-15-style rifle used in Monday’s shooting at Old National Bank, are required to be sent to Kentucky State Police, which sells the weapons to federally licensed gun dealers in an auction, thus returning them to public circulation.

     “Destroying the weapon used in Monday’s attack”, Greenberg said, “would make me a criminal for trying too hard to stop the real evil criminals who are taking other people’s lives and who are eager to make a spectacle of mass murder.”

      Greenberg has lobbied for Louisville to have the autonomy to set its own gun restrictions, including the ability to destroy confiscated firearms, but a bill that passed in 2012 prevents Kentucky cities and counties from doing so. Stupidity piled on stupidity!

     In February, interim State police chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said, in a news conference: “LMPD has no interest in spending hundreds of hours investigating a crime only to potentially pick up the same gun twice — or more.” I don’t blame her, but this situation is insane.

      In 2021, the Louisville Courier Journal found 31 instances of weapons auctioned by the state later being used in crimes over about a six-year period.

     The Golden Fleece Award hardly does justice to the level of stupidity of the Kentucky State Legislature, particularly when the frequent attempts to change these idiotic laws have been rebuffed by the majority-Republican legislators.

     In Indiana, days before the 2023 National Rifle Association (NRA) convention descends on Indianapolis, and one day after the mass shooting in Louisville, Indiana’s Republican lawmakers passed a resolution honoring the National Rifle Association and its CEO, Wayne LaPierre. All but two Republican senators, Greg Walker and Chip Perfect, signed the resolution.

     The public praise comes as the NRA prepares to host its annual convention in Indianapolis for the third time. Around 70,000 people are expected to attend the event at the Indiana Convention Center downtown. “VisitIndy” says hotels are nearly sold out and the convention, the fourth largest in Indianapolis, is expected to generate $36.4 million in economic impact. Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence are among the speakers.

     AND, to compound the idiocy, on Tuesday, Republican state senators gave LaPierre a certificate of gratitude, in addition to the resolution.

     Listen to this from Senator Jim Tomes, R-District 49: “I want to personally thank you for your service and dedication promoting the second amendment rights of our citizens not only in Indiana but across the United States of America.”

     There are some sensible people in Indiana.“Moms Demand Action” members, who learned of the resolution late Tuesday morning, came to the Statehouse to protest. They call lawmakers’ actions “beyond tone deaf”.

     “We felt we had to show up to say, ‘No, no, not in our house,'” said Cathy Weinmann with Moms Demand Action. “One day after a mass shooting in neighboring Kentucky in Louisville, they have the audacity, the audacity to stand on the floor of our Senate in our Statehouse and honor the organization that far and away is most responsible for the proliferation of guns in our country. I couldn’t just stay home and say, ‘Oh well.’

     “It is disrespectful. It’s arrogant. It’s really a painful reminder to all of the gun violence survivors in the state of Indiana and beyond that the Republican Party in the state of Indiana doesn’t care.”

     These joint Golden Fleece Awards, will hopefully highlight the intransient nature of the gun lobby in the United States.

     It is mass indoctrination on a huge scale. AND, as far as the U.S. Constitution is concerned, it isn’t even true.

     The Constitution states that citizens have the right to bear arms AS PART OF A DULY CONSTITUTED STATE MILITIA. The NRA has successfully bribed state legislatures to omit that last part from many state constitutions.    

     The “STATE MILITIA” part comes from an era when each state was worried about an invasion from a neighboring state – hardly a relevant feature of today’s world. Thus the whole movement of the gun lobby is a fraud conducted against the Constitution and the American people. However, it is ingrained in U.S, culture and that makes it nearly impossible to change, regardless of how many mass shootings occur.

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