In wake of recent violence in the city, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is asking that everyone – both law-abiding citizens and criminals alike – leave their guns at home during the Thunder Over Louisville airshow this weekend.
According to local media, Fischer’s plea came after rumors were heard of possible violence this weekend. Residents have already remained on edge since last month when a mob of about 200 teens began beating random victims and damaging property in what was described as an outbreak of violence like an angry virus spreading throughout the downtown area.
Determined to put an end to such acts of violence, Fischer released a three-page letter to the city’s residents last Friday revealing a plan of action and questioning who is accountable for the teens responsible for the violent acts.
“We see the kids do the behavior. But the question is: Who is behind the kid, and how are they accountable and how are they involved with that kid’s life as well?” Fischer asked.
“Most of these kids were middle school kids. The question is, where is the parent? Where is the guardian? These kids may not have traditional family structures, but there is an adult in their lives, somewhere,” he added.
Fischer’s plans include providing summer jobs, community centers and other outlets for at-risk teens.
However, Fischer’s plans for the city will not come with immediate results and certainly won’t be in place by this weekend’s event. Nonetheless, Authorities have assigned 1,100 armed officers to guard the downtown area, as well as the metro police helicopter and dozens of video camera feeds to keep an eye on things during the airshow.
Fischer feels that the presence of guns – even in possession of concealed carry permit holders – could ultimately end in more violence and that the extra security will be sufficient to protect those in attendance.
“There’s plenty of protection there. We just ask people to use common sense when they come down to Thunder,” Fischer said.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Fischer added, referring to permit holders carrying weapons to the airshow. “Obviously, they have a right to do that. But things can escalate when that takes place. There will be plenty of public safety personnel.”
Not all residents agree with Fischer’s stance on firearms and many say that they will still be attending the airshow armed, some even saying that they will be open carrying, as is their legal right in the state of Kentucky.