It would be just as easy for a mentally troubled young person, someone who had been rejected by the Army and banned from his community college, to walk out of a gun store with a semi-automatic handgun and a 30-round clip of bullets in Kentucky as it was in Arizona.
Both Kentucky and Arizona scored 2 out of 100 possible points on the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence's scorecard in 2009.
Since then, Arizona outdid Kentucky by becoming the third state to allow the carrying of concealed weapons without a permit.
The only points that Kentucky and Arizona scored in the 2009 survey (www.bradycampaign.org/stategunlaws/scorecard) were for not forcing colleges to allow firearms on their campuses. The highest scoring states were California and New Jersey with 79 and 73 points respectively.
The 22-year-old who is accused of killing six people and wounding 14, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, legally purchased his Glock 19 9mm semi-automatic pistol at a Sportsman's Warehouse. He passed the instant background check required by federal law.
Until 2004, he would not have been able to purchase the high-capacity ammunition magazine because it was illegal under a federal ban on assault weapons. (That means he could have gotten off just 10 shots without reloading, according to a Brady Campaign statement, instead of the at least 20 shots he fired outside a Tuscon Safeway on Saturday morning.) Congress failed to renew the assault-weapon ban in 2004.
To read the complete editorial, visit www.kentucky.com.