On the morning of February 14, Louisville, Ky. Mayoral Candidate Craig Greenberg and four staffers met in a campaign office. According to reports from the Louisville Courier-Journal, around 10:15am a man entered the office and shot at Greenberg with a 9mm handgun. No one was injured during the shooting, but the candidate’s sweater was grazed by a bullet. The paper reported that following the incident, “Officers found a man matching the suspect's description less than half a mile away about 10 minutes later, carrying a loaded 9mm magazine in his pants pocket.”
Contrary to what some in the media were hoping, the suspect has a long history of left-wing and anti-gun activism. A Daily Beast article explained,
[the suspect’s] affiliation with Black Lives Matter and social-justice issues led to his being featured on MSBNC in 2018, where he spoke about wanting “common-sense gun reform.” He was also featured by the Obama Foundation as a “rising face,”
Social media posts from the last decade show Brown pictured alongside such luminaries as the Rev. Al Sharpton and Kentucky Senate candidate Charles Booker, a Democrat. In a 2021 Twitter post, Booker described Brown as “a brilliant young scholar” who spoke at his Senate launch years prior.
The suspect’s MSNBC spot occurred at the billionaire-bankrolled anti-gun March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2018. During an interview with Joy Reid, the suspect dutifully parroted the prevailing anti-gun messaging, stating,
We want common sense gun reform and if you’re not going to give us that, then we’re going to get everyone out here to vote and we’re going to vote you out of office. So if you want to keep your job, then give us, not what we want, but what we need, what humans need. We need commonsense gun reform. Get rid of assault rifles.
The alleged shooter’s profile on the Obama Foundation website (removed, but archived) stated, “I better my community for the boys that look just like me by changing the narrative around violence, masculinity, and professionalism.”
As if gun owners needed further evidence of media bias, the suspect was hired as an intern for the Courier-Journal in 2019. That summer, the alleged shooter wrote an opinion piece for the paper, titled “Kentucky's concealed carry law shows your life doesn't matter to gun-loving Republicans.”
Ostensibly a column in opposition to Constitutional Carry legislation, the piece is mostly a grab-bag of the sort of gibberish fashionable on college campuses and among the overeducated. The alleged shooter informed readers,
Politicians and lobbyists will continue to push the narrative of socialists, criminal brown immigrants and unlawful black thugs as long as it persuades you to maintain their white capitalist patriarchy masked as a democracy…And until we elect politicians who are truly committed to democracy and human rights, who truly believe that all people are created equal — rather they be undocumented immigrants, trans people, or unhoused people — we must continue to disrupt, resist and fight for humanity.
What these sweeping accusations have to do with legislation that ensured all law-abiding Kentuckians can exercise their Second Amendment right bear arms to protect themselves and their families without obtaining prior government permission is unclear. Making sense of this dreck requires a theologian.
No fan of your NRA, the accused mentioned the nation’s oldest civil rights group six times in his juvenile screed.
As an example of rank hypocrisy, this story is about as on the nose as it gets – perhaps a little too much so for Twitter’s censors. However, there is much more to how this story exposes the absurdity of gun control efforts.
In January, three Louisville Metro Council members expressed their intent to enact a discharge ordinance in the city. According to a press release put out by the lawmakers, such an ordinance is vital to public safety.
Councilman Pat Mulvihill (D-10) stated, “No one should have to worry about stray bullets hitting their home, their car, or their loved one. This is not a political issue. This is a common-sense issue. Adopting this ordinance to ban dangerous gunfire in Louisville will make a positive impact on everyone’s safety.”
Councilman Bill Hollander (D-9) complained, “Most constituents think it is already illegal to discharge a firearm in Louisville but there is no general law to that effect.”
LMPD Lt. Colonel Joshua Judah added, “LMPD supports the adoption of this ordinance because it’s needed. Shooting guns indiscriminately in populated neighborhoods defies common sense, yet we deal with it every day. This ordinance gives our officers a needed tool to address this unsafe behavior…” Louisville ABC-affiliate WHAS quoted Judah as stating, “We see people pulling a gun out and shooting it in the middle of the sidewalk… This allows our officers to investigate that as a crime instead of a nuisance.”
Making clear that he viewed the proposed ordinance as a gun control measure, Mayor Greg Fischer stated, “Public safety is my No. 1 priority and we must continue to explore all avenues to creating a safer city, including this ordinance, which will enhance our whole of government approach to public safety by adding common-sense gun law regulations across our county.”
Back to alleged assassin. In addition to being charged with attempted murder, the alleged shooter was charged with four counts of felony wanton endangerment. According to reports, the suspect only shot at Greenberg. However, given the danger this shooting posed to the staffers, the shooter was charged with wanton endangerment. It’s almost as if misusing a firearm in a manner that endangers others is already against the law throughout the entire state of Kentucky, and given that fact, a local discharge ordinance in Louisville would be superfluous.
This is of course the case, and something NRA has pointed out to lawmakers.
Kentucky statute provides,
508.060 Wanton endangerment in the first degree.
(1) A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.
(2) Wanton endangerment in the first degree is a Class D felony
For feckless prosecutors too squeamish to charge dangerous individuals with felonies, there’s a misdemeanor version.
508.070 Wanton endangerment in the second degree.
(1) A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the second degree when he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of physical injury to another person.
(2) Wanton endangerment in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
So, given that law enforcement already has the tools needed to prosecute those who endanger others through their wanton misuse of firearms, a person might wonder why Louisville politicians are so bent on making illegal conduct even illegaler. Political grandstanding, scapegoating, and a desire to indulge ugly cultural prejudices are the likely motives. As evidence, consider that the first version of the proposed ordinance included a cumbersome local permitting system for shooting ranges.
At its core, gun control is about targeting the benign conduct of law-abiding individuals in a purported attempt to stop criminals from engaging in dangerous illegal behavior that has been outlawed for just about forever. When anti-gun activists push new gun controls, gun rights supporters sometimes respond: “Why don’t you just pass a law against murder?” That sarcastic retort has weight in part because, as exposed by the Louisville case, government officials have the statutory tools to target violent criminals without burdening honest citizens.
The Louisville case also exposed that while many politicians are serious about curbing the rights of law-abiding gun owners, many are not at all serious about protecting the public from alleged violent criminals.
After being charged with attempted murder and four felony counts of wanton endangerment, the alleged assassin’s bail was set at $100k on February 15. The next day, the Louisville Community Bail Fund and Black Lives Matter Louisville posted the alleged shooter’s bond. According to Lousiville NBC-affiliate WAVE, the suspect was released from Louisville Metro Department of Corrections at 7:30pm on February 16.
The decision to release a suspect charged in an attempted assassination of a politician has engendered justifiable outrage.
Greenberg stated, “our criminal justice system is clearly broken” adding, “It is nearly impossible to believe that someone can attempt murder on Monday and walk out of jail on Wednesday.” Pointing out the personal threat he faces, Greenberg explained, “Sadly, like others who suffer from a broken system, my team and family have been traumatized again by this news.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also weighed in on the disturbing news from his home state, telling the U.S. Senate,
On Monday, my hometown of Louisville was stunned by what appears to have been an assassination attempt against a Jewish mayoral candidate by a prominent far-left activist who’d previously called for defunding our Police Department.
But guess what: He’s already been let out of jail.
A left-wing bail fund partnered with BLM Louisville to bail him out.
Less than 48 hours after this activist tried to literally murder a politician, the radical left bailed their comrade out of jail.
It is just jaw-dropping. The innocent people of Louisville deserve better.
Gun control advocates demand law-abiding Americans forego their Second Amendment rights, at a time when politicians and government officials have proven unwilling to protect the public by adequately prosecuting and detaining those who misuse firearms to commit criminal violence. In this instance, a government could not be trusted to incapacitate an alleged assassin charged with attempted murder and four counts of felony wanton endangerment for even 72 hours. Louisville officials should hope that such a flagrant abdication of the state’s core function doesn’t inspire decent people to consider themselves free from their obligations under the social contract.
When gun rights supporters are confronted with anti-gun arguments, they should share these lessons of Louisville.