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'I'm emotionally exhausted': State representative, teacher discuss Texas mass shooting

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Posted at 6:26 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 18:39:49-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — As a school teacher, Mrs. Bojanowski sat and watched the morning drop-off today wondering if her school would be next.

As State Representative Tina Bojanowski of Kentucky’s 32nd district, she sat and stewed over the lack of any meaningful gun legislation in her state and this country.

“They’re not going to do it. They’re not going to push back on the NRA, and as our republican caucus goes more towards the right, it’s going to be worse,” she said from her office at school.

Bojanowski used Twitter Tuesday night (a 12-tweet thread) to express her sorrow over what happened in Uvalde, Texas, - where 19 children and two adults were shot and killed inside Robb Elementary school - and in the thread tried illustrating what it might look like if the same were to ever happen at her Jefferson County school.

“It wasn’t to make myself feel better, just to express to my constituency that torn feeling between the emotion of being a teacher and the furious feeling I have as a legislator,” she explained of her desire to write the post.

Bojanowski laments the fact that very little has been done in Kentucky since the Marshall County High School shooting in 2018, where two students were killed by a 15-year-old shooter.

“It was mostly defensive,” she said of the state’s suggestions to have armed security officers and training for teachers on how to respond to a gunman.

“I’m exhausted. I mean emotionally exhausted. I had trouble going to sleep,” she said.

Bojanowski is concerned that if the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut a decade ago wasn’t the bottom for us as far as being a starting point towards meaningful gun reform legislation, then we might not ever arrive at such.

“If there was any bottom to be had, it would’ve been Sandy Hook. And it wasn’t. So where are we now? We as citizens need to express our outrage and we need to fight for common-sense legislation,” she said.

Bojanowski feels that her colleagues across the aisle just can’t bring themselves to negotiate for safe gun laws because they rely on the NRA for funding and support (higher ratings), and their knowledge of what wins on the campaign trail.

“There are two issues that get votes for Republicans: abortion and gun rights,” she explained. “These are such powerful issues for getting Republicans into office.”

Rep. Bojanowski said she has very little confidence that even benign gun reform laws would ever make it through Kentucky’s General Assembly.

“And that’s infuriating,” she stated.