LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The debate over guns rages from the White House to Louisville's Metro Hall.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is reacting to President Donald Trump's comments to WDRB News about gun control. Fischer has become a national advocate for new gun laws, and he disagrees with the president on the best way to curb violence.
"What America is demanding — and its mainstream — right now is action on gun safety," Fischer said Thursday.
The White House had denied his request for a private meeting in Louisville with the president about gun control, citing Trump’s tight schedule.
Fischer said he planned to tell the president, "Don't be afraid. You know, America is behind you."
Fischer wants Trump to take the lead on measures such as expanding background checks and banning assault-style rifles.
"What's radical is that they are not acting on it," he said. "These are common sense reforms that the vast majority of Americans want. So Washington is behind America right now."
Trump told WDRB News he is working on solutions to gun violence, but his priority is protecting gun owners.
"If you go along a certain path, you won't have any form of protection, and you won't have your Second Amendment," he said. "And with me, you're always going to have your Second Amendment."
Tump said part of the solution to mass shootings is treating mental health problems.
"I think it's very important to say the gun doesn't pull the trigger," he said Wednesday in Louisville. "You know that. It's the person that pulls the trigger."
But Fischer believes the answer is not an either/or matter. He said gun control and the Second Amendment can go together.
"Look, the Second Amendment never considered things like these assault rifles," he said.
And Fischer is not persuaded by Trump's focus on mental health.
"Helping people who struggle with mental health issues is always a good idea," he said. "But to blame the massacres on the people who have mental health problems alone is totally incomplete."
Fischer believes the public favors his approach to the issue of gun violence, but so does Trump.
"I think it's going to quite good," he said. "I think it'll be very popular with a lot of people."
Fischer may still have his chance to talk to Trump.
The leadership of the U.S. Conference of Mayors is scheduled to meets with Trump next month, and Fischer is the group's vice president.
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