Teri Carter

Teri Carter

Teri Carter writes about rural Kentucky life and politics for publications like the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Courier-Journal, The Daily Yonder and The Washington Post. You can find her at 


GOP supermajority: Silly, unserious, unconcerned by Kentuckians’ real problems

By: - February 1, 2024

On Jan. 31, I began my day reading a story that opened with a stunning sentence. “Some residents of a county in Kentucky are going on two weeks without running water, forcing them to use public toilets and catch rainwater to bathe.” As I was reading this news, a 7:31 a.m. tweet popped up from […]


‘Having a conversation is not an act of aggression.’ Especially when lives are at stake.

By: - January 9, 2024

Kentucky’s 2024 regular session opened with lawmakers insisting leadership consider rules changes to make the legislative process more transparent. Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge, was one of those lawmakers, saying, “Proposing rules changes, having a discussion in this body, having a conversation, is not an act of aggression.” She was right. And yet this is […]


Kentucky lawmakers should heed lesson from Louisville mass shooting

By: - December 4, 2023

The day before he killed five people and injured several others, the Old National Bank shooter wrote, “OH MY GOD THIS IS SO EASY. Seriously, I knew it would be doable but this is ridiculous. Walked in and bought a gun, 4 mags, and 120 rounds for $700. Got some glasses and earplugs…” On April […]


Selling fear for profit

By: - October 30, 2023

As we watched the aftermath of the mass shooting in Maine last week and listened to vacuous comments from newly-elected U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, my mind kept turning over the title of a famous Roxane Gay essay, “No one is coming to save us,” like a dystopian mantra. “The problem is the human heart, […]


Would Daniel Cameron really have rolled the dice with Kentuckians lives?

By: - October 23, 2023

A month ago, on Sept. 17, I had a terrifying car accident in southern Illinois.  It was a sunny, Sunday afternoon. I was returning home to Kentucky following my 40-year high school reunion in Missouri. I was alone. And I was driving about 50 mph when a woman made an illegal turn in front of […]


This ain’t ‘Gunsmoke.’ The victims of gun violence, their families and friends are real.

By: - October 10, 2023

With a month to go before Election Day, GOP attorney general candidate Russell Coleman launched his first ad titled “Lawman.” It opens with an image of Coleman looking menacing on a shooting range: dark sunglasses, black ear protection, black vest, black handgun firing. While the attorney general is often referred to as a state’s top […]


Prevention is conspicuously absent from Louisville Republicans’ ‘Safer Kentucky’ plan

By: - September 29, 2023

After watching the Sept. 26 news conference held by Louisville House Republicans to introduce their proposed 18-point Safer Kentucky Act, I pulled out my scribbled, contemporaneous notes from a Sept. 19 meeting of the legislature’s Task Force on School and Campus Safety.  An hour into that meeting, I wrote: “These meetings are a way for […]


So many prayers. So little action.

By: - September 11, 2023

I woke at 5 a.m. last Thursday thinking about the victims of the Old National Bank shooting in Louisville and googled their names so I could say a specific prayer: Thomas Elliott, James Tutt Jr., Juliana Farmer, Joshua Barrick and Deana Eckert; plus the six who were injured, James Evans, Julie Anderson, Dana Mitchell, Darrin […]


In my small town, our librarian now carries a gun

By: - August 15, 2023

LAWRENCEBURG, KY — The library director swiveled her chair to the right, reached into a desk drawer, and showed me her gun. “Have you always carried a gun?” I said. “No,” she said, demonstrating how she tucks it up underneath her arm when she walks to and from the library parking lot. “I started carrying […]

Shelves of library books

A library board appointment speaks volumes

By: - August 1, 2023

On Friday, July 28, after learning that a man named Bobby Proctor had been appointed by Anderson County Fiscal Court to our public library’s board of directors, I stopped by the library and asked to see a copy of Proctor’s application.  His application does not exist.  He did not apply.  Library director Demaris Hill told […]


3 months after Louisville massacres, GOP silence echoes as gun violence keeps killing Kentuckians

By: - July 10, 2023

Today, July 10, marks three months since the Old National Bank shooting in Louisville that killed five and injured eight, including a young police officer who was shot in the head.  And yet when was the last time you heard elected Kentucky Republicans, the ones who love to brag about their powerful supermajority, mention this […]


Kentuckians to ‘Wear Orange’ in hopes of saving lives

By: - May 31, 2023

Gun violence is preventable. And yet, when there is a mass shooting — or any shooting — we mostly hear the same tired, do-nothing messages: It is too soon to talk about it, thoughts and prayers, and then comes the next shooting or mass shooting and it’s wash, rinse, repeat, and move on.  I am […]