Missouri Boys State 2012 (June 16, 2012)
Last night at Missouri Boys State on the campus of the University of Central Missouri Kansas City Mayor Sly James addressed Boys State citizens. Mayor James spoke without notes for almost an hour from his perspective as a mayor on a wide range of subjects including education, law enforcement, jobs and infrastructure. He then took questions from the audience.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James at Missouri Boys State on the campus of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg on June 17, 2012.
Excerpts from the approximately half hour question and answer session:
Question: [….] Um, regarding your opinion on gun control. Instead of completely taking away our ability to buy guns at eighteen why don’t instead we give gun shops, you know, the ability to know who has a criminal record and who’s been in trouble in the past? Why don’t we give, let them have the ability to know that and do background checks and decide who they want to sell to? ‘Cause as store owners they are allowed to decide who they want to sell to.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James: Couple of reasons. First, I’m not talking about gun control, I’m talking about getting guns out of the hands of knuckleheads who shouldn’t have guns. If you want to call that gun control [applause] [inaudible][cheers]. Number two, they already have that ability to check backgrounds. But most people who are committing crimes don’t walk into a A-one gun shop and say, hey, mister A-one gun shop owner, here’s my driver’s license, I was convicted a couple of weeks ago of something and I’m kind of waiting to be sentenced here, but I want to buy a gun so I can kill some witness who testified against me [laughter]. And they’re, I mean, they’re getting them off the street, they’re stealing them out of homes, they’re buying them at gun shows. Gun shows are one of the biggest proliferators of illegal guns on the street of anybody and they don’t have to check. There’s a lot of states that don’t do the same thing across the board. And I’m sorry, I don’t see any reason why an eighteen year old ought to have an Uzi. I can’t think of any reason why a kid living at Thirty-ninth and Prospect in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri needs an AK-47. [applause][cheers]
Who’s next? [laughter]
Question: [….] You seem like a very well informed man, you seem to have a general idea on how to fix certain problems in this country, so which presidential candidate do you think will be the best for this country? [voices: “Woo.”]
Mayor James: I’ll tell you my personal preference and I’ll tell you who I’m planning to support. And that’s Barack Obama. [applause][cheers] And one of the main reasons I plan to support Barack Obama is because I recognize the situation he walked in to. Could he have done better? Absolutely. Is he trying to do better? Absolutely. What I don’t know is which Mitt Romney will actually take office. [laughter][applause] And I think I’ll leave it at that.