“….None of these proposals deny a law abiding citizen gun ownership, nonetheless, I expect them to be met by some with vehement protestations and anger. But fear not upset friends. Nothing that I have proposed is very likely to be enacted in Missouri. You see, the Missouri legislature has made it legally impossible for cities like Kansas City or St. Louis to do anything substantive to stem the tsunami of illegal guns into the hands of criminal idiots on city streets.
I don’t harbor any illusions that the legislative scheme will change anytime soon. If Newtown didn’t wake this country up, my proposals won’t change our laws….
Kansas City Mayor Sly James (file photo).
Yesterday Kansas City Mayor Sly James addressed gun violence in Kansas City on his blog:
You asked. I’m answering: What are we doing about gun violence in KC?
Posted on June 27, 2013
….We can and should, as a city, have the ability to have laws and ordinances that address our specific circumstances.
My proposal is simple and designed solely to help make this city safer:
Require universal background checks for all gun sales and transfers;
Impose mandatory reporting and identification of stolen guns;
Enact limitations on guns in cars;
Create Gun Courts to vigorously and swiftly prosecute idiots who use illegal guns in criminal acts; and
Ban assault weapons in vehicle passenger compartments in the city.
None of these proposals deny a law abiding citizen gun ownership, nonetheless, I expect them to be met by some with vehement protestations and anger. But fear not upset friends. Nothing that I have proposed is very likely to be enacted in Missouri. You see, the Missouri legislature has made it legally impossible for cities like Kansas City or St. Louis to do anything substantive to stem the tsunami of illegal guns into the hands of criminal idiots on city streets.
I don’t harbor any illusions that the legislative scheme will change anytime soon. If Newtown didn’t wake this country up, my proposals won’t change our laws. Nonetheless, I can’t simply sit back and say and do nothing while we watch slow motion mass murder happen on our streets year after year. I’m sick of it. Families of murdered children, fathers, husbands, wives, and mothers are sick of it.
We may be limited in how we can regulate guns, but we are not limited in our ability to build strong relationships between the community and the KCPD. We also have a network of social services, like job training and drug treatment, that can go far in helping individuals find a life outside of crime. KC NoVA does both of those things. Today, the stakeholders of KC NoVA reaffirmed their commitment to fighting crime in our City. This is about more than only throwing people in jail – it’s also about offering those individuals the option to reshape their lives so that we have more people contributing to the community and fewer shooting guns at each other. We are not deterred by the recent violence we’ve all read about in the news. On the contrary, we are emboldened by it.
Once again there is a huge gulf between what we KNOW and how we ACT in light of that knowledge.
That is our reality. What we can do now is have a tough conversation about what to do going forward. I have spoken openly and passionately about this before and I want to address everyone who asks what I am doing in the wake of all this recent tragedy….
This is not a new concern or conversation for Mayor Sly:
Kansas City Mayor Sly James at Missouri Boys State 2012 (June 18, 2012)
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]
The odds for change are not good.