Kansas City Mayor Sly James says gun control and violence was a hot topic at the annual conference of mayors. James has strong opinions on how to solve the problem … local control.
The Center for American Progress says Missouri ranks eighth in the nation for gun violence. The report contains some startling statistics, stating that in 2010, 62 children were killed with guns in Missouri, and had the fourth highest homicide rate with firearms in the nation. That’s 56 percent above the national average. Read the full report HERE. (Missouri statistics are on Page 57.)
Kansas City Mayor Sly James says taking illegal guns away is not an option.
“I’d like to have the ability to do something in our metropolitan area to address the issue of illegal guns, but our hands are tied,” he says. “State governments are always railing on the federal government for wanting to control them and they don’t want that, but then state governments turn around and do the same thing with cities.”
James says gun control policies must take different areas and demographics into consideration to be effective.
“This is not a one-size-fits-all situation,” he says. “What happens in Kansas City and St. Louis is not the same thing that happens in Joplin and Springfield. We need to address that. I don’t think it’s any great mystery as to why we have more homicides than other areas. It’s because we can’t do anything about the instruments used in those homicides.”
The Center for American Progress report says that in 2009, Missouri sold almost 600 guns that went on to be used in crimes in other states. And while it ranks Missouri eighth in the nation for gun violence, it puts our state fifth in the nation for aggravated assault with a firearm.
AUDIO: James talks with Jessica Machetta about gun violence (1:42)
AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (1:13)