The most serious problem that the city of Kansas City, Missouri, faces is one that its elected officials refuse to acknowledge, let alone address–murder. The city’s eleven homicides in January put it on a pace to surpass the 127 homicides recorded in 2016, a homicide rate just a shade less than Chicago’s.
Although most of the deaths in 2017, as in 2016, were the result of shootings, guns alone do not begin to explain the city’s extraordinary homicide rate. There were many more non-shooting homicides in Kansas City in 2016 than there were total homicides in Johnson County.
Although gun ownership is normative in Johnson County, there were only five homicides in all of Johnson County in 2016, one for every 116,000 people. In Kansas City in 2016, there was one homicide for every 3743 people.
This means that a person was 31 times more likely to be killed in Kansas City, Missouri than he or she would have been in Johnson County.
In January, Kansas City, Missouri accounted for 11 of the 14 homicides recorded in the metropolitan area.
If black lives do matter, one would never guess it looking at the priorities of the Kansas City, Missouri City Council.