After witnessing the murder of six in his city and the wounding of 22 more, just in the first four days of August, Kansas City Mayor Sly James blamed the mayhem, among other causes, on rural legislators and their commitment to the Second Amendment.
“Because of political ideology. That’s what we’re talking about,” said James. “There’s this mantra of Second Amendment above all else, free guns for everybody…We have to change that. I can’t change it alone.”
One reason rural legislators may seem disinclined to trash the constitutional freedoms of their constituents is because they don’t have the problem Mayor James does. Nor do small town lawmakers, nor suburban lawmakers, nor lawmakers from most parts of Kansas City.
Almost all the 28 victims in those first four days of August suffered their fate within a roughly three mile-wide sliver of Mayor James’s domain. Before suspending the Constitution statewide, perhaps James might want to experiment with suspending it in those areas most subject to violence.
If not satisfied with erasing the Second Amendment, he might want to experiment with eliminating the Fourth Amendment, the one that outlaws “unreasonable searches and seizures.” That might not play well in the community, but it would certainly get guns off the street.
Just as troubling, when the mayor finally gets around to speaking about “root causes,” he cannot bring himself to speak about the real root causes.
In a 45-minute discourse at a Monday press conference, James said, among other things, “We are not addressing the root causes of these issues. We are not addressing poverty. We are not addressing educational issues. We are not understanding that kids that are living in poverty are so far behind by the time they reach school that they seldom graduate at the same rate as people who are living in more moderate and middle ranges. We are not addressing these things.”
In reality, we are addressing those “things” and have been addressing them massively for at least the last fifty years. What we are not addressing are the root causes of those things.
James might take a look at the not unusual case of Deandrea Vine, a pregnant 27-year-old “single mother” of four who was stabbed to death last week by her 17-year-old paramour. The mayor recommends, according to the Kansas City Star, “early childhood education that would plant the seeds of conflict resolution skills.”
Even if Deandrea had not been killed, no state-run remedial program could have ever leveled the playing field for her kids or the kids of other single mothers in similar straights, let alone taught them “conflict resolution skills.”
No, the Second Amendment is not the problem. The problem is the casual acceptance of the “single mother” phenomenon by the mayor and his allies and their refusal to address its real world consequences.