Thursday, June 23, 2016

“I’m fed up with visiting crime scenes where the victim is an innocent child. I’m fed up with schools and universities being ground zero for mass killings. And I’m fed up with trying to convince misguided legislators, at various levels of government, that sensible gun regulations can be enacted without offending the second amendment. Despite the challenges, however, we must continue to argue for ways to eliminate the widespread availability of illegal guns on our city streets.”

Kansas City Mayor Sly James is fed up. As he should be. I’m fed up, too. Every day for the last several years, I have read report after report, or seen broadcast after broadcast, depicting violence taking place in our communities, in our homes, in our schools and in our places of business.

While our politicians and our leaders continue to debate whether this is a gun problem or a people problem (it’s clearly both), we will continue to see these horrific acts of violence in our newspapers, we will watch scenes of destruction unfold during the 6 o’clock news, and we will read about the latest murders on our social media feeds.

The debate and discussion will not solve the problem. Will taking guns out of the hands of those who seek to cause harm be the solution? Not completely, but I think it’s the most logical place to start. There isn’t one solution that will serve as the end-all-be-all answer to this question.

Instead of talking about it, instead of arguing over which side is right and who the NRA is financially supporting in order to prevent legislation, I’d like to see our leaders take action against the real issue: people, innocent children and parents and friends, are continuing to lose their lives while those who might be able to come up with some preventative measures twirl their thumbs with their noses held high.

In the meantime, another mother is making funeral arrangements for her four-year-old in Kansas City. A young man awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to his involvement in the murder of a 14-year-old girl just minutes from where I sit now. And this mother of a 10-year-old boy is fed up. I’m sick and tired of writing about this issue. And I urge our leaders to take action now, before it’s too late.

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