There aren't more guns on the streets of Kansas City this year. There are simply more people willing to fire them. So says the Kansas City Star, quoting federal firearms agents who spoke to the Kansas City Commission on Violent Crime. Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Brooks established the 29-member commission last month to study the city's rising murder rate. The city had its 106th homicide of the year Friday. There were 77 at this time last year.
Paul Marquardt of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the acquisition of firearms in Kansas City had not changed over the years. He said people get guns through theft, lawful and unlawful sales, and from family members. Said Marquart: “Trying to focus on just guns as being the reason for this increase isn't really looking at what the real problem is. The gun part of the equation is the same.” Commission member Ossco Bolton agreed that restrictive gun laws only increase the value of guns. He said guns worth $200 in Kansas City can be worth $1,200 in New York City. Bolton also said he did not think cracking down on gun shops was the answer. Bolton, a former gang member, owned more than 30 guns by the time he was 17 years old. “I didn't ever go to a gun show or a pawn shop,” he said.