Some 146 victims who have survived shootings in Kansas City through April of this year, part of an alarming increase in bloodshed in recent years, the Kansas City Star reports. While Kansas City’s rising number of homicides has grabbed the attention of politicians and the public alike, more and more people are being wounded by gunshots that don’t kill but unleash devastating harm to the victims and neighborhoods they terrorize. From 2014 to 2016, the city saw a 64 percent spike in nonfatal shootings, an increase from 290 in 2014 to 477 last year.
This year, the city is on pace to shatter those numbers. The number of shooting victims through April is 14 percent greater than last year and 128 percent more than in 2014. A Kansas City Star database review of every gunshot that hit a person last year revealed that gun violence affects most every part of Kansas City. Few neighborhoods were free from the scourge of bullets. Police, community leaders and academic experts think they know why the shootings are happening. With more relaxed gun laws and easier access to firearms, minor disputes once settled with words or fisticuffs now end with gunfire and bloodshed, they say. They are confounded by what can be done to stop the shooting. “I don’t know what new I can say about it, to be honest with you,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said. “I’ve said the same thing over and over and over: When people have guns and poor problem-solving skills, they are going to use them. And I don’t know how to stop it. I wish I did, and I would get there and do it. But nobody else has seemed to figure out the magic formula, either.”