Driven by Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, the Kansas City, Missouri city council needed less than 30 minutes of debate to come to a unanimous decision to ban the open carry of firearms:
Kansas City Major Sly James didn’t hold back his feelings as he spoke to Kansas City Council members on Thursday. He was extremely open about urging the council to say “no” to allowing anyone to walk around the streets of Kansas City and openly carry or display a gun.
“Open carry may work in rural areas, but I don’t live there and it’s not the way to go for Kansas City,” said a passionate Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James during the City Council meeting, which started an hour late.
Thursday afternoon it took Kansas City Council members less than 30 minutes to say “yes” to the controversial open carry ban.
“We’re making progress. We’re going in the right direction. Open carry is a wrong direction to go,” said Mayor Sly James to the city council. “In this city where violence is a problem, where women are battered and beaten, where people get drunk and get into hassles and fights at bars, I don’t think that we ought to be giving them a gun to take it to the next level and saying that’s okay. Open carry doesn’t make sense.”
The arguments made by Mayor James are of course absurd. It’s already illegal to drink while open or concealed carrying, the ban will have no effect on domestic violence, and even the city council admits that the ban is likely to have no impact whatsoever on crime.
The ban was passed by the anti-gun council in reaction to what they consider the “aggressive” open carry of firearms by some citizens in public, such as a recent incident where a man was approached in a Walmart by police for (aggressively?) shopping. They simply don’t want to see people carrying firearms, and are arguing that there is a “right” to be free from fear.
The Kansas City ban may be very short-lived, however.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently vetoed a bill that would preempt cities from banning citizens with concealed carry permits from open carrying, but the legislature is likely to vote to override his veto in September.