St. Louis council chairwoman researching local gun control

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The city of St. Louis is like a lot of large cities in pro-gun states. They want to find a way around reciprocity because they labor under the misguided notion that gun control works.


However, St. Louis is in Missouri, one of the most pro-gun states in the country.

Still, the county council chairwoman says she’s still trying to find a way around preemption.

While a bill that would prevent people from openly carrying guns in St. Louis sits on Mayor Tishaura Jones’ desk, another prominent local leader outside the city limits is endorsing the idea.

St. Louis County Council chair Shalonda Webb says it’s time for local leaders to take action against gun violence, instead of waiting for federal leaders to do so.

The bill St. Louis alderwoman Cara Spencer garnered unanimous support for from the city Board of Aldermen in July is one of the approaches Webb says she is considering bringing to St. Louis County.

“We need legislation that is comprehensive, that will allow us to keep our communities safe and also allow the police and the law enforcement to be able to safely do their jobs,” Webb said.

Webb announced she is pursuing local ordinances to combat gun violence just hours after the Kansas City mayor and Jones addressed reporters following a Moms Demand Action conference in Kansas City Tuesday.

“Our hands are tied as mayors to enact common sense gun safety laws on the local level,” Jones said.

Webb disagrees.

“When I see someone doing their due diligence to come up with real solutions, I feel like it’s my responsibility to say, ‘Hey, how can we engage? How can we also provide that benefit to St. Louis County residents?’” she asked.

The problem for Webb is that the state’s preemption law is what it is. She can want to pass local gun control laws until the end of time, but as things currently stand, that’s just not happening.


Yet I can’t help but wonder why Webb is so focused on this quixotic quest to pass laws that she can’t actually do anything with–in theory, St. Louis can pass them and so long as they’re not enforced, there’s no issue with preemption, but that just means it’s grandstanding versus law–when there are plenty of avenues worth exploring that don’t require the state to be in agreement.

This is the problem with gun control advocates. They claim it’s about reducing violence or crime or safety or whatever their preferred euphemism is, but they don’t bother to look at anything beyond the gun itself.

They push gun control because that’s what this has always been about.

St. Louis is a large enough city that it should have the resources for any number of programs that would ultimately reduce crime across the board. If not, then a good talking point might be how to make that happen.

Instead, people like Webb spin their wheels over preemption and gun control because it’s the easy path. It makes great headlines and the media adores it. At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t cut it and everyone with half a brain knows that.

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