Missouri Republicans Shoot Down Gun Control Talk After Kansas City

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

As soon as the news broke, we all knew that Kansas City would spark gun control discussions. Even before we knew exactly what happened, someone was going to start pushing for restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms. 


It's the inevitable result of a society filled with people who blame the tool, not the tool using it.

However, Missouri isn't exactly a gun control mecca. They like their guns and they respect gun rights throughout most of the state. I mean, this is a state that's been trying to nullify federal gun control. 

But the voices are loud.

Republican lawmakers, however, don't care how loud those voices get.

The shooting after the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory parade on Wednesday that left one person dead and at least 23 shot has immediately provoked the sharpest outcry for changes to the state’s gun laws in years. While Democrats and advocates of additional restrictions have called for action for years, the current fury has few recent parallels.

“It’s one of the most frustrating things,” said Sen. Steve Roberts, a St. Louis Democrat who was at the parade during the shooting. “We have some of the loosest gun laws in the country.” 

But Missouri Republicans moved swiftly on Thursday to beat back possible change. Sen. Bill Eigel, a Weldon Spring Republican campaigning for governor, wrote on social media early Thursday with a warning to those he called “liberal gun grabbers” pushing for restrictions. “NOT IN MISSOURI,” he said. 

Even though hundreds of armed police officers were deployed along the parade route and near the rally, Eigel suggested that a lack of guns was somehow responsible for the extent of the shooting.

“One good guy with a gun could have stopped the evil criminals who opened fire on the crowd immediately. Guns don’t kill people. Thugs and criminals kill people,” Eigel wrote. 

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves on Thursday said a dispute between several people led to the shooting. Several firearms have been recovered. Two juveniles and one adult have been detained.


While the Kansas City Star wanted to seemingly mock Eigel for what he said--all because police were in the proximity--he wasn't wrong.

The good guy with a gun thing isn't a myth, but the problem is that you need enough of them so that there's one present when something awful happens.

In this case, had one been in the crowd, close enough to the shooter, a lot of damage could have been prevented.

The police who were present probably wanted to get to the bad guy as quickly as they could, but note the language used. They were "near the rally." They weren't in it. They weren't right there where they could do the most good.

Had an armed citizen been there, he or she might have done some good.

But that's just a reaction to the gun control talk. What about action?

Undoubtedly, a lot of gun control bills are going to be introduced in the legislature, but so far, there's not any signs that Republicans, including the governor who was at the rally, are inclined to support any of it.

Parson, who was at the rally, has largely avoided talking about gun laws in the immediate wake of the Kansas City shooting. During an interview on KCMO Talk Radio on Thursday morning, the governor didn’t mention the word “gun” and made no comment on the state’s laws. A written statement on Wednesday also didn’t address rules on firearms.

“Our hearts, our prayers, which doesn’t seem like enough, but it’s all we got to offer right now is for those kids and for those people that’s in that hospital and everybody that had to go through that yesterday,” Parson said in the interview.

Parson canceled a press conference previously scheduled for Thursday afternoon to announce resources he planned to deploy to the southern border.

Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher, a St. Louis-area Republican, on Thursday largely refused to answer questions about the state’s gun laws and abruptly ended a news conference after he was asked repeatedly about the shooting.

“This is an unfolding investigation,” Plocher, who is running for lieutenant governor, said. “I’m going to reserve comment. I would like you guys to focus on actually what we’re accomplishing for the state of Missouri as an investigation is going on in Kansas City.”

The top Republican lawmaker then went a step further when asked what he intended to do about preventing intentional gunfire. He said he believed Kansas City already has an ordinance that he said “should have prevented what happened.”

But Plocher then immediately said “laws alone don’t solve the problem.” He refused to answer questions about which ordinance he was referring to.


This is the time when, if they were so inclined, Republicans would be tripping over themselves to talk about the need to have some kind of gun reform.

They're not.

It should be remembered that two of the three suspects were juveniles, meaning they couldn't lawfully own any kind of firearm at all. That suggests what happened had little to do with the lack of gun control but with a failure of gun control to do what proponents claim it does.

For what it's worth, it looks like lawmakers in Missouri will be able to resist the gun control push. Things will settle down as people stop being irrational and upset over what happened and the state will go back to business as usual.

Which is good because gun control didn't stop this and it won't stop whatever is next.

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