January 4, 2017
The year 2016 turned out to be one of the most violent years in terms of homicides in almost a decade, with a homicide count that ended the year at 126. This news-dog thinks it’s exceedingly pathetic when top law enforcement officials in the city and county continue to point to guns as the cause of said violence. We were even treated to a local news headline late in December that played to the narrative and chronicled a gun that shot someone, almost like the gun decided it was going to go into the other room and just randomly commit a crime.
But rather than prosecuting bad guys with guns who continue to wreak havoc on the streets of Kansas City, our local leaders continue to tell us it’s a gun problem instead of a human problem or a moral decay issue. Hence, we are treated with yet more toothless initiatives such as KC NoVA and the Mayor’s blue ribbon commission on violent crime. This critically thinking News-dog thinks that all the money and resources being poured into NoVA could be better spent elsewhere given the abysmal results they’ve posted so far. With the recent cuts to the Police budget, this pooch thinks those cops would be better utilized on the street instead of being tied up in an initiative that has yet to show any cognitive results. As far as the Mayor’s violent crime commission, take one look at this year’s homicide spike and the uptick in violent crime in the urban core: it’s not hard to see this is nothing more than a resume builder and a photo-op for committee members who are friendly with the James administration.
Here’s a novel idea: instead of wringing your hands over an out of control murder rate or thinking up more ways to infringe upon second amendment rights with “common sense” gun legislation, how about enforcing the gun crime legislation that we already have on the books designed to keep violent criminals off the streets.
Let’s look at 18 U.S.C. 924(c), for example, which calls for an automatic, mandatory minimum sentence of five years when a known felon carries out a crime with a weapon. Or U.S.C. 924(e) under the Armed Criminal Career Act, that requires a convicted, prohibited person who has had three prior violent felony convictions to be put away for a 15-year mandatory minimum. These are but two of the scores of federal and state statutes that prosecutors could use to make our streets safer. Instead we’re treated to more grandstanding and excuse after excuse for why violent criminals can’t be put away. This got up close and personal for us this year when a known violent felon admitted to using a firearm in the commission of a crime and left a bullet in the back door here at the House of News. Rather than charging said violent felon with the mandatory minimum, the prosecutor’s office declined to prosecute, citing “witness credibility issues.” Frankly, this dog is sick of the rhetoric and excuses. It’s a new year, and its time for a new prosecutorial paradigm. We’re waiting.