By Paul Thompson
This week on the Northeast Newscast, 4th District Councilwoman Jolie Justus sits down with Managing Editor Paul Thompson to discuss Kansas City’s rash of homicides over the past week – and the steps that can be taken at City Hall to combat it, the role of guns in violent crime, and why she supports a new single terminal at Kansas City International airport.
On the issue of crime, Justus talked about what City Hall can do to support the efforts of new KCPD Chief of Police Rick Smith. When asked specifically about the prevalence of guns, Justus spoke candidly about her beliefs.
“The proliferation of guns in our community cannot be ignored. If we try to have a conversation about violent crime in Kansas City or any other community and we don’t talk about guns, it would be foolish and a waste of time; because the vast majority of the crime right now is perpetrated by handguns. So we have to have the conversation,” Justus said. “It is much easier to access firearms in Kansas City, legally or not, than it is to access the social services that folks need like mental health care, early childhood education, access to safe and healthy foods, safe housing…if we have a society where it’s easier to get guns than it is to get services that are basic human needs, then of course we’re going to have the violent crime that we have.”